Clearing up Legal Fee Confusion

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Clearing up Legal Fee Confusion

Legal fees can add up quickly, and sometimes it can be unclear as to what you are actually being billed for.  How can you make sense out of the confusion?

How Can the Legal Fees Be More Transparent?

First, it is very important to completely discuss legal fees in your first meeting with your lawyer.  You have both a right and a responsibility to know how much you will be charged.  It is also important to get the lawyer’s billing structure in writing.  You should read this and fully understand it before agreeing to it.  

If you still do not understand the bill, you should contact your lawyer to discuss your concerns.  Most lawyers keep thorough records of the time spent on and expenses connected to each case, and can completely explain any charges that you do not understand.

Finally, you can at any time request an itemized accounting from your lawyer detailing every expense billed to you. Going over this accounting with your lawyer can also allow your lawyer to catch any billing errors.  It also can help show your lawyer where they were not adequately clear in explaining their billing structure to you in your initial meeting.

How Can Legal Fees Be Paid?

Legal fees can be paid in a variety of ways. These methods of payment include:

What Exactly Is My Lawyer Charging Me For?

The most expensive thing about legal fees is time spent on research. This includes gathering facts about the case as well as researching precedents, or similar cases. This includes not only the lawyer’s research, but also the research of his paralegals.

Next, court fees and document preparation can take up a good amount of money. Although each filing fee by itself is not expensive, the combined fees can make the bill much larger.
Finally, more experienced lawyers will charge more. In exchange though, the experienced lawyers have a better mastery of the field they work in and can find legal solutions more quickly.

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Last Modified: 01-28-2014 12:29 PM PST

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