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UNDERSTANDING ATTORNEY FEES

The Professional Rules of Ethics Used by Reputable Family Law Firms

Hiring an attorney can be difficult. Finding a Roseville family law attorney whom you can trust is critical. Sadly, many people spend more time hunting for affordable fees from their divorce, child custody and child support lawyer rather than researching an experienced and efficient family law attorney who can best represent their specific case. With Sacramento's Bez Law Firm, P.C. you can have both. What's important is that you read and understand the attorney Fee Agreement, which is a contract between you and your attorney that outlines what you are promising to pay, including some up front fees.

Believe It or Not, Sacramento Attorneys Have Ethics

The Fee Agreement sets out the terms of the relationship with your new attorney. Pursuant to Professional Rules of Ethics, the Agreement must clearly state what the attorney will charge. This means the Fee Agreement must state the attorneys' hourly rate and how much will be charged for administrative staff, copies and faxes, or if instead, there is a fixed percentage of fees for administrative costs (i.e. 6% of fees incurred in that month to cover copies, faxes, etc.). If you hire a Folsom family attorney who does not clearly state what these charges will be, insist that they be included. If the attorney refuses, walk out of the office immediately.

If there is any one thing to remember it's this; unless an attorney is charging a flat fee for services, it is impossible for any attorney to predict how much a case will cost due to so many unknown variables within the legal system. This is especially true for litigation and family law cases where the family courts and the other side dictate so much of the work.

The Professional Rules of Ethics govern Fee Agreements for clients to ensure that they know upfront how much their attorney will charge per hour and how the billing works. This allows the client to make the most informed decision possible prior to retaining the attorney's services. So, instead of asking how much it will cost you to hire an experienced family law attorney, consider how many hours you would like the attorney to devote to your case. For a Sacramento attorney who charges $250.00 an hour, a $4,000 retainer only covers 16 hours of time. Is that enough time to reach your high asset divorce or spousal support goals?

Other Aspects of a Roseville Attorney Fee Agreement

Professional Rules of Ethics also demand that the Fee Agreement make other disclosures to the potential client, which are meant to protect the client's interest. First, the attorney must confirm that he or she does not have a conflict with your case. This means, the attorney must be sure that they do not have an existing client or matter with the party you intend to sue. This also means, the attorney must not do business with anyone connected to your case that in any way could leave the impression that the attorney's interests are divided. An attorney is required to be a zealous advocate for his or her client and cannot be so if they also represent the other side.

Further, the Fee Agreement sets forth the billing schedule, the attorney's duties, the scope of the attorneys work and the rights of the client in their own case. All of these provisions are there to protect the client's interest and develop the scope of the representation.

You should know the Fee Agreement also protects the attorney. Should a client not pay for services, the Fee Agreement can be used in court to prove that the client promised to pay for services rendered and is therefore in breach of contract.

When a client and attorney have an open and honest discussion at the beginning of the relationship about what the goal of the representation is and how much work it will take to get there, the attorney client relationship tends to be rewarding for both sides.

Are You Ready to Seek the Professional Counsel of Bez Law Firm, P.C.?

Call our Granite Bay family law attorneys today at 916-643-9624 to schedule a personalized, no obligation initial consultation or complete our simple contact form and we'll reach out to you.