Friday, October 6, 2017, 10:26 AM
Posted by Administrator
Sadly, divorce cases tend to bring out the worst in everyone....lawyers included. Is this because emotions are high and because the lawyer latches on to the client's animosity or because the lawyer on each side is mean to the other and the client adopts the lawyer's attitude? I dunno. But, all this impacts on fees. It takes time to be mean and uncooperative and, for the most part, lawyers charge by the hour.

Sometimes, lawyers charge a flat fee. In this arrangement, the lawyers accepts the risk that the case will be difficult and time consuming beyond what he/she anticipates it "needs" to be. If the case is easier than the paradigm the lawyer based her/his fee on (settled quickly and favorable to the client), the lawyer stands to make more than their hourly fee. If it drags on....because the lawyer guessed wrong about what it would take...or, because of needless work due to animosity, lack-of-cooperation (by the other side or by the lawyer's own client), stupid rulings by the court, youth and inexperience of the lawyer on the other side, unexpected issues, etc., the lawyer could land up working for not much more than minimum wage.

If the lawyer knows who the other lawyer is, who the judge is and has a good feeling about the client, a flat fee can make sense for the lawyer. Otherwise, quoting a flat fee is a crapshoot and best reserved for lawyers who play craps. (Note: Craps is a dice game using two die where 7 and 11 win; 2, 3, and 12 lose; and rolls with other results are repeated. So, the "house" has a 20% advantage.)

How to keep attorney's fee down? Be cooperative with your lawyer (get the papers she/he needs right away); review documents you are asked to review and make your corrections and comments without being asked twice; make decisions you are asked to make promptly (realizing that everyone is wrong about half the matter what); go to the computer and read the link the lawyer sends (most legal stuff is pretty easy to figure out....lawyers are really not that bright); ask your lawyer what you can do to help/save money.

You are going to be your lawyer's next boat payment. Better for you if the boat is a speedboat and not a yacht.
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