Attorney fees are rightfully an important concern of all clients. At the first meeting, attorney fees are fully discussed, and all questions and concerns are addressed.
While many legal services may be billed on a flat fee basis, the time that will be required for certain legal services is unknown and must be represented on an hourly basis. For example, the fees for business formation documents and most estate planning documents may be represented on a flat fee basis because it is known what will be required to complete those documents.
However, the time required to discuss and prepare documents that involve other parties (purchase of a business and sale of a business are examples in the business law area) is unknown because all issues may be easily resolved or some issues may be more complex and take more time to resolve. Litigation must be represented on an hourly basis because it is not known how much time the litigation will take. The litigation may be resolved easily or it may require substantial time to resolve, sometimes depending upon the issues involved and sometimes depending upon the personality of the opposing party or the opposing party’s attorney. Some real estate matters may be represented on a flat fee basis and other real estate matters require an hourly rate, again depending if it is known what will be required to complete the real estate matter and what the real estate matter involves.
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