Being caught in a legal struggle is bad enough, but adding to it hefty legal fees can make even the most innocent person plead guilty. Luckily, there are ways to reduce the costs associated with hiring a lawyer. The following tips will increase the chances your legal council is top notch without feeling like your finances are being prosecuted.
Go shopping It’s always a good idea to shop around when choosing a lawyer. Depending on the type and size of the case, there are law firms that specialize in different cases, which is a major factor in terms of price. Getting a feel for the lawyer market is a great way to gauge the average price of your case and whether or not law firms are overcharging. Your final decision should be based on the reputation of the firm and its partners.
Know if it’s cost advanced, in advance Having best lawyer in town doesn’t guarantee a courtroom victory, so it’s important to choose a lawyer that doesn’t require cost advances in the event the case is lost. In other words, for lawyers that don’t require cost advances, you still have to pay all the legal fees associated with the case, but if you don’t win you’re not held responsible for any further out-of-pocket lawyer expenses like settlement percentages.
Negotiate the commission Keeping in-line with the idea that there are plenty of lawyers to choose from, you have every right to negotiate the settlement fee percentage. Law firms know there is competition and are usually willing to work with their clients. The going rate for settlement commissions is 30% to 40% of the settlement cost plus court fees. A wise negotiating tactic would either be to ask for the overall commission percentage to be lowered or that the firm cover some or all of the court fees.
Skip the small talk When it comes time to discuss your case with a lawyer, skip the small talk and get right down to business. Lawyers charge by the hour, down to the minute, so stay on task with questions and topics. Come prepared to meetings with a list of questions and concerns as well as a pre-written statement. If you are charged for something that you thought was off the clock, bring it to your lawyer’s attention; it might be an oversight on their part.
Be upfront Help your lawyer by being honest about everything surrounding the case. Leaving out important facts that you think might hurt you in court will only lengthen the case and end up costing you more in court fees. In addition, if your lawyer has to go through other means to find out pertinent information on the case that you could have otherwise stated, it takes up hours of research that you will be charged for.
About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including personal health, Grey Hair Defense and saving money.