When you hire a lawyer to represent you, it is important to have a clear written fee agreement. This agreement should spell out the cost of the legal representation, other expenses and cost of work to be done. This article will discuss aspects that should be found in a lawyer’s fee agreement – flat fee.
Most of the disputes that exist between lawyers and clients are over money. Specifically, it is over how much money the client owes the lawyer. In order to avoid these problems states require that there be written fee agreements between lawyer and client. Whether it is a requirement or not in your state you should get a written record. This should show what you have agreed to pay the lawyer to clarify the agreement.
Elements that must be present in a fee agreement include the following:
- Litigation costs
- Other issues
Fees are generally structured in three ways; the client either pays:
- By the hour
- A flat fee
- A percentage of whatever they win in a lawsuit or settlement to the lawyer (contingency fees)
These are less common as they are for a specific legal task. Generally, lawyers will charge a flat fee for a matter that is routine. For example, there is likely to be a flat fee for drafting a will or a power of attorney. In addition, there are also common for filing bankruptcy, business formation and some immigration services. The main reason flat fees are not commonly used is most legal matters have uncertainty. This uncertainty is with regards to how much time and effort will be needed to complete them. As a result, imposing a flat fee for legal services would not be practical. If a lawyer put you on a flat fee, it is important for you to know exactly what is included. And, further, what is excluded from it.