Attorney Fees and Costs

We fully appreciate that fees and costs can influence the decision to retain counsel. That’s why we make sure that our clients are fully informed before engaging in any fee arrangements.

For your convenience, we accept payment by cash, check, Visa, or MasterCard. For a draft Legal Service Agreement, call us at 360.352.1970.

Retaining Counsel

Since fees may vary depending on the circumstances of the case, we discuss costs during the initial consultation. Fees may include the cost of an initial consultation, an hourly rate or contingency fee agreement. We will openly discuss all other potential costs and fees related to our representation.

Consultation Fee

For personal injury cases, we seek no consultation fee. In cases regarding other matters, we generally charge a consultation fee of $150 for up to 45 minutes. It is necessary to charge a consultation fee for these types of cases because our lawyers tend to provide a considerable amount of information at the initial meeting.
The consultation will inform the client of the issues at hand, the process required to resolve these issues, and what the client can expect. The attorney will be able to answer the many questions that are valuable for your understanding and decision-making.
Sometimes the issues are resolved in one consultation. Some clients only seek a one-time-only consultation.

Advance Fee Deposit

An advance fee deposit is money from the client used as credit for the future services of an attorney. We will credit your funds to be used in the future toward services for you. As we work on your case, the time used is recorded and money from the deposit will be used to pay for these services. If the balance has diminished before the case has resolved and further work is needed, we will invoice you.
Fee deposits can range from $500 to $10,000. The reason for this variation lies in the complexity of the case and the anticipated hours toward its completion, which will be determined by the attorney and clearly communicated to the client.

How we charge for legal services:

Hourly Rate

The hourly rate for our attorneys and paraprofessional staff varies. These rates are determined by the overall costs of doing business, our attorneys’ experience, the complexity of the case, the anticipated time required to resolve the case, and many other factors. The time spent on each case is recorded as tenths of an hour. When the client receives a monthly invoice, the time spent on the case will appear along with the calculated costs for the services.

Flat Fee

The total amount due will either be taken from the client’s fee deposit balance or added to a positive balance due. Services may include such activities as telephone calls, legal research, correspondence, conferences, preparation for court, and the attorney’s court appearances. Supplies, such as photocopies and postage, are usually not calculated into a client’s bill.

Sometimes we charge a flat fee, as in one price for completion of the case, instead of charging by the hour. We will discuss this with you before starting work. This type of billing is most common in some straightforward estate planning matters and other routine work.

 Contingent Fee

A contingency fee is common in most personal injury cases; contingency fee basically means that the client does not owe attorney fees unless the client recovers.

Other Costs May Include:

Filing Fees When documents are filed at court, the court clerk collects a filing fee. This fee varies depending on the court.

Process Service Fees The process service fee is the fee for serving papers on an opposing party. This fee is usually $25 to $100 per service.

Mediation Fees Mediation is a facilitated negotiation to resolve a dispute. Mediators typically charge a fee for their services.

Litigation Costs Litigation costs pay for the services of experts who help the attorney prepare the case for court. These costs include: deposition court reporters, real estate and business appraisers, accountants and actuaries, private investigators and engineers