How We Get Paid Sets Us Apart
Morton Law Firm has always been on the cutting edge in fee arrangements. In fact, our very first case was a commercial litigation matter we took on a mixed-fee arrangement. Quite frankly, we find most of our clients are surprised by our flexibility when it comes to our fee structures.
To put it simply, we like to set up fee agreements that compensate our firm for results, not time. As a small and agile law firm, we have the ability to accept cases and structure our fees to recognize value to our clients, which encourage and reward efficiency, and which reward bringing a matter to a rapid conclusion. With a flat fee structure, our clients enjoy certainty and predictability in their cost of representation, and know that our objective is the same as theirs.
Ask yourself this – if a lawyer is paid only for his time, does he really have an incentive to be efficient and conclude the matter early? Unfortunately, not all matters lend themselves to such fee arrangements, and in some cases, they are not permitted at all.
Below is a summary of how we are generally compensated in certain types of representation. Of course, every case is different, and before we ever accept representation in any matter, you will be told, in writing, precisely how your unique case will be billed. Suggestions for other fee arrangements are always welcome.
Complementary Telephone Consultation
We offer a fifteen-minute telephone consultation with one of our attorneys at no cost to you. During our telephone consultation we will obtain some basic facts about your issue, and will discuss the representation we might provide and the associated range of fees and costs. General interest legal information can be found in the Articles and Practice Areas sections of this site. Your complimentary telephone consultation can be scheduled by calling any of the staff at the Morton Law Firm.
In-Office Initial Consultations
Morton Law Firm also provides in-person consultations with prospective clients for reasonable rates, which vary depending on the nature of the representation. Initial consultations in Estate Planning, Trust Administration, Business Planning, Personal Injury, Estate Administration, and Probate are always provided free of charge or obligation. These appointments are scheduled for 1 hour. At this initial meeting, an analysis of the specific issues in our case is performed, and an overview of our recommendation for proceeding will be made. At the conclusion of this initial meeting, if the firm is willing to proceed with representation, the client will be quoted a fee and given an opportunity to execute a fee agreement.
Clients desiring a consultation in the areas of Divorce, Medicaid Planning, and Asset Protection will be charged a flat rate of $350 for the initial consultation. This consultation will be scheduled for one hour, and at the conclusion of the meeting we will recommend the next course of action, and quote a fee for the work required.
At this meeting, the client will be told the basic applicable rules and law concerning the above issues, and will be presented with options and recommendations for proceeding. At the conclusion of the meeting, if the firm is willing to proceed with representation, the client will be quoted a fee and given an opportunity to execute a fee agreement. We credit initial consultation fee against work actually performed, making the initial consultation free to those that ultimately retain our services. We are often asked why some areas of law are charged an initial consultation fee, while others are not. The reason is simply that these are highly complex and specialized areas of the law that are very fact specific, and which take significant time and skill to evaluate and formulate preliminary solutions.
Many people are naturally curious about these areas of law, but are not necessarily serious about taking immediate legal action. Without an initial consultation fee, too much of our lawyers’ limited time is spent educating people that are simply curious but have no immediate need or desire for legal services. By charging an initial consultation fee, we limit those appointments to people who are serious about seeking a solution and who are ready to proceed. Those that retain our services within 30 days of this meeting are given a credit of the consultation fee against their total fee for services.
Retainers and Hourly Rates
If you choose to work with us on an hourly basis, our attorneys will assess your billing needs and arrange a reasonable retainer fee for you. Retainers are a sum of money clients pay before the start of work. We hold such a retainer in trust for the client, and subtract our hourly fees and costs from such retainer fee monthly. If your representation spans over multiple months, you will be provided a monthly statement showing a detail of work that has been performed in your case and the charges for that work. Each month you will be expected to replenish the retainer by that month’s charges. Upon completion of our representation, your final bill will be charged against your retainer, with any remaining balance refunded to you. Please call for a consultation to discuss our hourly rates and retainer fees for your pending matter.
Flat Fees and Package Rates
Many of our Business Services, including formation and minutes for Corporations and LLCs, are charged on a flat fee basis. Likewise, all Estate Planning and Medicaid Planning is billed in this manner. Our attorneys work with you to determine a single fee, paid half before the start of services and the balance upon completion, so that you can accurately budget the cost of legal representation without fear of additional charges due to prolonged time delays.
Unfortunately, due to our commitments to existing clients, we cannot provide deferred billing plans, regardless of the type of work or the quality of the materials. We encourage pro-bono cases to contact a legal aid association.
Some matters of representation, such as Personal Injury or Estate Dispute litigation, can be charged on a contingency basis, meaning that our recovery is contingent upon obtaining a successful result for the client. For those clients and matters for which a contingency fee is appropriate, a written contract outlining precisely how the fee will be computed and expenses will be paid, will be provided at the time of engagement.
Visa and MasterCard Accepted
For your convenience, we accept payment for all services by Visa and MasterCard.