The Right to Full Fee Disclosure
Hiring an attorney means contracting for his or her services. You may shop around and bargain over fees. There’s no set fee schedule in the legal profession. You also should know that it’s unethical for a lawyer to charge an unreasonable fee.
Free Consultation for Criminal and Bankruptcy Cases
Some lawyers, including our firm for many matters, charge nothing for an initial consultation. You may want to ask about initial fees before you discuss your problem. If an attorney decides to take your case, he or she may bill you by the hour or be paid on a percentage of any recovery (known as a contingent fee). Either way, the lawyer should tell you all the facts about the billing procedure. For example, if the lawyer requires a retainer, you should ask whether the retainer is a down payment on future billing or is non-refundable as a fee for taking the case.
If You Have Questions About Our Fees, Please Ask
We want to make sure that you are fully aware of how our fees are billed. In many instances, before taking a case, we ask for an advanced fee. This fee, called a “flat fee” is usually based upon the amount of time that we anticipate a case will take.
We will carefully explain to you how our fees are billed and how amounts are deducted from any retainer. We will also provide you with this information in writing. We understand, however, that for most clients, this may be their first experience with hiring an attorney, so please ask any questions about fees that you may have.
It is important that you know and understand the difference between a “retainer” and a “flat fee.” We will make sure you understand both concepts.