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Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Difference Between A Consultation and Nonrefundable Retainer Fee
The $150 consultation fee is the amount we charge non-clients for an hour of initial consultation, whereas, the nonrefundable retainer fee is the amount we charge to take on a new client. We require the $150 consultation fee when the non-client schedules the meeting. We require the nonrefundable retainer fee when the new client signs the fee agreement.
Why Do You Charge A $150 Consultation Fee
We offer an initial telephone consultation free. However, we charge $150 fee for office consultations for several reasons. First, having a criminal or family law case is a serious matter. Your liberty, property, lifestyle, children, or even your physical life may be at stake. You need thorough, critical and correct information. You get that at our office consultations.
Second, during the office consultation, we gather enough preliminary information to do an early case assessment. Then we offer initial legal advice. It is preliminary because we must investigate your case more thoroughly, conduct discovery and take other legal actions before we can fully understand your matter.
Here’s the good news: if you retain us after the office consultation, you must pay a nonrefundable retainer fee; however, we apply the $150 consultation fee towards your nonrefundable retainer fee. For example, if your nonrefundable retainer fee is $2500, we deduct the $150 consultation fee from the $2500. This credit will leave you a balance of $2350.
How Much Is The Nonrefundable Retainer Fee
We base our nonrefundable retainer fees on several factors suggested by the Texas Bar:
- The time and labor required, the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved, and the skill requisite to perform the legal service properly;
- The likelihood, if apparent to the client, that the acceptance of the particular employment will preclude other employment by the lawyer;
- The fee customarily charged in the locality for similar legal services;
- The amount involved and the results obtained;
- The time limitations imposed by the client or by the circumstances;
- The nature and length of the professional relationship with the client;
- The experience, reputation, and ability of the lawyer or lawyers performing the services; and
- Whether the fee is fixed, or contingent on results obtained or uncertainty of collection before the legal services have been rendered.
Merely scheduling an appointment, paying the $150 consultation fee or even receiving a consultation creates no attorney-client relationship between us. An attorney-client relationship is established only after you:
- pay a nonrefundable retainer fee, and
- sign a fee agreement.