All About An Initial Retainer
Attorneys cost money. And they should. Informed, caring representation for matters involving the law takes years of preparation, strict licensing, ongoing education, and severe state government monitoring of one’s professional actions. An attorney puts, and continues to put, a great deal of time and dollars into his or her professional career and certainly deserves to be recompensed in order to make a living and be able to adequately maintain his professional status. But, it is often said attorneys charge an unreasonable amount for their services. Of course some do. However, if you understand the ways attorneys handle their fees, you can select an attorney who best suits your idea of fair dealing and you can often get an outstanding representation for a fair and reasonable fee.
One of the ways of handling legal fees is for an attorney to charge an upfront amount called a “retainer” Just as the word “retainer” implies, this amount of money retains an attorney’s services until the retainer fee is used in full, Here it should be noted that many attorneys will keep the entire retainer amount whether, in the course of representation, the money is used entirely for your benefit or not.
For example, you need a Family Law attorney to help you collect the arrears on child support not being currently paid by the parent adjudicated to do so. The attorney you want to hire will charge a $3,000 retainer to be paid before he/she can begin litigation. Ongoing fees for this particular attorney’s representation are charged by the hour, at $250 an hour. So you have approximately 12 hours of the attorney’s time prepaid. As it turns out, after the attorney files the paperwork, required by the court, and this paperwork is served to the offending parent, he/she decides to make up the arrearages and agrees in writing, which is notarized, to be faithful in future child support payments. What could have been a lengthy and expensive litigation now becomes one needing only 8 hours of your chosen attorney’s time. Many attorneys will simply keep the entire $3,000 of your retainer fee. Thus, the difference of the $250 per hour or $2,000 for 8 hours leaves a balance of $1,000 not used on your behalf and not returned to you.
You can easily see why it so important to check several attorneys before deciding on the one to represent you. It is most helpful if you are able to meet in person with an attorney to ask him or her about their fee schedule, including whether they charge a retainer, and if they do, will you be refunded any monies, which are not used, specifically for your case. Some attorneys offer a free, initial consultation so you can do just that.
Attorney Grant Gisondo, who practices Family Law in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, is an attorney who not only will refund any unused portion of his retainer but also offers a free, initial, in-office consultation where he will meet with you personally to answer your questions and share his fee schedule and how he can help in your individual situation. He represents clients in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Miami-Dade, Broward, Orange, and Hillsborough County in Florida and clients in Washington, DC. You can call (561) 530-4568 to make an appointment. New clients can meet with Attorney Gisondo on Saturdays between 8:30 am and 1:00 pm as well as weekdays. Be sure to visit his website http://gisondolaw.com for more information about Attorney Gisondo as a person and how he and his legal representation can be of help to you.