Effective legal representation does not need to be expensive. Our size, flexible billing options, and commitment to building long-term client relationships means our services and advice are affordable and accessible. Because no two clients or legal issues are alike, we offer many different types of fee arrangements and payment methods to our clients.
The particular fee arrangement depends on the type of representation required, and will likely vary from matter to matter and client to client. We always discuss our fee arrangement up front and before doing any work on your matter.
The following are some of the more common fee arrangements:
The "Consultation Fee" and "Legal Checkup"
Many people shy away from seeking the advice of an attorney because of the perceived costs and hassle. A confidential legal checkup or visit with an attorney can help clients make more informed legal decisions and avoid complex or costly disagreements later on. For new clients and previous clients who wish to discuss a legal question or issue with an attorney, our Firm charges a reasonable consultation fee of $100. For any client who decides to retain our Firm, the $100 consultation fee will be applied toward his or her first bill. Your consulting attorney will discuss your question or situation with you, review any important legal documents, explain your legal options and likely hurdles, and explore likely outcomes and costs. A confidential telephone or office consultation is a great way to get a quick "legal checkup", to obtain guidance on a legal issue, and to explore whether additional legal services or representation may be required.
The "Flat Fee" or "Project-Based Fee"
A common fee arrangement, whereby the client agrees to pay a simple fixed, or flat fee, to the Firm for a specified legal service or project. The most common type of legal services provided for a flat fee are uncontested divorces, uncontested adoption, estate planning, prenuptial and other marital agreements. A flat fee may be paid all at once or in installments.
The "Contingent Fee"
The contingent fee arrangement is one in which the attorney's fee is calculated as a percentage (usually around 33%) of any monetary recovery obtained for the client. In a contingent fee arrangement, both the attorney and the client share equally in the risk and reward, and there is no attorney fee due until the conclusion of your matter. A client will be responsible for the Firm's out-of pocket expenses in prosecuting his or her matter, such as court filing fees, fed-ex delivery, substantial copying projects, deposition transcript costs, sheriff or constable fees, etc.
The "Hourly Fee"
Abraham Lincoln once said that an "attorney's time is his stock in trade". Lawyers are retained to provide their time and apply their knowledge, advice, and thoughtful consideration to help clients solve their problems. An attorney's hourly fee should fairly reflect his or her level of skill and experience. Hourly-fee arrangements are set up to bill a client for the time that an attorney, paralegal, or law clerk spends in the thoughtful prosecution of his or her matter.
The "Retainer" and the "Replenishable Retainer" Requirement
Oftentimes, and in connection with any of the above arrangements, an advanced retainer of some kind will be required, against which the client's bill for fees or costs will be billed on a monthly basis. The purpose of a retainer is to ensure that funds will be available to compensate the firm for work performed and costs advanced. All advanced retainers remain the property of the client until earned, and are held in a Client Trust Account until earned. Any unused funds are returned to the client at the completion of his or her matter. For litigation and ongoing representation, a client may be asked to maintain a certain balance at all times, and replenish it whenever it dips below an agreed-upon amount.