Understanding How Legal Fees Are Charged
When you are thinking about hiring a family lawyer, it is important that you understand how you will be charged for their assistance. The Law Office of C.J. Williams, LLC offers 5 unique fee agreements.
Limited Scope Representation - also known as Unbundled Legal Services, is based on the sharing of responsibility between attorneys and clients, similar to a client that does his/her own taxes and only requires an attorney to review, revise or provide advice on them. The Law Office of C.J. Williams, LLC takes a client-centered approach to legal services. By tailoring services we provide, fee agreements, and payments to our clients and their specific legal matter and offers limited scope services as an alternative to full-service representation. You may not need full-service representation, where the lawyer is responsible for managing your legal matter from start to finish. Sometimes you just need a little guidance.
Hourly Rate(s) - Hourly rates may vary dramatically based on location, the anticipated complexity, experience of the attorney, and the unique facts of your case. With hourly billing, it's important to note that you will not only pay for the hours your lawyer spends in court, but the time he/she spends researching, writing motions, meeting with opposing counsel, reviewing discovery, phone calls and meetings with the client. Additionally, you will pay for the lawyer's support staff, including paralegals and legal secretaries, though at a rate below what the lawyer themselves will charge.
Flat Fee - Many cut-and-dry matters may be charged a flat fee. Document review, a single court appearance, traffic citation defense, or Preparing a Living Will are some examples of legal services that may be charged a flat fee.
Retainer Agreement - Retainer agreements can be more complicated. Typically, a
retainer is lump sum you will pay up front from which the lawyer will deduct
his or her hourly expenses. Often, your retainer reserves a certain amount of
hours or services from your lawyer as well helping solidify the full representation or case-long
relationship of the firm and you, the client. We offer many different
kinds of retainers as well as different payment plans and schedules. Due to the complexity of retainer agreements you should make certain you fully understand the agreement during your initial consultation.
Contingent Fee(s) - A contingent fee—sometimes referred to as
working on "contingency"—means that your attorney will take a certain
percentage of monetary settlements and damages you receive from your case.
Contingent fees are typically charged in civil suits, such as personal injury litigation.
A typical fee is 33%, but can vary by state or by case.
Some of the above payment agreements are not applicable to all sorts of law. Contact the Law Office of C.J. Williams, LLC to discuss the fee arrangement that works best for you and your family today.