The cost of legal services generally may be influenced based on one (1) or more of the following factors:
- Is the matter routine?
- Is the matter complex requiring special expertise?
- What is a fair rate for attorney services for this type of case in the area?
At Ponticelli & Vito, we provide several types of fee arrangements. The following is a brief description of the fee arrangements available, depending on the nature of the matter:
- Flat fee: Flat fee arrangement means you will be charged a specific total fee for your case, plus expenses. A flat fee is usually offered in a case that is of a routine nature. Litigation does not lend itself to flat fee arrangements.
- Hourly rate: Hourly rate arrangement generally means that you will be charged for each hour (or portion of an hour) that an attorney works on your case, plus expenses. For example, if the hourly rate is $100 per hour and the attorney works on your case for five (5) hours, the cost to you will be $500.00.
- Contingency fee: Under this arrangement, the fee is based on a percentage of what you are awarded in the case. If the outcome of the case is unsuccessful, the attorney does not get a fee, although you will still have to pay expenses. The contingency fee percentage varies based on the nature of the case and how far along the case is when it is settled. A one-third (1/3) of the amount awarded, plus expenses, is a common fee under this arrangement.
- Blended fee: Blended fee arrangement is a combination of one or more of the fee arrangements listed above. For instance, you may enter into a fee arrangement where you will pay a flat rate for all the time an attorney works on a routine matter, with the exception of the time an attorney spends in court, which will be billed as an hourly rate.
Normally, the above fee arrangements do not include expenses, which are reimbursable to the attorney. Expenses are monies advanced by the attorney on behalf of the client (e.g. court costs, court reporter, real estate transfer stamps, surveyor services, etc.), photocopying, and other actual out-of-pocket expenses associated with your matter. If you desire, your attorney can give you a "best guess" as to what expenses will typically occur in your type of case.