FEES AND COSTS
Many clients are naturally concerned about the cost of legal services. I make it a point to discuss fees and costs up front with clients during our first consultation so that we have a clear understanding of the type of fee structure that applies to the case.
As is common in all personal injury cases, I work on a contingency fee basis. That means if there is no recovery you do not owe me a fee. Costs however are separate from fees and include such things as charges from doctors for medical records, copies, deposition transcripts, expert reports, and filing fees from the State of Oregon. I discuss these in detail with my clients and make sure our written fee agreement reflects our agreement on fees and costs.
On non-personal injury matters such as business litigation matters my fees are charged on an hourly basis. My hourly fee may vary depending on the complexity or type of matter. The amount of fees and retainer are always discussed at our first meeting. Depending on a client’s needs, goals, and budget there is often a variety of options we can explore to structure payment.
Often drafting and forming LLC’s and corporations and estate planning may be done on a flat fee basis. I find that clients who are seeking to organize their business entity or to have their wills and estate plan drafted like to know how much it will cost regardless of the time spent on the matter; a flat fee fits that situation in most cases.
There are some cases such as collections where a “hybrid fee” or “blended fee” is an option. Typically a hybrid fee involves a reduction in my hourly rate blended together with a reduction in my contingent fee. A good example would be a case where the client wants me to pursue collection of an account receivable through a lawsuit or collect a judgment but wants to minimize their risk of paying higher attorney fees. In such a case, I offer a significantly lower hourly rate than standard hourly rates together with a reduced contingency fee percentage. This can benefit the client who might potentially pay less in attorney fees than a straight hourly amount or higher contingency fee while at the same sharing the risk/reward of the outcome in a more equitable arrangement with me as their attorney.
Whichever fee arrangement and option is chosen, I make sure we discuss these in depth and sign a written fee agreement with each client.