“A Lawyer’s time and advice are his stock in trade” -Abraham Lincoln
Attorneys are generally compensated for their representation in one of two ways. The traditional way of accepting a retainer from a client and then billing against that retainer by the hour or a flat fee for specific representation in a particular matter.
Retainer Fee Pros and Cons
When you pay an attorney a retainer, the way the attorney gets paid is by keeping track of all work performed on behalf of the client and then billing the client. My hourly rate $265 and minimum billable time is 6 minutes, so that means if I’m working on retainer and you send me an email, could be very short, two lines. That will cost you 26.50. So you can see how the time and thus the expense can add up quickly.
You’ll receive a bill monthly detailing your fees and you may need to replenish the retainer. If your retainer is exhausted at the conclusion of your case you could get a final bill. The advantage of this method is you have a much more detailed record of the representation you received. The disadvantage is you don’t know the total cost of representation going in, so budgeting can be difficult. Additionally, keeping detailed track of time and generating bills incurs more cost to the client.
Flat Fee Pros and Cons
Many attorneys accept their clients’ cases for a set flat fee that covers an agreed upon scope of representation. Basically this means the attorney estimates the time they think they’ll need to complete your case and sets a fixed fee. Typically, there will be some discount in this fee from the hourly rate of billing since the attorney and staff aren’t having to generate billing. There are two distinct advantages to the client. First, you have cost certainty. You know exactly what you’re spending in advance and can budget accordingly. Second, your attorney is incentivized to handle your case expediently. No more worries that your case is being dragged out by the attorney to pad the bill.
Which Billing Method Is Better?
Flat fees have become the preferred billing method in criminal cases. 90% of my cases are handled on a flat fee basis. The bulk of my practice has been private criminal defense the last twenty years and my staff has a combined thirty years experience. This allows me to be very sharp with my fees since we’re not “reinventing the wheel” with every case. I keep my overhead low and this combination helps me keep my fees affordable for an attorney with my experience and successful reputation.
How Much Can I Expect To Pay For My Attorney?
You may have come to this page hoping to see a price list of some kind. Unfortunately this isn’t possible in this line of work. One thing I’ve learned over the last twenty years is every case is unique and expect the unexpected. We can only offer an accurate quote after a thorough conversation about the specific facts of your case and a full understanding of your goals and needs. Dennison Law is committed to being available to our clients and potential clients consistently to answer whatever questions they may have.
The fastest way to learn more about your case and our fees and expenses is to contact Dennison Law for a free consultation 24 HOURS A DAY! 614-228-3413