Family law and domestic cases are handled on an hourly fee basis. An upfront retainer is usually required. The rules of attorney ethics do not permit lawyers to handle domestic cases on a “contingency fee” basis. The retainer is billed against at my usual hourly rate. I endeavor to set a retainer that is reasonably affordable yet fairly compensates me for the time and effort I must devote to the client’s cause. As stated previously, I usually deliver far more in results than the cost of my fees and expenses. We of course accept all the major credit cards.
Personal injury and workers compensation cases are handled on a contingency fee basis. That means you do not owe me anything as fees unless I recover for you. I also advance or fund the expenses of litigation, such as court filing fees, court reporter fees, expert witness fees, travel costs, and the like, until the end of the case. Then those out-of-pocket costs are paid out of any settlement or judgment I obtain for the client, along with my contingency fee.
There is a lot of competition out there amongst personal injury lawyers. Most lawyers charge at least a 33.3% contingency fee or higher. I set mine a bit lower – usually 25 to 30%. I will deliver the same result if not better than the lawyers on television, but my fees are lower because I do not have to pay the cost of that expensive advertising.
You will likely have many more questions about fees and litigation costs. And we will discuss those in the detail required so that you are comfortable with your selection of a lawyer.
You have heard that litigation and attorneys are expensive. That is true. But like any other service or commodity that is expensive, the value or “bang for the buck” you receive should be the client’s primary focus. In 35 years of practice, I do not recall a single complaint about my fees. That is because most folks at the end of my representation believe they have gotten their money’s worth.
My policy is to be candid and upfront with every client about what I can or cannot deliver, what they should or should not reasonably expect as an outcome to the litigation, and a fair analysis of what it will cost to attain those results. Of course I am not always right since much depends on facts that will be discovered after my initial consultation with the client, but my track record I will put up against any other lawyer.
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