CO-COUNSEL FEES: Under California's Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule-2-200, titled "Financial Arrangements Among Lawyers", an attorney cannot not divide a fee for legal services with a lawyer who is not a partner of, associate of, or shareholder with the member unless: (1) The client has consented in writing thereto after a full disclosure has been made in writing that a division of fees will be made and the terms of such division; and (2) The total fee charged by all lawyers is not increased solely by reason of the provision for division of fees and is not unconscionable as that term is defined in rule 4-200 (see below). In complex litigation cases, as well as certain unlimited civil cases, THE Legal Advocate may co-counsel a client's case.
FLAT FEES: Where services are to be performed on a flat fee basis, THE Legal Advocate agrees to complete a project for an agreed-upon amount plus costs as defined in our engagement letter/representation agreement. Unless the scope of work is expanded at a client’s request, or as a result of unforeseen circumstances, a client pays only the agreed-upon fee and costs.
HOURLY FEES: THE Legal Advocate typically charges for services on an hourly basis, meaning a client pays for services at an agreed-upon hourly rate. THE Legal Advocate's hourly attorney rates range from $250 per hour to $500 per hour and law clerk/legal secretary/administrative task rates at $100 per hour. These rates are competitive with those offered by both midsized and larger firms which typically charge $600+ per hour. By operating under a business plan that avoids the accumulation of overhead and operating expenses that both midsize and larger firms must pass onto their clients, THE Legal Advocate is able to provide results-driven legal services at competitive cost-effective rates for a wide array of clients.
HYBRID FEE: A “hybrid” fee arrangement involves both (1) a fee based on a fixed rate of payment and (2) a fee based on a stated percentage of a favorable outcome. An example of a non-contingent/contingent “hybrid” fee agreement is one that combines a lower-than-typical hourly rate fee plus a bonus, success or other fees that are based in whole or in part on a favorable outcome to the client. For plaintiffs/employees, a favorable outcome is an arbitration award, settlement, or judgment, while a favorable outcome for defendants/employers is saving money or settling a case for less than the plaintiff would be entitled to legally.
(PURE) CONTINGENCY FEE: A contingent fee is any arrangement that ties an attorney’s fee to successful performance, i.e., it provides for a fee the size or payment of which is conditioned on some measure of the client’s success, no matter how small. THE Legal Advocate rarely represents a client on a pure contingency basis. Therefore if you cannot afford to pay any legal fees, THE Legal Advocate in all likelihood will not be a compatible fit for the type of fee arrangement you may financially need or prefer. The Legal Advocate may represent a client on a pure contingency basis only when the client is a plaintiff/employee, liability is clear, the defendant(s) is/are solvent, and collectability issues are unforeseen. When representing a client on a pure contingency basis, The Legal Advocate's percentage ranges from gross 25% to 50% depending on when, i.e. stage of the case, there is a favorable outcome, if there is one, as well as dependent upon RPC Rule 4-200. All contingency fee clients must ultimately still pay for case costs, even with a court-approved fee waiver, no matter the case outcome.
"REVERSE" CONTINGENCY FEE: A “reverse” contingent fee is a fee in which a defense lawyer’s compensation depends in whole or in part on how much money the lawyer saves the client, given the client’s potential liability.
REFERRAL FEE(S): California allows referral fees to be paid by lawyers to other lawyers. In fact, California is one of the few states to allow referral fees for “bare naked referrals.” This means the lawyer may collect a referral fee simply for handing a case over to different lawyer, even if s/h has not formally participated in the legal case yet. This is done with the client’s best interest in mind, as the idea is that the lawyer will be motivated to transfer the case to the most competent lawyer possible. California rules of professional conduct require that any attorney referral fees comply with certain requirements, including: (1) The client must consent to the fee arrangement in writing, after being given a full and thorough explanation of the referral or fee splitting; (2) The overall service charges cannot be increased due to the existence of a fee; and (3) The fee must not be “unconscionable”. THE Legal Advocate, with a client's written consent and a written agreement with a recommended or recommending competent attorney, may be paid or pay a referral fee.