One of the most challenging factors for many people or businesses that are faced with obtaining legal representation is understanding how they are billed. Unlike many types of services a lot of the work that the attorney, and his or her staff, completes for you is largely not something that you can see. Every time anyone in the legal office talks to you, makes copies, modifies your file or researches your case you are being billed for their time. This can lead to major increases in your billing and create the opportunity for an attorney fee dispute to develop.
Transparency or Not Clear
Most attorneys and legal offices report that they are completely transparent and following all the legal and ethical guidelines for billing. However, it can be very confusing to understand the bill or to comprehend some of the charges, leading to the very real possibility of an attorney fee dispute.
These charges can range from actually requiring you to pay for meeting rooms over and above the hourly fee you are paying to the attorney. Other examples can include being charged task by task for routine office work that is simply part of getting the job done.
Hourly Rates vs Flat Rates
When attorneys use a flat rate the chance of attorney fee disputes is often decreased, but it may not be completely eliminated. Many legal firms charge a flat rate for the service, with the additional fees and costs added on top. These fees and costs, if not carefully questioned and monitored, can end up costing hundreds of thousands of dollars with a major legal issue.
Hourly rates can be very problematic and much more likely to generate distrust and the likelihood of an attorney fee dispute. Often para-legal or even secretarial work is charged as an actual legal service, resulting in a much higher price tag for that specific task. Going through the billing invoices and challenging who actually completed the work is time consuming and often very difficult.
The best scenario is to work with a firm that specializes in helping businesses and corporations understand their options when it comes to attorney fee dispute questions. Having a strong advocate in your corner is invaluable and can result in a significant reduction in legal costs.
If you are concerned about auditing a legal bill or believe you have a reason to start an attorney fee dispute we can help. For further information visit our website at.
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