The retainer is like a deposit on the attorney and paralegal fees and costs you will incur during the case. All client retainers are held in a trust account, separate from the law firm's office account, until the fees are earned or the costs incurred. We will provide you with a monthly billing statement describing what has been done on your case, by whom, and the amount of time involved. In addition, the monthly statement will include any costs that have been incurred on your behalf. The statement will indicate when funds have been withdrawn from the trust account to pay for these charges, and how much is remaining of your retainer.
Determining the amount of the retainer is influenced by several factors, among them:
- Type of case or legal matter
- Level of potential conflict
Sometimes, a retainer will be more than enough to cover your fees and costs. In that event, we will issue you a check at the end of the case for the unused funds in your retainer. In other cases, however, the retainer is only part of the cost and may be significantly less than the total cost of your case.
In the event your case runs over the initial retainer amount, we require you to keep the balance paid off, and the retainer replenished.
Remember, a retainer is NOT a flat fee. It is not a promise that the case will cost that much. A retainer does not represent an estimate of the total cost of your legal matter.
We will do everything possible to handle your case efficiently. We are mindful of the financial situations of our clients and strive to balance exceptional representation with reasonable fees.