Many legal services can be provided on either an hourly rate (minimum $325 plus costs in most instances) or on a flat fee basis. Some legal services such as estate planning, incorporation, and LLC formation are handled almost exclusively on a flat fee basis. However, the hourly rate charged may be greater in some circumstances, due to such factors as the complexity of work involved, the time pressures involved, and the dollar value of the relevant assets or transactions. The current hourly rate ranges from $300 per hour to $425 per hour. Occasionally, volume or other discounts may apply; however, surcharges based on complexity, time pressures, the amount of money or risk involved, and the like may be added to the base hourly fee.
Clients generally prefer the predictability of flat fees, but not all matters lend themselves to such a fee arrangement. Additionally, you may want to keep in mind that flat legal fees for tasks such as negotiating a deal or drafting an agreement are typically greater than what would be billed in an hourly rate situation; the flat fee must be set high enough to compensate for the fact that there may be unforeseen circumstances that will take additional time, clients tend to underestimate the amount of work required (in part, because there are often multiple steps that are involved with a particular transaction, that a client may not become aware of until after retaining an attorney), and to compensate for the additional risk the attorney is taking on. During your free initial consultation via email or telephone, we can determine which type of fee structure is best suited to your situation and estimate your total legal costs.
In-person initial consultations of up to one hour require a non-refundable pre-payment of one hour's fee and the execution of a retainer agreement. If we mutually agree to additional legal work thereafter, half of this sum may be applicable toward certain flat fees within 90 days following the date of the meeting; please inquire for details. No legal advice is provided to non-clients; thus legal advice is not provided during initial telephone or email consultations. In-office consultations are not scheduled until payment and the signed retainer agreement have been received.
Unless otherwise agreed, payment for flat fee legal services is due in advance. Likewise, hourly rate services usually require a retainer fee prior to the commencement of legal work. My hourly rate may be negotiable in some rare circumstances, typically involving a present commitment to a high volume of legal work (as opposed to the promise of potential future additional engagements) or non-profit charities; however my fees already represent a discount in comparison to larger law firms offering comparable services. Hourly rates are subject to change without notice to non-clients. In general, legal fees including incorporation and start-up expenses are tax deductible expenses for a business or sole proprietor; consult your tax advisor for specifics on your situation.
Unlike at most law firms, in our discretion there may on occassion be no charge for quick phone calls or brief emailed questions, and six-minute rather than 10-minute or quarter-hour minimum billing increments are used for billable time. Note, however, that not all "quick" questions are answerable without additional information gathering, research, or legal work. There are many "gray areas" of the law, that require research and analysis to arrive at an opinion, solution, or a set of options. With flat fee matters, there are generally no per-page charges for copying or faxing, nor additional charges for U.S. Mail postage. If comparing hourly rates or flat fees among attorneys, it is a good idea to inquire what services and costs the hourly rate quoted encompasses, and what will be billed additionally. For example, our flat-fee LLC formation and incorporation packages includes many services not offered at all by, or for which additional charges apply at, other law firms (e.g., EIN number, S corporation election, employer payroll tax and business license setup assistance).
All fees quoted on the website or elsewhere are subject to change without notice, may be out of date in certain instances, and are subject to exceptions in any particular instance. We reserve the right to refuse new or continuing service to any potential client or client.
Personal and company checks and money orders may be held for clearance. Credit/debit cards are accepted for most matters and fees. All payments must be in U.S. dollar funds.
"A lawyer's time and advice are his stock in trade." - Abraham Lincoln (emphasis added)
"The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price fades." - Unknown