- How much do you charge for legal fees?
- How do I know what services to expect and how I will be billed?
- How do we decide if we are right for one another and are there costs involved for that process?
- Suppose I have questions or an emergency, how do I reach you when I need you?
- Do you take any and every case that is brought to you?
- Suppose I don’t understand certain documents or terminology that may be used in the handling of my matter?
- Do you have past or current clients whom I may contact as references?
How much do you charge for legal fees?
This is obviously an important question and one that causes concern for individuals seeking representation. Services are priced using several different methods depending primarily on the type of matter involved. For example, Real Estate closings (cooperatives, condominiums, residential, commercial), Wills and Trusts, and Theatre or Film production are all generally on a flat fee basis or modified flat fee basis. The fee set is found by looking at the time, size and complexity of the matter. Often cases, however, are billed on an hourly basis whereby monthly invoices are prepared based on work performed and detailed by tenths of an hour. Everyone in the firm has a corresponding hourly rate based on their experience and these rates would be detailed in the firm’s Retainer Agreement with the client. I try whenever possible to utilize the services of Associates and para-professional staff members, who have lower billing rate, in order to keep the overall cost of the fees to you as low as possible without sacrificing quality. In all matters I think you will find that we are reasonable and try to work within the means of a particular client whenever possible. Further, an advanced Retainer Fee is requested of all clients and initial invoices are deducted from that balance. Replenishment of the Retainer Fee may be requested at our discretion and said fee does not include any disbursements (such as filing fees) which we either bill separately or have the client pay directly.
How do I know what services to expect and how I will be billed?
In all instances, after we meet and decide that we would like to work with each other on a particular matter, we prepare what is known as a Retainer Agreement. This Agreement sets forth all of the terms and conditions between the firm and the client, including fees, services to be rendered, deadlines and method of termination of services. In all cases, a prospective client would receive a draft of such an Agreement and the terms thereto can be modified and negotiated to fit the specific needs of the client. If additional costs are incurred outside the initial agreement, such fees are negotiated, in good faith and within industry standards, at the time of such undertaking.
How do we decide if we are right for one another and are there costs involved in that process?
Generally, after an initial phone conversation to discuss the facts of the matter for which you require representation, I would propose that we meet at my office (if convenient) for an initial consultation. All initial consultations are free of charge. From that meeting we can both decide if we can work with one another, if your matter actually requires the retention of an attorney, and, whether indeed I have the skills and expertise in the area in which you need assistance.
Suppose I have questions or an emergency, how do I reach you when I need you?
Because of the personal nature of the lawyer/client relationship and noting either the emotional circumstances or time sensitivity surrounding many legal matters and actions unique to the individuals involved, we encourage our clients, when necessary, to contact us whenever they may need us, whether at home, on our mobile phones or by e-mail. If I happen to be out of town for an extended period there is always a member of the staff (who you will quickly get to know) available. Generally, with today’s technology there are very few times where I’m not constantly monitoring my messages. Should I have a time when I might be completely “offline” then an Associate is placed in charge, one versed in the details of our current matters and made available for contact.
Do you take any and every case that is brought to you?
No. First, we are not qualified or experienced in all areas of the law. Our primary areas of concentration are broken down into the categories featured on the home page. For those matters for which we would not be the right firm to represent your interests, we do know many attorneys in a variety of practice areas and would try, where possible, to recommend an attorney who we feel would be appropriate to handle your particular matter and needs. Second, the attorney/client relationship is a very personal one and we have to feel as comfortable with a client as we would want a client to feel with us.
Suppose I don’t understand certain documents or terminology that may be used in the handling of my matter?
Here is one of those situations where I consider my services to be particularly unique. As an attorney, my primary function to you is as counselor. I consider it an obligation on my part to make sure that you understand everything relating to your matter that is being represented. This is a team project. We cannot work in isolation from you and, as the saying goes, an “educated client is our best client.” Further, my experience as an Adjunct Professor over the years as well as having given numerous lectures, has only enhanced my skills in used to dealing with students. It is a particular joy for me to get my students to understand their subject matter fully and analytically. I have the same feeling and zest when approaching my relationship with my clients and their specific needs and interests.
Do you have past or current clients whom I may contact as references?
There is a page on the site that gives a partial selection of clients current and past. Further, my life is like an open book. I am always happy to furnish references when and wherever possible, matching those references to the issues involved in the matter for which you are seeking representation.
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