Our firm normally forms teams
of personnel to handle complex matters and
litigation so that a mix of hourly rates and expertise
is available to handle the full range of issues involved
and one normally only uses the highest rate partner to
give strategic guidance and manage the team. We have
found that such a method increases efficiency while
lowering overall costs to the client.
Since almost all of
our cases involve teams with mixed rates, you can
normally expect that the
you will encounter will be in the neighborhood of $190.00 per
hour in litigation and $350.00 per hour for
transactional or complex negotiations though individual
rates may be higher or lower. Clients on the
retainer system receive a significant discount on
the above rates. Selected cases may be taken on a
contingency or semi-contingency basis.
initial consultation is without charge for the
initial hour and we thereafter normally bill in itemized monthly
matters it saves time and money to utilize our services
before a dispute arises. Many safeguards can be
created at the negotiation stage of a business
relationship which can eliminate danger areas and
streamline conflict resolution.
CONTINGENCY AND SEMI CONTINGENCY
Selected cases may be appropriate for contingency or semi contingency fee arrangements. In contingency, the client pays court costs but no other fees unless there is a recovery in which case the attorney is paid one third to forty percent of the recovery, if any. On semi contingency, the client pays half the normal hourly rate plus costs and the attorney receives, additionally, 16% to 20% of the recovery, if any. While this method of representation may be "expensive" if the case resolved in its initial stages, it does cut the out of pocket coast to the client prior to recovery. Semi contingency is often used in business litigation while full contingency is typical for personal injury actions.
FLAT FEES AND PACKAGES
for certain types of work, such as simple Wills and
Trusts or some types of contracts. We have found that
while each client has unique needs, a basic "package" of
documents is normally necessary for any person requiring
an estate plan, wishing to hire an employee, or
commencing business operations, and such "packages" are
made available to our client after we have carefully
reviewed their unique situation to determine what
special problems they may confront.
Flat fees are normally appropriate for standard documents we create or
standard procedures we initiate that are not contested
by an opposing party since the amount of work will not
be increased by the activities of our opponents. Typical
flat fees we charge are as follows:
Simple California incorporation
: One thousand seven-hundred and fifty dollars ($1,750.00) plus out of pocket
Simple formation of Limited Liability Company : One thousand seven-hundred and fifty dollars ($1,750.00) plus out of pocket costs.
- Simple formation of a Professional Corporation : Three thousand dollars ($3,000.00) plus out of pocket costs.
- Living Trust (Probate Avoidance) with Medical Power
of Attorney and Pour Over Will
: Two thousand dollars ($2,000.00) for an
individual or two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500.00) for a couple.
many other flat fees, but the advantage to the client is
that you know what cost you are facing before you begin
working with our firm and you no longer have to worry
about the actual time that must be expended. Be sure to
inquire as to the availability of flat fees when you are
in your first meeting with us.
Packages allow the client to retain our services to accomplish an entire set of structures, contracts and related advice regardless of the hours required, thereby being able to accurately budget the process from beginning to end. An example is our "Business Start Up" package which includes not just the creation of the entity (Corporation or LLC, etc.) but all related agreements (Buy and Sells, employment, vendor) and related advice for a set price at the beginning. The client buys the "final result" not merely hours of attorney time which, from the client's point of view, is irrelevant.
our most innovative fee method was developed by our firm
decades ago and is often preferred by many of our
business clients. Stimmel, Stimmel & Smith offers its
regular business clients a
of billing by which our office is paid a set amount
monthly for a minimum of one year and the client has
free access to our personnel for everything aside
from litigation up to a cap of hours per month or
quarter. For litigation or complex contractual
negotiations, the retainer client receives a
substantial discount for its hourly billing. Caps
are set on the total hours that can be used depending on
the particular retainer amount and type of work, but the
main benefit of this method is that it eliminates hourly
billing for the bulk business work and allows the client
to utilize our services without constant worry that each
call costs money or that employees will begin calling
and cost the business too much.
work? About a third of our business clients have elected
that method. Additionally, access to special web
pages with articles and legal forms are made available
to our retainer clients, each such client receiving a
password, as more fully described elsewhere on our website. Our firm
believes that the future of legal representation aside
from litigation is likely to be creation of retainer
methodology for most clients with the client obtaining
access to extensive “legal libraries” of forms as
described below using a password and only interacting
with the attorney for advice on use of the forms and
more complex matters.