Hiring Our Firm
Hiring an attorney for the first time can be intimidating. If the information here doesn’t answer your question, feel free to call and ask.
The first question everyone has is:
“How much is this going to cost?” Unfortunately, there isn’t a single answer to that question. Most of the work done at this firm is billed by the hour, so it depends entirely on how much work you need to have done. My regular rate is currently $300/hr, so if I spend 1.5 hours reviewing your lease agreement, your charge would be $450. For smaller transactional matters I can estimate the number of hours so you’ll have an idea what the total charge will be (but my estimate is not a guarantee or limit). In some cases (such as when you are involved in a lawsuit), I will ask you to make an advance deposit to be held in the firm’s trust account and applied toward future fees. If the matter is resolved before the fees in trust have been exhausted, the excess gets returned to you. If the funds are depleted and there is still work to be done, I’ll ask you to deposit some more.
In addition to fees for my time, I also will bill you for expenses necessary for your case (filing fees, for example). These will be itemized and we’ll discuss them ahead of time. All the details regarding my fees will be outlined in the fee agreement, which I’m happy to email to you so you can look it over before you hire me.
I intend to be completely up front and open about my billing. As the one paying for my services, you have the right to know why certain tasks were necessary. You can also tell me to stop work if it looks like it will cost more than you expected. I will never charge you for time spent discussing your bill with you (this seems obvious to me but surprisingly it isn’t to everyone).
I do not handle cases on a contingency basis. The kind of law I practice doesn’t lend itself well to contingency cases because there isn’t often an insurance company on the other side who will pay out a large settlement. If you have a medical malpractice or personal injury claim, contingency might be an option (but then I’d refer you to a trusted colleague who handles those kinds of cases).
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