Thanks for inquiring about retaining me.
I freely share blog posts, forum posts, and other materials online as a resource for the community to help people avoid legal traps. Many people contact me after reading my publications shared online to seek legal advice based upon their specific situations. I am always happy to help the community as much as I can.
I make it my personal goal to make certain that all my clients receive the best service I can possibly render them. Unfortunately, free consultations can and often do lead to a client receiving low-quality legal advice because the attorney and client do not have enough time to properly exchange the information needed to render the best opinion. The law is a complicated, multi-faceted device, and legal advice often turns upon crucial facts that are often not discovered during a ten-minute conversation or two-minute email exchange. As an attorney, my goal is to build a relationship with my clients, and understand their needs fully.
Legal advice policy.
In order to preserve the quality of legal advice, and to educate the client about the nature of the attorney-client relationship, I have adopted a policy to obtain an engagement letter and retainer before providing any legal advice specific to the client’s needs. After the retainer has been received, we will schedule a consultation conference where the attorney will conduct an exploratory investigation of your needs and get to know you and your business.
My clients often ask for flat rates for document preparation or other processes. Once I determine your needs, we can agree upon a flat rate for the project. I offer flat rates on several document preparation projects, including:
- Wills and trusts
- LLC and LLP operating agreements
- Contracts (excluding negotiations)
Flat fees are due and payable up-front, before work is commenced. Any consultation fee incurred pursuant to the project’s needs will be deducted from the flat fee due. If you need assistance with a payment plan, please inquire and we may be able to accommodate.
Consultations, legal advice, and litigation.
Consultations and other legal work such as litigation or negotiation services are billed at $250.00 per hour of attorney time with a minimum charge of $150, excluding administrative work or general legal research. Legal advice sessions are generally followed up with a memorandum summarizing our discussion and the supporting law.
Before accepting your engagement, we will agree on an up-front retainer, which will generally be enough to cover the first two months of the project’s legal expenses. The retainer will be deposited in to my Interest on Lawyer’s Trust Account (“IOLTA”). When hourly legal services are performed or legal costs are incurred, I will bill the IOLTA and deduct the funds from that account. You will receive a monthly statement describing the nature of the services performed. If your retainer in the IOLTA becomes depleted, I will send you a bill to replenish that retainer if more legal work is required.
Retainers for hourly legal services are payable only via certified funds such as a certified bank check or money order.
See below to read some sample engagement letters.
MASTER copy Engagement Letter – Flat Fee
MASTER copy Engagement Letter – Retainer-Hourly