Fees and Costs
Most people would leave if when a person took a car into the mechanic, the mechanic stated that he identified the problem and that he could provide an estimate of the cost for fixing it, but the actual cost could be significantly higher or lower and that you wouldn’t know the final cost until you received a bill when the work was complete; however, this is exactly how it works in most law firms. In the average law firm, when a client comes in for a consultation, the client is asked to provide a large retainer and told that the fees could exceed that retainer depending on what happens in the case. Moreover, when the retainer is expended, the monthly bills can be inconsistent and the client may receive unexpected large bills that include numerous time entries for every phone call, email or even travel to the courthouse.
We want to provide our clients a different experience and to eliminate the incentives for the attorney to move slowly or file motions that do little to advance the resolution of the case. With this in mind, we have adopted a unique pricing structure that includes clear, upfront, and predictable pricing for our clients.
We charge a hybrid fee that consists of an initial upfront fee and a monthly charge throughout the course of the litigation. When you first hire the firm, you shall pay a retainer fee, which compensates the attorney for reviewing your documents, accepting the case, and for giving up the right to represent the opposing party and/or other clients due to the limited number of cases that can be handled at any given time. As this is a retainer payment, these fees are earned upon payment and are not refundable.
Moving forward, you shall be charged the monthly fee on the first day of the month for as long as we continue as your counsel on this matter. These fees are compensating the firm for the legal services provided in the previous month and shall be prorated to the date of the end of the representation. In other words, if the representation ends on March 13 and the monthly fee was $1.00, you would be charged $0.35 on April 1st as your final payment. ($1.00/31 days = $0.032. 0.032 * 11 days = $0.35).
The initial retainer and monthly payment are payment for legal services only. Throughout the course of litigation, additional costs that are paid to third parties may be required. These costs include, but are not limited to, court fees, service fees, deposition fees, transcript fees, and mediation fees. We can not control the amount of these costs, and therefore, all costs are your responsibility. Furthermore, as certain costs may need to be disbursed quickly, we require that all clients provide a cost retainer prior to the beginning of the litigation. This cost retainer shall be held in trust and any funds remaining in the retainer shall be refunded at the end of the representation. Furthermore, depending on the costs of the case, we may require that the retainer be replenished during the course of the representation.
In to providing predictability to our clients, some of the other benefits of our pricing model include, but are not limited to:
- Encourages the law firm to work efficiently and to find resolutions to the matters we are handling
- Promotes active communication between the attorney and the client as clients are not reluctant to call in fear of receiving a large bill at the end of the month
- Clients can make better settlement decisions because the costs of continuing the litigation are predictable and easy to calculate.
- Because the final bill amount is known, clients can reach settlement decisions without worrying about having to pay an additional large bill to the attorney after the case is closed.
It is important to us that all of our clients receive best possible experience when working with our firm. As such, we offer a no questions asked guarantee wherein a client can terminate the relationship with the firm and the final invoice shall be waived. For more information about this guarantee, please visit the satisfaction guaranteed page on our website.
The billable hour has been around for many years and attorneys are reluctant to change because it is what’s known and familiar. With that being said, the standard model for taxi cabs seems unchangeable until the advent of Uber. It is indisputable that Uber has made transportation easier for riders and it is time for the legal industry to embrace change so as to provide better services to our clients.