It is often the ugly end to a once-promising relationship, and it’s a step that law firms try to avoid taking. But when economic times aren’t flush, some law firms are getting aggressive and filing lawsuits against clients to collect fees.

“It’s not something we do lightly,” said Julia B. Morris, managing partner of O’Connell, Flaherty & Attmore in Hartford, Conn. “Clients are having a tough time across the board, and our preference is to find some middle ground” to resolve fee disputes.

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