We strive to client needs, goals and objectives in an affordable fashion. Ever conscious of this objective, we offer free consultations and flexible payment options and plans for legal fees. Ethically, moreover, we are bound to perform work for reasonable fees and communicate with you about all fees and costs relating to representation.
Generally, depending upon the type of case, we will use one of the below fee structures (or a combination). In litigation, it is extremely important to be aware of the fee structure. Most litigation (especially from a defense perspective) is handled on an hourly basis. Given the amount of external factors at play in litigation, it is very difficult to provide a precise calculation on the amount of hours it will take to fully litigate a case. Practically, the feasibility of litigating will often turn on the cost of enforcement, not necessarily the merits of a case. For these reasons, most cases are often settled after suit to avoid the costs and uncertainty of a judge or jury trial. At the onset of litigation (or potential litigation), it is vital to weigh and balance the cost of enforcement, probably length of the case, and likelihood of success.
With a flat legal fee, we will quote you a fixed price for legal fees after we have a firm grip on the scope, nature and extent of your particular legal issue. Flat fees are generally appropriate for document preparation, document review municipal violations, traffic violations and uncontested cases. Depending upon the needs of the client, we are often willing to accommodate installment payments.
An hourly fee is where we will give you an hourly fee that would be required to handle your case. It is impossible to give the same hourly rate across the board because some areas of law require more expertise and attention to than others. At the same time, the facts of a given case can either complicate or simplify things greatly.
With a contingent fee, the legal fees are deducted from the gross amount of any recovery on your behalf. We would be entitled to a percentage of the recovery. The percentages typically range from 10%-40%, depending on complexity, risk and cost. If we do not obtain a recovery on your behalf, then you do not owe any legal fees. Furthermore, we traditionally advance all costs associated with the representation and are also entitled to reimbursement for those sums in the event of recovery.
With almost all flat fee and hourly cases, we will require a retainer (i.e., an advance deposit) to cover anticipated fees and costs (in whole or in part) before we can begin legal representation. More often than not, retainers are used as an advance of the first set of hours of representation in a case being billed hourly. In flat fee cases, all or a portion of the flat fee may be requested in advance. When a retainer is paid, it is deposited into the Firm’s client trust account (similar to an escrow account) and is used to paid fees and expenses as they are incurred. The client is entitled to the return of any advanced funds at the end of the representation and can request an accounting at any time.
There are not any professional rules of responsibility directly addressing the question of blended arrangements, but we often implement them. Blended arrangements are very flexible and is a mixture of some of the foregoing fee structures. It can include billing hourly up to a certain point, with the remainder of the fees being handled on a contingency basis. It can be a flat fee mixed with a contingency fee. In essence, they can be tailored to meet client needs in an affordable fashion.
Costs & Expenses
By “costs & expenses,” we generally mean the third-party charges incurred in the process of carrying out representations. Examples include filing fees, background checks, private investigator costs, service of process costs, subpoena costs, court filing fees, deposition costs, general discovery costs, etc. The client is always responsible for these costs. We do not charge for copies and postage.