How much will the additional costs be after receiving a retainer fee? 34 Answers as of June 27, 2013

I’m in the process of finding an attorney. I know there will be a retainer fee but am wondering how much extra the additional costs will be.

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James M. Osak, P.C.
James M. Osak, P.C. | James M. Osak
It's ALL NEGOTIABLE! If you don't like the terms then find another attorney.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/8/2012
Hamblin Law Office | Sally Hamblin
It all depends on the legal issue, the amount the attorney charges per hour.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/7/2012
Law Office of Mark Bruce
Law Office of Mark Bruce | Mark Corwin Bruce
You need to ask the lawyer for an estimate of costs beyond the fee. Typically costs are out-of-pocket expenditures by lawyers to help your case. However, costs are usually outlined in the written contract of representation. And you have to have a written contract when the fee is more than $1000, per California law.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/6/2012
Anderson Law Office
Anderson Law Office | Scott L. Anderson
It depends on the agreement between you and your attorney. I for instance represent my clients on a flat fee structure so the entire fee is known at the beginning of the case.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 10/5/2012
Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
No one has a crystal ball to predict that. Try to negotiate for a flat fee.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 10/5/2012
    Sedin Begakis & Bish | Mindy Bish
    You have not said what kind of case you are seeking assistance for. Generally costs are filing fees, service fees, fees to obtain records, fees to obtain reports etc.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/5/2012
    Toivonen Law Office | John Toivonen
    I would need to know a great deal more about your case to give you an estimate. A Circuit Court case requires filing fee and a jury which fee which comes to $235. But this only the beginning of costs. Expert witnesses can run in the thousands.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/4/2012
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You will have to ask the attorney since every case is different, but if you can negotiate a flat rate it is usually better since you know the total fee up front. The fee will depend on whether you are taking a plea or going to trial, how many hours the lawyer spends, and how many appearances the lawyer has to make.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/4/2012
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    Every attorney handles his/her own billing. You can bargain for a fee that you can afford. Some attorneys are willing to quote a "flat fee", that is, no matter what is required to handle your case, one fee covers everything. These fees tend to be higher than the retainer -type fees for that reason. If you pay a retainer with the understanding that it may become more expensive if your case requires more than a specified amount of work, you may get by cheaper. You make the decisions as to how far to take your case. The attorney is not going to take the case further than you are comfortable taking it.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 10/4/2012
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C.
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C. | Stuart M. Nachbar
    It is impossible to tell as you have not stated what field of law or type of case. Sorry.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 10/4/2012
    MatthewR. Schutz, Esq | Matthew R. Schutz
    Hard to say without knowing more.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 10/4/2012
    Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Seth L. Reszko
    Please be advised that all attorneys work differently and charge different fees. In general, a retainer is the amount of money that the attorney requires to be work on the case. The attorney will charge an hourly rate and for every hour that the attorney works, the retainer amount is reduced at that hourly rate. For instance, $2,000.00 retainer and an hourly rate of 200.00. The Attorney will be able to work for you for 10 hours without requiring more fees. You should consider asking the attorney how many hours does he or she foresee in working on your case, so that you have an idea how much more money you could be required to pay after the retainer is exhausted. For your information, we provide free consultations and offer reasonable payment plans with a retainer. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 10/4/2012
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    Difficult to estimate what a quality attorney will charge you, when you omitted the legal issue to be addressed by the attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 10/4/2012
    Law Offices of Matthew M. Friedrich, PLLC | Matthew M. Friedrich
    It depends on the type of case and the agreement you reach with the attorney you choose. In many cases, the retainer is based on a number of court appearances. That is, you may pay for a number of court appearance up front and, if you do not need to appear more than what you've paid for, there are no additional attorney fees. This is particularly true in criminal cases and does not typically include a trial fee. In other cases, you will be paying hourly for the legal work, but the fees are first billed against the retainer. I've handled cases where the retainer covered all of my hourly fees but others where I've billed for fees over and above what the initial retainer covered.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/3/2012
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    That is up to the attorney and the agreement to provide legal services.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 10/4/2012
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    It depends on how honest your lawyer is. Some lawyers will do a whole lot with just the fix/flat retainer and charge nothing more. Others will have a lot of hidden costs (ie. motions, experts, investigators, trial, etc).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/3/2012
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    For what type of case? What are the details, etc?
