At The Federal Firm, we offer our prospective clients an initial interview, free of charge. This interview allows us all to meet personally, developing a client-attorney relationship. Likewise, the interview will help determine whether this is a case we would like to proceed with.
The following is a brief description our various payment options. More details on each arrangement can be discussed in the initial interview.
The Federal Firm does not charge for many expense items that most law firms traditionally charge to their clients. Instead, these items are absorbed by the firm as part of our overhead. The only expenses charged to our clients are those which are incurred to third-parties.
Many clients prefer a contingency fee arrangement in which the payment of the legal fee is directly related to and contingent upon the results achieved. A contingent fee is also preferable when the client cannot afford any other fee arrangement.
Unlike many other law firms, we do not charge a “standard” or pre-set percentage, we believe the percentage should be specifically tailored to each case. After we evaluate the case, we make a judgment, based on our experience in similar cases, whether a contingency fee is appropriate, and if so, what percentage should be charged.
Another determinative factor is whether the client is willing or able to pay the out-of-pocket expenses (such as expert witness fees, etc.) or whether we will be paying such costs. The contingency fee is payable at the conclusion of the case, when the money recovery is actually received; and in the unlikely event that there is no recovery, there is no fee due.
When the Firm recovers a settlement or money judgment on behalf of a Client who has suffered permanent paralysis, a traumatic brain injury, or when a death has resulted from such an injury, we contribute a percentage of its attorney’s fee to whatever organization or institution the client or the client’s family designates.
Hourly-Rate Legal Fees
In some situations, a traditional “hourly-rate” fee arrangement is preferred by the client. It may also be required by the case, and/or by the canons of ethics. This arrangement also requires a retainer to be paid at the time of the engagement, maintained during the engagement, and is not contingent on the outcome of the case. The amount varies depending on the nature of the case and the client’s financial situation. A statement is provided to the client periodically (usually monthly) detailing the specific legal services provided, the lawyer or paralegal providing each service, and the time invested in performing the service at his or her rate per hour. The statement is payable upon receipt and the client pays for the legal representation as the case progresses.
Flat-Rate Legal Fees
For clients that desire some degree of predictability concerning the amount of fees to be incurred, a flat-rate is best, allowing the client to budget for their legal expenses. Depending on the nature of the case, and the client’s financial situation, there are several payment options; full in advance, monthly, based on the occurrence of specific events, or the conclusion of various stages. It is also possible in certain cases to arrange for a flat fee to be contingent upon obtaining a particular result – see Hybrid Fees below.
Hybrid Legal Fee Arrangements
A number of clients believe it is important that their lawyers have a financial stake in the outcome of the case, thus not committing to a traditional hourly-rate arrangement in which the lawyer is paid in full regardless of the results. We appreciate the client’s perspective as well as the opportunity to participate in a successful result. We are willing to agree to a hybrid fee arrangement with certain clients. Such arrangements can include any or all of the other types of fee arrangements.
The Firm will often propose a hybrid fee arrangement to the client in lieu of a flat fee or hourly-rate arrangement, and the client will then have the choice as to which fee arrangement they would prefer.