Stop paying a law firm for talking on the phone with you.
Most law firms in Texas work on the hourly basis. This means that anytime they touch your case, you’re charged for it. This includes time thinking about your case and discussing with other attorneys in the law firm about your case. Everyone that discussed your case can now bill you for their time. How is that fair? Who is that fair for? Not you.
There are three different billing methods that law firms can use in their practice: Hourly fee, Contingency Fee, and the Flat Fee. These fee agreements do not include any expenses incurred by the attorney, including but not limited to filing fees, copies, or other expenses on the client’s behalf.
The hourly fee is the most common used fee scheduling when working on client matters. The main reason this one is used the most is because it creates mega profits for the law firm. The law firm will bill a client monthly for all of the time they worked on the client’s case. These bills rack up quickly, and the client has to pay it, because that was agreed to at the commencement of engagement. Hourly fees include phone calls, research time, time an attorney spends looking at your paperwork on an airplane to their vacation, time at court, time for travel to and from court, and many other costs. The client has to pay for all of this, without exception. I have heard divorce cases that have costed upwards of $25,000 in attorneys fees because, well, they can.
Contingency fee agreements between attorneys and clients are primarily used for personal injury and negligence cases. This means that an attorney agrees to represent a client in a case, and if the attorney wins the case, they will be paid a percentage of the judgment amount. Contingency fees range from 25% to 45%, depending on the case. An attorney can never represent a client on contingency fee in divorce and criminal defense cases. This is against the Professional Responsibility of the attorney, and in most cases, it is against the law.
Flat fee agreements are exactly that: a fixed amount of money paid by a client for attorney representation on a particular matter. Rather than charging a client for the research, pleading drafting, or anything else, the client knows upfront what they are paying and they will not owe any additional money for this matter. The unknown of what charges will be is a stressful situation for clients. Flat fee agreements tend to create a happy and lasting relationship between the attorney and client, because there is the building of trust between them knowing that the attorney is not the potential doubt that the attorney is taking advantage of a client.