A retainer is an amount of money paid by a client to retain the services of a law firm. The money paid by the client is placed into accounts called Client Trust Accounts. Moneys deposited by the firm into these accounts are not the firm’s money until work is performed on the case and the client is billed.
How is a client billed?
Our firm bills clients by sending them an itemized invoice. This involve is in the form of a Microsoft excel spreadsheet and is emailed to the client; unless an alternative method is specified by our client in writing.
The invoice identifies:
The time spent on the case, including
- The date
- Start time
- End time
- The date
- The Work performed in the indicated time.
What happens after a client is sent the invoice?
After the client is sent the invoice, moneys are removed from the client’s trust account so long as no objection is raised by the client during the time specified in the attorney employment contract. If client makes an objection, no further work is performed on the case until the dispute is resolved.
Why are retainers used?
It might seem unreasonable for a firm to expect to be paid before any work is performed. In fact, some clients perceive it as indicating that their lawyer does not trust them to pay them for their work.
However, insuring the attorney gets paid is by no means the most important reason why retainers are used.
The process of litigation requires the payment of fees. These fees include filing fees, mailing fees, service of process fees, and more. All of these items are able to be paid immediately when a client has paid our firm a retainer.
Without a retainer, clients would need to be contacted each time a document needed to be filed or served upon the opposing party. After getting in contact with the client, the firm would then need to wait for the money to be deposited by the client. These delays can cause substantial harm to a client’s case.
Since we pride ourselves in our ability to obtain the most beneficial outcome for our clients, and we take this obligation very seriously, we require clients to deposit a retainer to employ our services. To read more about attorney fees, click here.
If you believe you might have a case, it is crucial you contact a qualified attorney immediately. Contact The Lockwood Legal Group for a free consultation today! You can call our office phone, cellular phone, or send us an email.