Lawyer Retainer Fees

Lawyer Retainer Fees
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lretainer fee information
Lawyer Retainer Fees

what is a retainer fee for lawyersA retainer fee is a form of pre-payment which is usually based on the lawyer's hourly rate. This advanced fee ensures that the lawyer will provide certain legal services on behalf of the client. Think of it as a down payment on the services the lawyer provides. The funds, which are usually non-refundable, are place in the lawyer's or law firm's business or trust account where they have access to it to pay any upcoming expenses associated with the services that are rendered on behalf of the client. If the fees go above the retainer amount, the client must pay that amount. The retainer fee is just an initial estimate and it prohibits the lawyer or his firm from representing a competitor of the client. Additional fees beyond the retainer are often required when a matter must go to court.

A retainer fees is also used to pay for services when you want to have a lawyer on call to take care of your legal problems upon request or if you need legal counsel on a regular basis. In many cases, this fee is paid on a monthly schedule. In other words, by paying the monthly fee you have access to a lawyer whenever you need legal guidance or assistance.

Before accepting to pay a retainer fee, get the fee, terms and conditions in writing. In some instances, it could be too high and a court can have it reduced. In addition, some probate, bankruptcy and other court proceedings the (statutory) fee may be determined by a court or the law.

There most widely used forms of advance payment are "the general (or traditional) retainer", "the special (or specific) retainer", "the nonrefundable retainer", "the security retainer", and "the hybrid retainer".

There is a service plan called "Pre-Paid Legal" that offers a retainer type service at a very affordable fee. In fact, prices may range from about $16 per month to about $70. In any event, this is far below the typical hourly rate of a good lawyer and members of this legal service plan can receive unlimited phone consultation with a lawyer. You can have contracts reviewed, letters written, and more.

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