Keeping Your Legal Costs Down in Arizona
August 19, 2019
Keeping Your Legal Costs Down in Arizona
As you are looking for an Arizona attorney to represent you, one of your primary concerns is likely: what will it cost me? You have probably heard of contingency fee cases where the attorney gets a percentage of any award that is earned. Unfortunately, that is only common in the area of personal injury (car accidents) because there is usually clear liability (“Car A” hit “Car B”) and there is an insurance company paying the bill. Outside of personal injury, the common method for paying an attorney is on an hourly fee basis.
Counxel Legal Firm does everything we can to keep our hourly rates low while providing you with the best legal representation possible. As compared to downtown Phoenix firms, you will be surprised that we cost up to one-half less per hour but provide exceptional services.
However, just like other firms, we cannot act as the “bank” to finance your litigation, and we will require that you pay an advance deposit and make monthly payments as outlined in our Representation Letter that you will sign if you choose to be a client.
Clients often play a large role in unnecessarily driving up the costs of their legal representation. Some of this comes because attorneys fail to educate clients on ways that the client can keep legal expenses down. We refuse to make that same mistake. This guide is an effort to educate clients on how they can help keep their legal costs down. By following this simple advice, clients can avoid incurring unnecessary legal costs making it more affordable to obtain a favorable result in your case.
These are some of the ways that you can keep your legal costs down:
• Realize that you are paying your attorney for all the time he/she spends on your dispute. Attorneys get paid for every minute they work on your file. You are hiring them for their legal expertise, not for them to organize your documents. Make sure to maximize your time with them by focusing on their utilizing their expertise.
• Prepare a detailed timeline of events relevant to the dispute for the attorney before or just after the initial consultation. This allows the attorney to get up to speed on the facts of your case without having to sift through documents and piece together information that you relay to them in a consultation. This also helps you remember key events that took place leading up to the reason for the dispute which gives the attorney the ability to better understand the totality of your case, rather than just certain pieces that you remember.
• Create a list of individuals with information relevant to the dispute and provide their contact information to the attorney before or just after the initial consultation. This assists the attorney in knowing who potential witnesses will be and allows the attorney to contact those people to get supporting information related to your dispute. This will also help you recall who may have been present or has knowledge of key events surrounding the dispute.
• Prepare and provide a list of all documents relevant to the dispute that you have and organize them before providing them to the attorney or just after the initial consultation. Sifting through a mess of documents can take an enormous amount of time. If you prepare all the documents you have in order, it will significantly minimize unnecessary legal fees incurred by the attorney to organize your documents and locate missing documents. It will also help you understand what documents you have and what documents you will need to get from the opposing party to the dispute.
• Pinpointing key documents relevant to the dispute and putting a flag or sticky note on those documents to draw the attorney’s attention to them before or just after the initial consultation. After you organize your documents, then at the early stages of a dispute (the demand) it is very helpful for an attorney to be pointed to a few documents that have a significant impact on the dispute (if any such documents exist). This could be an email or text message from the opposing party that supports your position. This will also help you realize the strengths or weaknesses of your dispute.
• Prepare a brief response to what position you think the opposing party will take from the allegations you raise in your dispute before or just after the initial consultation. Please remember that there are two sides to every story. By reviewing what potential arguments the opposing party may have, it will better help you and your attorney spot the potential strengths and weaknesses of your dispute. This will hopefully prevent you from being surprised later on in the dispute.
• Limiting the number of phone calls and emails sent to the attorney regarding issues that are not essential to the dispute at all times during the representation. This is hard to do early on in a dispute because a client typically wants to know what, if any, progress has been made and to review hypothetical situations with the attorney. It is best to leave hypothetical scenarios alone and to focus on things that are in the client’s control. In addition, if you would like a status update, it is good practice to contact the attorney weekly rather than daily.
• Being decisive regarding settlement decisions or moving forward with litigation at all times during the representation. It is hard to be decisive, but it will minimize your costs significantly if you are. Instead of spending hours of time going over hypothetical situations with your attorney, being decisive will allow you to move forward with a clear course of direction after your attorney has explained your options.
• Understanding that the attorney cannot force the opposing party to accept a settlement offer regardless of the number of times the attorney contacts the opposing party. This is perhaps one of the biggest items that drive up the costs of a client’s legal representation unnecessarily. Despite any apparent strengths of your arguments in the dispute, your attorney cannot force the other party to settle. Only a judge can do that. If the opposing party does not wish to settle on the terms you have provided, then you may either make a new offer or move forward with litigation. Hoping that an opposing party will change their mind and repeatedly going back with the same or similar offers is usually not cost-effective.
• Paying attorneys’ fees timely so as to not incur interest charges during the representation. This is self-explanatory. Interest rates for unpaid attorneys’ fees are outlined in the Representation Letter.
Contact Counxel Legal Firm
As you can see, a client can actively increase or decrease their legal costs by their own actions. Counxel Legal Firm is excited to help you get the best result possible while minimizing the legal costs that you incur. We hope to work with you in achieving these results. If you have any questions then please contact us at email@example.com or 480-536-6122.
This article is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice for your specific situation. Use of and access to this article does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Counxel Legal Firm. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 480-536-6122 to request specific information for your situation.
*Conveniently located off the 101 Freeway and the US 60 in the middle of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, and Queen Creek!