“Initial phone consultations are without obligation. Call me. I want to help.” — Michael Daymude
Legal fees are based on the nature of the service. Some services, such as the preparation and filing of a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy petition and schedules, or the drafting of a Will or Declaration of Trust, are usually rendered for a flat or fixed fee which I will quote during your initial consultation.
Other services, such as the defense or prosecution of a lawsuit, do not lend themselves to flat fees due to unpredictability. It is simply impossible, when involved in a lawsuit, to determine in advance how much time and effort it will take to achieve any particular litigation objective. Litigated matters, and services where a flat fee cannot be quoted, are generally handled on a straight hourly basis and a retainer or fee deposit is required.
Some types of matters lend themselves to a contingency fee agreement. In a contingency fee agreement I take a percentage of any recovery. If there is no recovery, I am owed no fees, except I am entitled to reimbursement for any advanced costs. I handle very few cases on a straight contingency basis. An exception would be personal injury claims where contingency is the norm.
In all cases, I strive to render value to my clients. I understand litigation can be unsettling due to the inability to predict cost or outcome. I am always willing to discuss alternative or modified fee arrangements which bring value to each of us — including blended hourly-contingent fees, lump sum monthly or less frequent retainers, and modified hourly-retainer rates.
I consider alternative, non-standard fee arrangements to allow me to represent clients on terms they can afford. Possible terms vary by case. If you wish me to consider an alternative fee arrangement, be prepared to share your budgetary constraints with me. If you are unable to afford full representation, perhaps I can render effective limited scope representation.
Avoiding confusion regarding fees for services is important. Therefore, and to conform with California law, any agreement for legal services where fees and costs are anticipated to be $1,000, or less, will be confirmed via email and invoice. In all other cases, except in an emergency or when the situation makes a written fee agreement impractical, a written attorney-client agreement signed by all parties is required prior to me providing legal services.
Initial telephone consultations are provided without obligation and may include a review of documents, if you are able to forward documents to me in a single PDF file via email or fax. Depending on the matter and the type of assistance you are seeking, I reserve the right to charge a reasonable fee for document review, analysis, and further consultation. With regard to hourly billing, I follow the court approved practice: I charge for services on an unbundled basis in tenth of an hour increments, rounded up to the next tenth. View a sample invoice. Further information regarding fees can also be found in the FAQs here.
Payment accepted through the clearXchange™ network (electronic funds transfer) or via PayPal, Chase QuickPay, LawPay (Visa®, MasterCard®, Discover®, American Express®), your electronic payment service, and by check, cashier’s check, or money order.