All attorneys fees must be reasonable according to the code of professional responsibility that all attorneys must follow.
The mainstream of legal fees are three different types:
A. Contingent fees — contingent fees are based on a percentage of the recovery. Contingent fees are generally used in cases such as personal injury and workers compensation. The client and the attorney agree that when the attorney receives a result such as a settlement or a judgment from the trial court the attorney receives a percentage of the outcome. All contingent cases between attorneys and clients must be in writing and are not enforceable unless they are in writing. It is unethical for a family law case to be based on a contingent fee.
B. Flat fees — a flat fee is in amount that the attorney agrees to accept as full payment for a case. The difficulty of charging a flat fee is that all cases have unique needs and it is extremely difficult to establish a reasonable and accurate projection for a fee. Flat fees at times are charged in criminal cases where the exposure for the client is generally not significant. Flat fees are typically paid in advance before services are provided and before an attorney enters his appearance in a case.
C. Hourly fee — most attorneys perform services based on an hourly fee. The retainer agreement expresses the attorney’s hourly rate as well as rates for support staff such as secretaries, law clerks and paralegals. Retainer agreements are in written form and express essential terms and conditions with regard to the responsibility of the attorney and the client.
The law offices of Fredric G. Antenberg prefers to utilize retainer agreements setting forth the terms of representation. Clients are provided with copies of the agreement. It is customary at the time of the signing of the retainer agreement for the client to authorize release of various kinds of information. The authorization may enable our law offices to acquire financial records, business records, medical records, and other records where the person or agency that provides the records requires a written authorization because of privacy issues.