We realize that our fees are of vital concern to you. In this regard, please
understand the only thing that we have to offer is our time and legal advice.
Naturally, we prepare documents, such as wills, trusts, deeds, employment
contracts, acquisition documents, and other documents, and appear in court.
Nevertheless, most of what we do involves giving advice, negotiating or advocating
your position, and researching the law. Often we must spend significant time,
effort, and energy in order to provide you with a few simple words of advice.
What may appear to you to be the simplest or shortest document actually may
require many hours of research and preparation. You should also keep in mind
that in many instances, you neither see nor receive tangible evidence of these
efforts. Since we understand that we render a very intangible product-legal
advice-we are always willing to discuss our fees with you. You should know
that we have established the following policies for our fees and charges:
1. Unless a different arrangement in writing is made at our initial conference,
you will be billed on an hourly basis for all time we spend working on your
behalf. We may bill an additional fee based on various factors allowed by
the ethics of our profession, as discussed in the next paragraph. Our fees
include charges for any office or telephone consultations that we have with
you, including initial consultations. After our first meeting, we may ask
you to sign our firms standard fee agreement.
2. We may, in an appropriate case, charge a premium for our services as permitted
by our rules of ethics. The factors to be considered in determining the reasonableness
of a fee include the following: the time and labor required, the novelty and
difficulty of the questions involved, and the skill requisite to perform the
legal service properly; the likelihood, if apparent to the client, that the
appearance of the particular employment will preclude other employment by
the lawyer; the fee customarily charged in the locality for similar legal
services; the amount involved and the results obtained; the time limitations
imposed by the client or by the circumstances; the nature and length of the
professional relationship with the client; the experience, reputation, and
ability of the lawyer or lawyers performing the services; and whether the
fee is fixed or contingent. We attempt to assign your work in the most cost
effective manner; however, an attorney will supervise your case. We reserve
the right to increase our rates from time to time. In addition, we may bill
you for various costs and "out of pocket" expenses such as filing
fees, photocopying services (including any copies of your file made by or
for us at the termination of our employment as your attorney), faxing services,
long distance telephone, and computerized legal research services.
3. We may request a retainer from you. We place this payment in our escrow
account to be held as a deposit for your benefit. We reserve the right to
apply the deposit against any statement for services or costs on any matter
that you have entrusted to us.
4. Because of the nature of our practice, we rarely quote a fixed fee for
any service; however, we are always willing to provide an estimate of the
fees you will incur, as long as you understand that this is merely an estimate
based on the facts, which you have disclosed to us. As new facts are discovered
or as you request additional services and consultants, this estimate will,
of course, change.
5. We bill monthly and expect prompt payment.
We are often asked how a client may keep legal fees to a minimum. You may
reduce your total fee if you: provide us with complete, accurate, and organized
information and documentation; try not to change your mind in the middle of
a transaction; do not wait until the last minute, as last minute rushes require
extraordinary measures and costs; and, respond promptly to requests for information,
approval, and execution of documents, as delays necessitate follow up measures
which take additional time.
Please remember that we provide an intangible product, legal services; and,
you may see only a small part of our efforts. This combination may result
in questions, on your part, regarding our statement for services rendered
and costs advanced. We urge you to call us as soon as questions arise. We
find that frank and candid discussions answer most of these questions.
We hope you find this information useful, and thank you for considering us
as your law firm.