Explanation Of Our Fees
Our firm believes that it is very important that clients understand how legal fees will be computed as well as clients’ payment responsibilities at the outset of the relationship. This is normally discussed informally at the first conference and subsequently a written fee letter is issued which includes specific financial terms.
We find that a clear understanding of fees and costs strengthens our relationship with our clients. Our goal is fairness and full disclosure so that our clients can make financial decisions with accurate information.
Generally, there are four different ways that our firm charges fees: First, on a contingency basis; second, on a fixed fee basis; third, on a percentage basis; and fourth, on an hourly basis. Contingent fees are generally charged in personal injury cases, but may also be charged in debt collection or other business or personal matters. A contingent fee, which is a percentage of what the client receives, is paid from a settlement or court recovery. Our firm accepts contingent cases if we believe that there is a reasonable chance of successful recovery. We will evaluate your case thoroughly at the outset of the relationship and make this determination.
Our firm will charge fixed fees for standard routine matters such as the preparation of wills, deeds, the issuance of title insurance and representation for traffic or criminal matters. Because we serve as agents for a title company, we are able to handle residential real estate transactions at an extremely competitive all-inclusive rate established by the state for all title companies. Our rate for title insurance coverage also includes the attorney’s representation of the client at settlement.
We handle estate settlements on a percentage basis. The fee is calculated by multiplying the gross value of the assets in the estate by a percentage fee approved by the client.
Most of our work for clients is charged by the firm on an hourly basis. Hourly rates are based on experience and specialization necessary for the type and difficulty of a case and are specified in the initial fee letter. Hourly rates for staff professionals other than attorneys, such as paralegal rates will also be disclosed in the same letter. Charges are not normally made for clerical services.
Attorneys will make themselves available to answer questions on fees during any stage of representation. Our firm accepts credit card payments, as well as personal checks or cash, for our services.