It is unfortunately true that lawyers aren't very transparent about their fees, which makes many people hesitant to even talk to an attorney. Even the lawyers who have ads on TV touting their low contingent fees don't include the fine print about potential additional costs and possible exposure to having to pay the other side's fees if your claim is not successful. The problem with trying to be transparent up front about fees is that it is often impossible to even know what kind of fee structure might be appropriate until we have met and discussed the details of your case.
So please don't call and ask "How much do you charge?" - because until we meet there is no way to answer that question. The place to figure that out is during an initial consultation, for which the firm does charge a fee, and at which time we'll be able to quote a fee if we are able to offer representation.
Although we can't quote a fee until meeting with you, we realize that uncertainty about attorneys' fees can be the most daunting part about hiring a lawyer, so the following discussion represents an attempt to add some certainty into the process wherever possible by discussing the typical fee structures for most cases handled by Harper Law.
Harper Law charges an initial consultation fee of $200. This is a fixed fee for the consultation appointment, which typically lasts 30-60 minutes. During that appointment you’ll be able to discuss the details of your case with Mr. Harper, and based on that discussion he will determine whether the firm is able to offer representation going forward, in which case one or more of the following fee structures will be discussed. Depending on the facts and circumstances discussed during the initial consultation, the Firm may be unwilling or unable to offer ongoing representation, and/or advise you that further legal action is not advised.
On very rare occasions where the amount of work is predictable we are able to offer a flat, or fixed, fee. Such matters typically include simple document preparation, review, and consultation, or other non-litigation matters within a narrow scope of specified services. We will only be able to determine whether a flat fee is something we can offer, and the amount of the fee, after the initial paid consultation.
For most matters where we are able to offer representation, we will quote an initial retainer amount and an hourly fee at the conclusion of your initial paid consultation. Depending on the nature and complexity of the case and the amount of work expected to be performed, the initial retainer may range from $1,750.00 to $17,500.00. We also attempt to inform the client at the outset of any new case regarding the range of fees that might be involved. Although this is very difficult to do in litigation matters, we are happy to share similar examples from our past experience. The client is nonetheless advised that unless expressly agreed in advance, any estimate is simply speculation that may not be accurate due to unknown factors such as the actions of opposing parties, attorneys, and judges; unknown and/or undisclosed facts; changing legal precedents; etc.
In appropriate cases, Harper Law may also offer to handle your case on a contingent fee basis. Such arrangements are typically available only for some employment-related cases. Unfortunately, due to the high costs and uncertainty of outcome associated with all litigation, we are only able to offer contingent fee representation where we anticipate a very high likelihood of success coupled with a reasonable expectation to recover significant damages. We will only be able to determine whether a contingent fee is something we can offer, and the terms of the contingent fee, after the initial paid consultation.
In many cases we are able to offer some combination of a flat fee or hourly fee and a contingent fee. We have found that by combining the best elements of these different fee arrangements both the law firm and the client can benefit. As with our other fee arrangements, we will only be able to determine whether we can offer representation and the terms of such representation after the initial paid consultation.