How do charges and fees work when you hire me as your lawyer, or the Law Offices of Gordon Shayne? We take a lot of pride in the fact that we sit down with clients who come in and hire us, and go over a very extensive fee agreement that is a written contract between the client and me.
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How do charges and fees work when you hire me as your lawyer or the Law Offices of Gordon Shayne? We take a lot of pride in the fact that we sit down with clients who come in and hire us and go over a very extensive fee agreement, that is a written contract between the client and me. That fee agreement explains all of the fees, that is expenses, that will be charged to a client in the client's representation, as well as professional services.
Professional services are broken down to include my fees as the attorney, and paralegal fees and administrative fees, that is the law firm's administrator. Lawyers in Florida are governed by the Florida Bar and the fee agreement itself that is in writing says what the hourly rate is. Most lawyers charge an hourly rate that is consistent with their level of experience.
I've been an attorney, practicing for 35 years, and during the course of my career, I have specific training in trial work. That means I go to court and have gone to court extensively in the past. That's part of my qualifications and my experience in representing you.
When we represent a new client, each month a client will receive a bill, a statement that would show who worked on their file and what work did they perform. Let me give you an example. If during a 30 day billing cycle … let's just take a certain month of the year … let's just say in December, the lawyer did 15 minutes worth of work in the course of December for the client and the paralegals answered phone calls and emails and had interactions with the other attorney, then you would see 15 minutes worth of billing for the attorney and all of the paralegal time broken down by date and an explanation of the activity.
The total amount of professional services is then deducted from the retainer that the client provides that goes into a special trust account so that we can bill against the retainer for the services that we provided.
Expenses and fees are those that are generally part of what the court does when they bill the attorney once we represent a client. As an example, in a motion to modify parental responsibilities or parenting time or in a new custody case or a new divorce or legal separation case, once we have entered our appearance on behalf of the client, the clerk at the court is going to bill us for the legal fees that the state law requires in the filing of those kinds of cases. Other kinds of fees that you can anticipate getting billed would be transaction fees for electronic filing of documents, postage, and photocopying of exhibits and other financial documents that are essential in your case.
In our office, you always have the right, any time you wish, to discuss your fees and your billings with our law firm manager who would be happy to set up a conference either in person or by phone to discuss your bill with you, and I'm always available to discuss your bill with you whenever you wish, as well.