Hourly Fee: Except for certain types of civil cases (e.g., personal injury), I charge for legal services on an hourly basis. My current hourly billing rate is $375. This rate is subject to a generalized increase for all clients of the firm at the beginning of each new year.
Costs and Expenses: In addition to the hourly fee, you are responsible for paying any costs or expenses incurred in connection with your matter, e.g.:
Retainer: You will be required to pay a retainer, or advance against anticipated fees and costs. The amount of the retainer varies depending on the complexity and stakes involved in your particular matter. Generally, a retainer of $5,000 is required for a new case, or $3,000 for a post-judgment modification or enforcement proceeding. However, more complex cases, or those involving larger dollar amounts, will require a larger retainer. The retainer is not a flat fee or an estimate of the total fees or costs. It is a deposit of funds, made to assure payment of ongoing fees and costs. If your retainer is becoming depleted, you will be required to make additional deposits from time to time, as necessary to pay ongoing fees and costs. Any unused portion of the retainer will be refunded to you.
Personal injury cases: There is no fee to you unless I obtain a recovery on your behalf.However, you will be responsible for paying for any costs and expenses incurred in presenting your claim because: (1) it is not supposed to cost me money to represent you, and (2) if you have a financial "stake" in your own claim/case, you will make better decisions pertaining to settlement or ongoing litigation. You will be required to make a small ($200 to $500) advance against costs and to replenish this advance from time to time, as needed. You will also be required to prepay for larger expenses, such as depositions, investigators, experts and trial costs (e.g., jury and reporter fees).