Is Hiring a Lawyer Going to be Expensive?
This will depend on your case and what arrangements you make for the fee. There are different kinds of fees you can choose from when hiring a lawyer. Below are some common types of fee arrangements:
- Retainer fee and statutory fee
- Consultation fee and referral fee
- Flat fee
- Hourly rate
- Contingency fee
Is the Fee all I Have to Pay when I Hire a Lawyer?
No, you are also expected to pay costs on top of your fee, such as for copies, process service, deposition transcripts, etc.
Should I Have a Fee Agreement with my Lawyer?
Yes, at your first meeting with your lawyer you should discuss the fee and the costs. You should get this arrangement in writing. The type of arrangements that you make with your lawyer in the beginning will have significant impact on how much you will pay for the service. The fee arrangement should include:
- The services your lawyer should perform for you
- The type of fee
- If you will you pay a retainer fee
- An estimate of fees and costs
- Specification of which costs are billed to you and the rate of those costs
- How often you want to be billed and if the bill is specified
- If your lawyer is working on a contingency basis find out how often you will be billed for costs, and if you win your lawsuit, when you'll receive the amount you've won
What are the Common Fees in Different Areas?
In different areas, lawyers usually use a certain kind of fee. Below are some examples of common areas and fees normally charged for such a case:
- Injury or Accident Cases are usually charged a contingency fee.
- Civil and Divorce Cases are usually billed on an hourly basis, which can vary greatly depending on the case and the lawyer. Usually you pay a retainer when the lawyer agrees to take the case.
- Criminal cases are usually paid by a flat fee up front.
- Simple or routine matters are usually charged by a flat fee. This is for example, writing a will, a real estate closing or an uncontested divorce or getting a power of attorney.
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Last Modified: 11-09-2010 04:15 PM PST