These rates are available only to individuals who are representing or plan to represent themselves in court, and are not available to practicing attorneys.
Although we can certainly talk about giving you a flat fee for any task you might ask me to do for you, in some situations, you might prefer an hourly rate. If I were to represent you in a matter pending in court, other than one accepted on a contingent or partial contingent basis, my standard hourly rate would be $500 per hour. However, because you are representing yourself, and I don’t have to appear in court for you, I am able to discount this rate to:
$250 per hour
The advantage of taking this higher rate is that you pay only for time I have actually expended on your behalf. You can’t overpay, but you also can’t underpay.
$150 per hour if you pay in advance on the basis of an estimate.
You get a bonus if you pay in advance: If I underestimate the cost of the task, you pay nothing more. If I overestimate the cost, you get a credit for future work. The credit will be refunded to you if I do no more work for you for a period of 6 months.
Even though clients, individuals and even businesses, prefer flat fees because they are predictable — that is, you know what you have to pay — would you believe that the laws governing attorneys in New York State actually discourage flat fees? But they can be done, and they can be more economical because I base flat fees on an estimate of hours multiplied by an hourly rate of $200 or $100 if paid in advance, that is, $50 per hour less than standard hourly rates. If I underestimate the amount of work, you pay nothing more. If I overestimate the amount of work, you might get a refund, but only if the amount you paid exceeds the amount I earned. In calculating the amount of earned fees, I use a rate of $500 per hour. In other types of businesses, a flat fee normally means no refunds. Businesses like giving flat fees because, if the business is efficient and can do more in less time, the business makes more money. However, an attorney can never say no refunds, no matter how efficient an attorney might be, but earned fees can be based on an attorney’s full standard rate (for me, that’s $500 per hour, see above). So, if you want a flat fee for a task, I’d be glad to give you one, but don’t expect a refund unless I overestimate hours by a factor of well more than 2.
Fees for a consultation
$275 flat fee
$175 flat fee if paid in advance
This program is available to any individual or small business seeking to have an issue or set of issues reviewed by an attorney. You don’t have to be involved in litigation to get a consultation under this program. The consultation can be a face-to-face consultation or a telephone consultation — your choice. If I am available, you can even have an instant consultation.
Before accepting a consultation, I will conduct a brief screening of the issue or issues you want to discuss. There is no fee for this screening. In this way, if I don’t think I can intelligently assist you, you don’t have to waste your money on a consultation fee. I might be able to refer you to an attorney with the necessary knowledge.
In the appropriate case, for the fee, I will even review documents as part of the consultation. Thus, a consultation works particularly well in situations like the following:
- You’ve just been served with a summons and complaint, and you want guidance as to what to do next
- You are the parent of a special needs child, and would like your child’s file reviewed to help you to get services
- You’ve just been given an agreement with a restrictive covenant in it, and would like to know whether you should sign it
For the fee, you get up to 1.5 hours of attorney time. This time would include time spent reviewing documents.
I don’t give office consultations because I have stopped maintaining an office. The cost of maintaining an office added something like $50 per hour to my hourly rates. So, I have decided to operate a virtual law practice in which working files are electronic and immediately available to me on my laptop computer. My law library, which covers all 50 states, plus federal law, is entirely electronic. I pass the savings on to you. If we need to meet, we could even meet at your home.
Attorney on Call
How would you like to be able to call an attorney with a legal question, and not worry about being billed for the time? It’s possible, through this program.
This program is available to any individual or small business. You don’t have to be involved in litigation to be a subscriber to this program.
$350 for up to 4 hours of consultation
$500 for up to 7 hours of consultation
Consultations can be in person, by telephone or through e-mail..