To help you understand our billing policies and procedures, we offer these answers to some commonly asked questions:
How will I be charged for services?
Before services are performed, you and your attorney will discuss the manner in which you will be charged. The firm uses many different methods of charging for service. Unless otherwise agreed, you will be charged for all services on an hourly rate basis. The hourly rate charged for each person who works on your case reflects that person’s expertise and experience.
Will I be charged for phone calls or email with my attorney or my attorney’s support staff?
Yes, if your matter is being billed on an hourly basis. Your attorney will charge for all time spent on your case. This may include office conferences or court appearances, time spent doing necessary research, and time spent with you on the telephone or responding to email.
Normally we do not charge for secretarial time, but occasionally an attorney’s Legal Assistant will perform services of a paralegal nature in connection with your case. You will be charged for those services at the Legal Assistant’s established rate. Likewise, you will be charged for work performed on your case by law clerks at their standard rate.
How often will I be billed?
Unless otherwise arranged, you will be billed monthly. Each statement covers the work done during the previous billing period.
What information will be included on the statement?
The statement reflects the inclusive dates for the period of service covered and an itemization of work performed and charges owed for the period of service. The main section of the statement explains and itemizes the professional services provided by date. Services are billed in increments of tenths (1/10) of an hour. The lower section of the statement will show a summary of charges for services and any expenses related to the matter. The final figure is the amount due. This figure will include, in addition to charges for the current period, any unpaid balance. Some expense charges, such as telephone or express charges, may lag behind our normal billing cycle. Even if your matter is completed and you have received what you believe to be the final statement, our office may receive some miscellaneous charges that you will be billed for later.
When are statements payable?
Each statement is payable when you receive it. If an occasion should arise which may prevent you from making your full payment each month, we ask that you discuss it with us. We are willing to work with you to accommodate your particular situation.
We also accept the following major credit cards: American Express, Discover, Mastercard and Visa, as well as electronic bank transfer.
What if I pay money in advance?
In some cases, we will ask new clients to make an advance payment toward fees. If this applies to you, the approach will be confirmed and explained to you in our retainer letter. Advance money of this type will be held in our trust account as your attorney works on your case. If advance money is left in the trust account after applying it to your final balances, the remaining amount will be returned to you.
Some matters are billed based upon a flat fee. Payments made on flat fee matters are earned in full at the time paid, and are not held in the trust account. If you have additional questions about our billing policies and procedures, please do not hesitate to discuss them with your attorney or our Billing Specialist.