How to Reduce Your Legal Fees
Valuable Advice from a Rockwall County Divorce Lawyer
"You should be much more concerned about sending your own children
to college than mine."
~ David Eaker
Don't waste money on legal fees you don't need to pay, but pay
for the legal advice you need. The issue is basic: Clients should demand
to pay for the legal advice they need and Lawyers should be paid for the
legal advice they provide. However, this is often overlooked by people
who are by definition in need of help when they seek legal help —
for some reason, too often people forget this is a service and a profession.
At Eaker Law Firm, PC, we work hard to provide you with excellent service
and honest advice. We genuinely care about your well-being. We are problem
solvers seeking to help our clients in the most cost effective and timely
manner. This is why we offer valuable advice on reducing your legal fees
without sacrificing quality legal representation.
Our law firm is not only a service, but also a profession. We've gone
through extensive education, maintained our credentials and knowledge
of the law, and devoted much of our waking hours to be of service to our
clients. We support our families with the legal fees paid by our clients.
When a client has trouble paying their bills on time, there is no money
for my family and that of my employees. You will likely not find an attorney
that would choose to practice law rather than spend time with their family
if not being paid. It is critical for clients to recognize that the attorney's
professional and personal reputation is placed on the line with each argument,
every client's case, and each action they take in representation of
For this and the service your attorney is retained to provide, expect and
demand that your attorney be properly, promptly, and adequately compensated.
Every client of every lawyer has a problem for which they need help. Lawyers
are here to help their clients, not take on their client's problems
as their own. Don't expect your lawyer to finance your legal representation.
If you don't have the financial means for the representation you need,
ask friends, family, or use traditional lenders. Lawyers make bad bankers
and you really need your lawyer working for you, not being worried about
whether or not they will be paid at the end of the day.
Frivolous lawsuit: def'n:
When one or both parties are not paying their attorney. Period. Despite all the politics surrounding the issue of tort reform
(which inevitably brings up the concept of frivolous lawsuits) a frivolous
lawsuit is one in which there is no merit in fact or law. When litigants
properly pay their respective attorneys the litigants and their attorneys
are dissuaded from engaging in baseless conduct, push arguments without
merit, or otherwise act against their financial interest. Attorney's
fees tied to work performed serves as a check on bad conduct that serves
no purpose other than prolonging litigation and the client's emotional
pain. A client who is properly paying their attorney will recognize the
cost-benefit analysis that should accompany all decisions during a legal
case and act responsibly and reasonably.
Common sense tips for the reduction of legal fees:
1. Use therapists for therapy not your attorney. Although family law attorneys deal on a daily basis with the emotional
issues confronting their clients each day, few are as well trained as
professional therapists. Counselors and mental health professional generally
charge less than attorneys, have more specialized knowledge, and may accept
medical insurance. These professionals can work in conjunction with attorneys
(thereby possibly protecting the communications) and may be able to assist
the legal team in best meeting the mutual client's goals. Family law
matters by definition involve highly emotional, psychological, and related
issues. By using the assistance of professionals to recognize and address
these issues, the attorney can best represent the client's interests
and that of their family.
2. Keep a list for your questions. Do not call or email your attorney with each individual question that
comes to mind. Keep a list handy and write down questions for your attorney.
When you are otherwise meeting with your attorney or have several questions,
then bring them up so that they can all be addressed together.
3. Transmit information to your attorney in writing (including email). Attorneys are consummate note takers and lawsuits involve a great deal
of facts. Information conveyed to attorneys over the telephone and verbally
at meetings will be taken down by the attorney, which notes are subject
to misunderstanding and inaccuracies. By providing information to your
attorney in writing, the information is conveyed and maintained in your
own words following which your attorney can present follow up questions
4. Organize information requested by your attorney. Your attorney will require substantial information and documentation.
This information will have to be organized so that your attorney can review,
learn, and understand the facts that support and may harm your case. At
the outset of your case, you will likely understand your life, your finances,
and your family better than your attorney. Time you spend organizing information
needed for your case is less time your attorney and his staff will have
to spend and consequently less attorney's fees. If you have $1,000.00
to spend on a project, would you rather spend it on your attorney organizing
a jumbled box of documents in preparation for a hearing or on learning
the facts set out in the organized box of documents and crafting legal
arguments based thereon that will serve your position?
5. Do not hide information from your attorney. Nothing hurts a case more than a surprise at trial or during negotiations.
Your job is not to please your attorney or seek their approval. Your attorney
has been hired to support you and your desires. But at the same time,
never trust an attorney that refuses to criticize your bad conduct and
tell you when your actions harm your case. Demand that your attorney tell
you the good and bad of your case, including that such negative statements
are meant to protect and facilitate the accomplishment of your desired outcome.
6. Respond to tasks delegated to you by your attorney promptly. If your attorney has asked for something, there is a reason for it. The
sooner the attorney has the information, the quicker it can be used to help you.
7. Talk to and use paralegals whenever possible. It never ceases to amaze me how many people withhold information from
paralegals to tell only an attorney. Attorney-client confidentiality extends
to the entire office staff. The paralegal working on your case knows the
facts of your case and can provide an invaluable asset. Demand that any
lawyer you hire use paralegals to reduce your overall fees and put more
minds on your case. You will be glad you did.
We are Here for You
David Eaker and all of us at Eaker Law Firm, PC are dedicated to making
your life easier. We care about you and want to help you achieve your
goals. We have made major changes to how we bill – replacing open
ended hourly billing with flat-fee based bundled services for most cases.
We further offer self-representation assistance and other limited representation
services so that we can provide scaled legal services and assistance you
and your family need. We can help.
Call Eaker Law Firm, PC
for any questions you may have.