Services & Fees
[updated October 2012]
- I am accepting clients along the general terms set forth below, but glad to discuss these and any other questions. In addition, I will provide assistance to other counsel in cases involving civil rights and discrimination law, primarily [not solely] in the employment context. The following information is based on prior arrangements with clients.
- My present billing rate is $250 an hour. At times I retain the services of a legal assistant or lawclerk and bill them at the rates of $35.00/hr. and $75.00 per hour, accordingly. We bill for the portion of time spent on the client's case and I also bill for certain expenses.
- A retainer is due upon your retention of my services. The exact amount of the retainer depends on the nature of the services requested and will be discussed during our initial contact. Usually, I require a retainer of $2,500 to $5,000 to be paid prior to commencing work. Your retainer will be deposited in a Trust Account, as required by law. Obviously, any unspent retainer will be returned with a full accounting.
- A monthly statement is provided for all services and expenses over the preceding month, and each bill specifies the date, nature and amount of the services and the cost of expenses on your case. If your retainer is exhausted, a new retainer amount will be required, so that it can be billed against as services and expenses are incurred.
- I will not accept contingency fee cases (where the lawyer is paid a percentage of the settlement or award as fees). All services I perform are billed on a proportionate hourly basis as indicated above.
- At first, it is possible that some questions or inquiries may only take a telephone call (for which I do not charge, as long as it is very short). I will not provide telephone advice beyond letting people know of some of their options, the agencies which might be helpful, where to get assistance or conduct research and the sort of helpful information that many people need. I view this as a public service and provide this time as such, but suggest you contact an organization or lawyer if you want to discuss a situation at greater length.
- There are short timeframes in civil rights cases and much depends on whether public or private employment is involved, whether it's a federal or state case, whether it's a housing case, whether a contract or tort suit may be brought, whether the suit would be against a governmental official or agency, etc. For this reason, no legal advice will be provided by me in an initial call or without a retainer and fee agreement and you should retain an attorney to determine your time limits.
- If you need assistance, you can find lawyers through searches online. The Iowa State Bar association provides a Find-A-Lawyer service as do many other bar associations in a locale. Also, telephone book yellow pages can provide some assistance. Generally, it is most helpful for people with employment law problems to consult with and retain lawyers who are members of either the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) or the American Association for Justice [AAJ] , although there are certainly many other fine attorneys.