St. Denis & Davey, P.A.

Legal Malpractice Issues

Breaking down legal fee charging standards

| Sep 17, 2019 | Legal Malpractice Law |

It is likely known throughout Florida that legal services are not cheap. When one is arguing a legal claim (be it civil or criminal), they want the best representation possible given what is at stake. Thus, they many be willing to pay whatever is needed to procure the best chance at a favorable outcome to their case. That said, they also do not want to be at the financial whims of a high-priced attorney. 

The American Bar Association understands the need to maintain a balance between its members providing the best services possible and ensuring that those services are affordable. It has therefore established (in its Model Rules for Professional Conduct) a standard for attorney fees which its members must adhere to. According to that standard, only the following factors can influence a client’s legal costs: 

  • The time and labor required to perform the legal service properly
  • The likelihood that an attorney will be precluded from accepting other work while involved in an individual client’s case
  • The cost typically charged for similar legal services
  • Time limitations imposed either by the client or the circumstances of their case
  • The nature and length of the relationship with the client
  • Whether fees are meant to be fixed or contingent

The experience and reputation of the attorney, as well as the outcome of a case might also influence the final cost to the client. 

Many might think that attorneys are only paid based on the outcome of a case, yet the decision to accept compensation based on contingencies is left up to individual attorneys. Some may choose to charge a fixed per-hour rate (which, according to Thumbtack, can range between $100-$500), while others can agree to accept a percentage of whatever financial compensation their efforts earn for a client.