Depending on the case, civil attorney fees range from $220 to $250 per hour. The Fee Agreement will contain precise details. Criminal attorney fees are $200 per hour. A retainer or advanced trust deposit will be required.
Paralegals are currently billed at $120 to $135 per hour. Although every attempt is made to consolidate basic tasks like printing, copying, and mailing, no employee is ever paid less than a living wage. Most office work is billed at $50 to $70 per hour.
A retainer is a flat, non-refundable fee for taking a case. These will range between $2,000 and $5,000 depending on caseload. Retainers are not used in most cases.
Most cases require a $5,000 advance fee deposit. On or about the 10th day of each month, the trust will be used to satisfy the invoice for the last month's work. The client is required to replenish the trust by the amount of the invoice each month. Any surplus funds remaining in the trust at the end of the representation will be refunded to the client. Some part of the initial trust deposit may be designated as a retainer.
Some cases are predictable enough to be handled on a flat fee basis.
When a client presents a very strong case, a contingency agreement may be appropriate. These agreements designate a portion of any recovery to attorney fees. The client always pays costs. The portion designated for attorney fees is typically between 33% and 40% because of the risk involved.
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