Hourly billing. You expect your baby-sitter to charge you by the hour. You should expect more from your lawyer. If a family law case alone is not stressful and anxiety provoking enough, the unknown tally of legal fees is guaranteed to make a bad situation worse.
Most lawyers bill by the hour. I did for 20 years. I knew at the time that this billing method did not encourage efficiencies within the legal profession. I also understood that clients did not like hourly billing because of the uncertainty in the ultimate cost for their case. Clients basically trusted me with their checkbook during one of the most stressful times in their lives. I tried my best to keep case expenses low and my billable time reasonable. I frequently returned the balance of unused retainers, much to the surprise of many clients. Even when a case cost less than the retainer paid, the client still experienced the stress of unknown legal fees.
I offer customized legal fees for specific services in all family law cases. If you are visiting this page in search of a list of flat fees, you will not find it. Every case is different, so every fee is different. I will provide you with a customized fee for your specific case after your case consultation.
I do not charge a fee upfront with the intention of receiving one payment for all legal services rendered through trial or the case conclusion. If your case settles in the early stages of litigation, then you should not pay the same amount as the client whose case proceeds to trial. The payment of your fees will be divided in stages based upon your case timeline. You will be informed of your maximum cost for litigation at the beginning of our representation.
I will not charge you separately for any out-of-pocket expenses which are typically billed by hourly attorneys. These expenses include filing fees, mileage, copy fees, postage, faxes or long-distance calls. The price quoted in the Attorney-Client Agreement is the price you will pay. Any extraordinary fees or expenses not included in your quoted price will be clearly set forth in the Attorney-Client Agreement. Your legal fees are capped from day one.
You will know how much is due and when. No surprises. No worrying about how much your case will cost each month as your case proceeds. I want to alleviate the stress of your family law case. I do not want to increase your anxiety with unknown financial obligations for your legal representation.
I look forward to meeting with you to discuss how I can help you with your family law case.
Additional information regarding set fees and value pricing:
While most clients are only familiar with the billable hour as the standard for legal fees, the American Bar Association has encouraged alternative, client-focused billing for several years. The following books and articles may be of reference in familiarizing yourself with the concept of value billing:
Beyond the Billable Hour: An Anthology of Alternative Billing Methods, ABA 1989
Billing Innovations: New Win-Win Ways to End Hourly Billing, ABA 1996
Winning Alternatives to the Billable Hour, ABA 2008
Bury the Billable Hour and Implement Value Billing in Your Law Firm, ABA 2017 https://www.americanbar.org/news/abanews/publications/youraba/2017/may-2017/bury-the-billable-hour-and-implement-value-billing-in-your-law-f/
Firms Need to Offer Incentives for Trying Value Pricing - Or Lawyers Won't Do it, ABA, 2011