Fees are based on agreements made in advance of legal work performed. Kelly M. Davis & Associates, LLC strives to establish a fee payment process that meets the combined desires of the client and firm. The criteria that determine legal fees include complexity of the case, attorney’s years of experience, amount of attorney effort expended, results achieved and office overhead required to provide the efficient and timely results to which all clients are entitled. We will discuss our fees with you during your first consultation. In response to your needs, we often divide each phase of a project into discrete tasks and establish, in advance, fee range budgets for such tasks. This methodology is a useful and informative tool for cost management and allows us to continually evaluate the fiscal management of the case as your goals and objectives evolve.
- Hourly Rate – the firm attorneys usually work on an hourly basis (charging for the time we spend at a stated rate per hour) and expect full monthly payment of our fees and expenses. Hourly attorney’s fees can be expensive, and you may wish to look for another attorney to handle your matter on a contingency basis if you think you would be unable to pay as fees are incurred. We try to keep our rates affordable for small businesses and individuals. We will provide you with a general estimate of what we think the total fees will come to in your case.
- Retainer – KMDA charges what is called a minimum retainer – an up front advance payment: a minimum fee for us to accept the case. Usually, this retainer involves a portion which is refundable and a portion which is non-refundable. What that means is that if KMDA is successful in getting the case dismissed/settled early and before the attorney has spent all of the hours originally anticipated in calculating the retainer, you receive a refund for the remainder of the refundable retainer that remained unearned.
- Billing Rate – All attorneys in the firm have over 20 years’ experience and are billed at a rate of $285-340 per hour, the paralegal’s time is billed at the rate of $85-110 per hour, and the legal secretary is charged at $75 per hour. While several people in this office will work on your case, KMDA assures you that it will not result in our billing for duplicate work.
- Flat Fees – KMDA often uses flat fees for certain types of matters (i.e., mechanic’s liens, construction contracts, corporate formation, basic wills and estate planning documents, basic probates, etc.). These rates will be determined at the beginning of the matter.
- Mechanic’s Lien flat fee rates (includes filing fees and up two parties via certified mail):
- Notice Letter $190
- Affidavit of Lien: $210
- Constitutional Lien: $270
Kelly M. Davis & Associates, LLC accepts Visa and MasterCard payments for retainers, flat fee payments and monthly payments.
Our fee arrangement is set forth in a written agreement at the time we accept representation. Only when the client and KMDA has executed the Representation/Fee Agreement do we incur any obligations to each other. KMDA’s main goal is to insure that you understand the fee contract, and what is included. This means that we encourage frank discussion. Often clients cannot afford my services. This is better to learn before the relationship begins, rather than later. When that is the case KMDA will try to match the client to a lawyer whose fee may be more within the client’s budget.
The Firm issues monthly, computer-generated invoices that can be tailored to provide the degree of detail which you desire. In most situations, the invoice includes an itemized list of the work that was performed on your case that month, a list of all fees charged for said work, and a list of all expenses incurred by the client. The invoice also includes a breakdown of how much of the client’s retainer was used and whether or not there is a credit or a balance due. The finance manager and Kelly M. Davis review all computer-generated bills.
Our billing is under a system called “billable units,” standard in this business. Hours are divided into quarters, each being a billable unit. Therefore, the minimum time billed for any action on your case is .08 hour. While your retainer agreement will provide minimum .25 hour billing, everyone at Kelly M. Davis & Associates, LLC strives to bill in 6-minute increments whenever possible. We have found that this saves the client a great deal of money over time. You are also encouraged to discuss questions of expenses and fees promptly and openly.
You will however, be responsible for our out-of-pocket expenses and charges for an investigator, outside paralegal, expert, travel expense, copying costs, recording or filing fees, court costs, witness fees and other extraordinary expenses if such expenses are incurred. Unlike most law firms, we try not to bill for things that are used in the normal course of business, such as occasional long distance calls, supplies, faxes.
We shall keep you well informed as to the progress of your case. KMDA will always send you copies of papers coming in and going out of our office, including correspondence, pleadings, and other court documents. If no one is available when you call, your call shall be returned promptly or someone of our office staff will let you know when your call will be returned. You are requested to contact the paralegal handling your case every other week, so you can be kept abreast of what is happening. KMDA will exercise my best professional judgment and efforts to help you obtain your goals and objectives in this matter. While we cannot and do not guarantee the outcome; every effort will be made to handle your case promptly and efficiently according to the highest legal and ethical standards.