What Are Lawyer Costs?
The amount you pay for a lawyer's services are the fee plus costs and expenses for your case. You should agree with your lawyer what costs are included in the fee before hiring the lawyer. You may be able to negotiate the amount in advance for some of the costs. Below is a list what is normally considered costs:
- Delivery of legal documents relating to the case
- Filing fees and court costs
- Deposition, expert witnesses and consultants' costs
- Photocopying costs, long distance telephone charges, postage and faxes costs
- Paralegal, secretarial and staff time
- Reasonable travel, out-of town meals and transportation expenses
What is Usually Not Included in Costs?
Several services are not part of costs, including:
- Standard secretarial and other staff services
- Standard office supplies
- Local telephone calls
- First class travel
Should Costs be Discussed Before I Hire an Attorney?
Yes, all costs should be discussed before hiring an attorney. The above list is an example of costs and there may be other costs during the suit. Make sure you understand all the different costs you have to pay to prevent disagreements with your lawyer when the bill comes. If you want to keep costs under control you can also tell your lawyer that you have to approve costs over a certain amount in advance.
What Does Out-of-Pocket Costs/Expenses Mean?
This means costs relating to the case that the attorney pay on the client's behalf.
Should the Specific Costs Be in Writing?
Yes, it is a good idea to ask for specific costs to be in writing. It is also a good idea to have your lawyer give you a written estimate of anticipated costs. If you feel that your attorney has breached his agreement with you then you may be able to sue for attorney malpractice.
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Last Modified: 09-25-2013 03:30 PM PDT
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