A lawyer retainer is a way for you to pay for legal services that an attorney provides on a consistent basis. Retainers come in many forms, including hourly, flat fee, and deposit retainers. They are used by both individual clients and businesses for a variety of reasons, but the main goal is to provide stability in a relationship with an attorney and ensure that they are available at all times.
The first step is to choose which type of retainer you want to use. There are several options, but they all work the same way: The retainer is paid in advance and it must be refunded if you do not need the attorneyâ€™s services anymore.
An hourly rate is the most common retainer and it is based on the hours spent working on your case. This rate will vary based on the lawyerâ€™s experience and the specific tasks needed to complete your case.
A flat fee is also popular for retainers, and it is based on a fixed amount of money that will be paid regardless of how much time is spent on your case. This option is particularly common for criminal defence attorneys, and it allows you to predict how much you will be paying for legal representation.
Retainer fees can be refundable if you do not need the services of the lawyer, but it is important to make sure that your retainer agreement states this clearly. It is also a good idea to request a copy of the retainer fee agreement before signing it, so you have an understanding of how your retainer is being calculated and what services you will be paying for. Recommended this site personal injury law firm washington DC.
Another type of retainer is a security retainer, which is similar to a general retainer except that the client pays for future services and then holds the money in trust until the lawyer earns it back. This is a popular option for small businesses because it allows them to budget in advance for legal needs, but the client must always be aware of how much they have in their retainer.
Finally, a deposit retainer is a popular option that lets you pay a set monthly fee to maintain an ongoing relationship with the attorney and ensure that they are available at all time. This structure does not impact lawyer professional liability, and it can help clients feel secure in knowing that they will have their attorneyâ€™s services at all times.
The retainer should be based on how long your case is expected to take. This is a good way to budget for legal costs and prevent you from going into debt during the process.
You should also make sure that the retainer agreement specifies how the attorney will bill you for the services they provide and what you can expect to be billed for, such as court costs, travel expenses, deposition costs, and other charges. It is also a good idea to ask the lawyer for an accounting statement at least once a month.