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/27/2013
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    It depends upon the case and what happens during the course of the case and whether the attorney charges a flat fee or an hourly rate and what the hourly rate is.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/27/2013
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    That depends on the lawyer, and nature of case, and your criminal history. If in Chicago, IL area.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/27/2013
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    Every attorney is different. Some work on a flat fee. In that case, the retainer coves the attorneys' fees up to a certain point defined by the fee agreement. Other attorneys charge an hourly rate and bill that rate against the retainer as the work is done.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/3/2012
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
    Court costs include depositions, service of process for depositions, the cost of having the depositions transcribed, etc. Expert witness fees can also be included and those can be astronomical. When you retain an attorney you pay only for the attorney's services unless otherwise agreed. The court costs can be very high, depending upon what needs to be done in discovery.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/27/2013
    Walpole Law | Robert J. Walpole
    A retainer fee is a pre-pay on the fee that the attonrey anticipates is a minimum charge. Sometimes that will cover the representation, but oftentimes not. The key element in the attorney-client contract for legal services is the hourly rate that the attorney charges for the overall representation. Most attorneys can not say how long or what will eventually be required time-wise to finish any particular matter. You should feel comfortable asking questions concerning costs and anticipated results in your initial interview.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 10/3/2012
    Austin Law Associates PC
    Austin Law Associates PC | Stuart Austin
    It depends on the law office. Our retainer fee covers the whole case. There are no extra fees unless the case goes to a hearing or trial.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/27/2013
    Pietryga Law Office | Russ Pietryga
    Depends on the type of fee agreement you agree to. Some charge a "flat-fee" which means you a set amount no matter how much work the attorney does. Some charge hourly. That means you pay an initial retainer and the attorney bills his hourly rate towards the retainer. Just ask the attorney
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 10/3/2012
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    It generally depends on the nature of the case. I would be happy to speak with you about this.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 6/27/2013
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    The answer depends on the agreement with the attorney. It should be spelled out in a retainer agreement.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 6/27/2013
    Law Offices of Susan M. Pires | Susan M. Pires
    It all depends on the time put into the case, the attorneys hourly rate, and any additional expenses. You also have not specified the type of matter you want handled.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 10/3/2012
    Attorney at Law | Michael P. Vollandt
    Depends on what you and the attorney agree to. Usually the "retainer" is what the attorney takes in up front money at an hourly rate with a minimum amount of time. After that amount of time is exhausted then a new amount of money is usually required to continue on the case. But it is a contract between you and the attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/3/2012
    Leonard A. Kaanta, P.C. | Leonard A. Kaanta
    It is impossible to answer. Attorneys charge by the hour, hourly rates can vary from $125 per hour to $200 per hour or more.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/3/2012
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    Depends on how much time is spent on handling the case This e-mail is covered under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 USC 2510-2521, and is legally privileged. The information contained in this e-mail is intended only for use of the individual or entity named above. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, or the employee or agent responsible to deliver it to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/3/2012
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    It depends on what type of case you have and what you arrange.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/27/2013
    Law Office of Stephen P. Dempsey
    Law Office of Stephen P. Dempsey | Stephen P. Dempsey
    There is a filing fee for Chapter 7 of $306. However, you are required to take a credit counseling course which cost between $20-$35.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 10/3/2012
    Mary W Craig P.C. | Mary W Craig
    Lawyers charge either by the hour or by a flat fee. When you contact a lawyer, be sure you get a contract setting out exactly what the lawyer is going to charge for his service, whether he is paying expenses or you are, and what those expenses are. Some lawyers charge for copies, postage, and other office incidentals, and some do not. Also be sure that, if you are paying by the hour, the lawyer agrees to send you a bill monthly so you know how much work he is doing and you can keep a running tally on how much you owe. If the lawyer isn't willing to do that, find another lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 10/3/2012
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