Thursday, December 11, 2008

Attorney Fees and Flat Fees

Consider this an update of sorts, I wrote about my intentions to go to flat fee regime in Where I Want to go with Flat Fees. To date, I am satisfied with the experiment.

I still have one niggling concern: what judges will do with a flat fee billing. Most locally have had no problem - so far. I think the survey I published in What are Lawyer's Fees in Madison County, Indiana? and our own local practices contribute to this being a non-issue.

On the other hand, I think I found support for my position in New York. Legal Ease Blog published Can Matrimonial Lawyer in New York Use Alternative Billing and Fixed Fees? and from what I can tell there is very little difference between New York and Indiana rules on setting fees. Ms. Shields concludes her post with this:

Indeed the rules would seem to favor fixed fee arrangements and the use of supplemental services agreements, as the rules state that, after the attorney has had a reasonable opportunity to investigate the case, the client is entitled to be given an estimate of approximate future costs of the case, which estimate shall be made in good faith but may be subject to change due to facts and circumstances affecting the case.

If the scope of the work is outlined well and the attorney follows the other rules, perhaps it isn't as impossible as you may think.

I think that makes sense for Indiana, too.

Along similar lines is this post from In Search of Perfect Client Service.

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