Attorneys charge for the services in different ways. The most common can be a fixed fee, hourly rate or a contingent fee. The type of matter often dictates the way an attorney bills for his time and efforts.
With a fixed fee there is a set price for the work to be performed. This is typically appropriate when the amount of anticipated time to handle the matter is well known or fairly predictable. An example would be the preparation of a standard will.
An hourly rate is typically used when the amount of time required to resolve a matter is uncertain or subject to many variables. With an hourly rate you are billed for the amount of time actually spent on your matter based on a dollar per hour rate. Unlike most attorneys Tim normally does not charge for time spent talking with his clients. He believes that it is important to have good open communication and information, questions, and updates should flow both ways. He does not want a client thinking about whether they should pass along information but be worried about being billed for the call to speak with Tim. Often Tim is willing to review a matter at no cost so the client can make an informed decision regarding their rights, options, and whether they want an attorney representing them. Tim is focused on achieving quality outcomes rather than billing for every second spent on a matter. When Tim bills on an hourly basis he provides an itemized statement for all time spent with a description of what was done. It is the attention to detail even in billing that set Tim apart from most other attorney.
A contingent fee is often used when the amount of time involved is unknown and the fee is based on a successful outcome i.e., recovery of money. A contingent fee involves the lawyer taking the risk of success in exchange for you agreeing to pay a percentage of any dollars collected. In some cases the percentage may seem high, but this is based upon the fact that the lawyer will likely work many hours and over a long period of time without being paid weekly or monthly and with no assurance of being paid at all unless he successfully resolves the matter. The delay in payment and the risk of not being paid any fee is the reason for higher percentages. Contingent fees involve a sharing of the risks and rewards between you and your lawyer.
Attorney fees can vary and various attorneys may bill differently. It is important that you understand the fee agreement any attorney requests you to sign. Remember you are signing a contract which can be legally enforced. You should also know that just because you have signed a fee agreement and hired an attorney you have the right to fire that attorney however, you will be responsible to pay for the work performed up to the date of termination. Tim explains his fee agreement and before you sign a fee agreement with any other attorney you should speak with Tim about your situation.