Our Billing Practices
We do have to get paid, as this is how we make our living, but we try to make the process as open and informative as possible. If your arrangement is hourly, we will bill you if we spend time. We typically don’t charge for every second spent, but we reserve the right to. We charge for legal work, not administrative work. If you call and ask one of our administrative professionals (many of whom are also paralegals) to look up a legal question for you, thinking you will avoid charges, you probably won’t avoid charges. We don’t charge for regular postage or random copies. We do pass on fees and charges incurred from third parties and costs of our staff for things like when we need to hire a courier service, when we have to send a copy job out to a printer, or have a large color print job. If your arrangement is not hourly, the details should be outlined in our agreement with you. We send bills out monthly, unless other arrangements have been made, so everyone knows where everyone stands. If you have a questions or something seem wrong, please call. We try hard, but mistakes do happen.
How We Charge For Services
Like most firms, we offer standard legal services billed by the hour or fraction thereof. Our rates vary with the level of experience of the practitioner, and on some projects we can save cost by having a paralegal or law clerk perform part of the legal work.
Alternate Fee Arrangements (AFA’s)
AFA’s are a new buzz word in the legal industry. The “talk” is that this is where things are headed. Despite the talk, many law firms are reluctant to embrace any departure from hourly billing, as any other method is unknown. We are not afraid.
What is an AFA? Really, just a different way of looking at and charging for legal services. It can be a fixed fee, a contingent fee, a partial contingent fee, segmented fees, or any combination of the foregoing. What an AFA is not is a way for you to get legal services cheaper (necessarily). It is intended to help clients understand and manage legal costs more effectively and to better match the cost of legal services to the value actually provided. If this is something you are seeking, please ask us how we can approach your legal matter in an alternate, fixed or flexible way.
Fixed Fee Services
Below is a list of some of the services for which we offer fixed fees:
Residential Closing Package Review
For Sale By Owner Representation
Quiet Title Actions
Master Deed Preparation
Land Contract Preparation
Land Contract Forfeiture
Corporate Organization (Articles + Bylaws, etc.)
LLC Organization (Articles + Operating Agreement)
Corporate Record Preparation
Finance Documentation (Note + Mortgage)
Estate Plan Preparation
Certificate of Trust Preparation
Guardianship and Conservatorship Petitions
Unsupervised Probate Filings
Franchise Disclosure Document Review
Franchise Disclosure Document Preparation
Why don’t we give free consultations?
The minute you walk through our doors our intent is to provide you with valuable services. And frankly, we don’t like to waste time. We listen intently to understand your legal needs from a whole perspective. We regularly get new clients that have simple problems that we can address or provide advice on in an hour. If we did not charge for that time, our conference rooms would be filled and we would quickly be broke. We strive to provide quick and efficient solutions, and we are good at it, but that is also how we make our living. Many firms that provide free consultations are firms seeking cases that will pay thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars, such as personal injury cases. We are not that type of firm. We have and take big cases, but if we can solve your problem in an hour, we will, and we will charge for it. If you are not sure if you need a lawyer, call us. If after speaking with us, it is determined that you do not need our services, we will give you that honest feedback. We can often make that determination before even scheduling a meeting. If a meeting is needed to analyze your matter to discuss and consider options, even to analyze whether it is worth pursuing a legal claim, as noted, we expect to be paid for our analysis and time. We truly believe you will have received value for the services.