I offer several different fee structures, depending on the needs of your matter. Generally, I represent clients on a customary, time charge basis, using an established schedule of hourly rates, which depend partly on the complexity of the case.
However, in my years of practice, I have learned that clients do not want to be surprised by a bill at the end of the month or the conclusion of their case. Consumers of legal services increasingly want to know how much the representation is going to cost at the outset. For that reason, I have adopted some alternative arrangements to the traditional lawyer’s hourly model. Where appropriate, I offer flat fee representation, hybrid hourly/contingency fee options, unbundled legal services, and a program for behavioral health practitioners which is a monthly subscription based fee model. Below, I provide further details about each option, but, if you have questions, I invite you to fill out a contact form requesting information, call me, or simply book an appointment now by following the link.
Hourly Rate Services
By far, this is the most common fee arrangement for me, especially in matters that are by there nature unpredictable, such as a litigation case. The reason that fees cannot be accurately predicted at the outset of substantially all litigation cases, is because the number of billable hours I spend on it is heavily dependent on how the opposing party conducts themselves in the litigation. For example, if I am engaged for a litigation matter and we have to file a complaint, I can predict, with a reasonable degree of accuracy how much the legal fees will be up to that point. The reason for this is because I have drafted hundreds of complaints, I know approximately how long it is going to take, and there is virtually nothing that the other party, who might not even know he is about to be sued, can do to derail my efforts on your behalf.
However, what happens after we file the complaint, can dramatically affect the cost of a matter. If the defendant simply answers and takes no further action until the scheduling conference, the costs will remain relatively low for the first four (4) months of the representation. However, if the defendant responds by filing several motions that must be responded to and starts sending information (discovery) requests and trying to schedule depositions, then obviously, the cost is going to be substantially higher.
Even in matters where fees are unpredictable, and partially outside of my control, I firmly believe that developing a budget and doing everything in our power to stick to it is an essential part of the process. When we first meet to discuss your case, I try to develop and review a budget with you that will take you through the next ninety (90) days. Unfortunately, the budgets that we develop can only be estimates, because, as explained above, the cost can be dramatically affected by extrinsic factors. However, by knowing the total financial resources that you have to dedicate to the matter, and keeping that at the forefront of our discussion, it can help guide us in the decision-making process, during the course of the matter.
Additionally, I try to do everything that I can, to ease the burden of hourly fees on my litigation clients. For example, I handle simple litigation matters, such as Landlord & Tenant cases and most administrative cases at a lower hourly rate than for civil litigation. I also offer a discounted hourly rate to clients that pay within five (5) days of invoice. Finally, for clients who provide an ongoing credit card authorization, I accept a substantially lower upfront retainer.
To learn more about our hourly fee options, fill out a contact form, schedule an appointment using the online scheduling tool, or simply give me a call to discuss your matter in greater detail.
Flat Fee Matters
Based upon my years of experience, there are some matters I can handle for a fixed price because I have done the work so many times, that I know how long it is going to take. As discussed above, litigation matters are not good candidates for a flat fee arrangement. However, administrative cases involving applications, license requests, and general compliance are tailor-made for fixed fee representation. Below you will find a list of matters that I have learned, through repetition, the resources necessary to accomplish the task:
If you are starting a business and you want to have your questions answered about the legal issues involved and steps in the process, select this option. In this one hour meeting we will (1) review your vision and talk about practical ideas to implement it; (2) discuss the legal steps that you need to take to open your business and; (3) help you develop a plan of action to get you from today to opening day
Now that you have a plan-of-action to open your business, you need to ensure that all of the “I’s” are dotted and the “t’s” are crossed on your organizational and compliance documents. This service consists of document preparation and a one-hour meeting to go over the documents, ensure they are correct and answer any questions you might have. As part of this service, we will prepare the following documents for you: (1) Articles of Organization; (2) D.C. Business Tax Registration (Form FR-500); (3) Basic Business License Application. (**This service does not include filing the documents prepared or filing fees charged by the District – however, those services may be added on at a later time**)
If you are considering renting space to run your business and the landlord has sent you a lease that you would like me to review, select this service. You will provide me with the proposed lease, which I will I will review in advance of a one-hour session. In the face-to-face- meeting I will share my comments with you and you will also have the opportunity to ask me any questions that you might have. (** This service does not include lease negotiation or communication with the landlord or agent. Those services can be added on at a later time**)
If you are an owner or manager of residential property and you intend to, or already have rented it, and you want to ensure that you are in compliance with the law, select this service. You will provide me with all of your legal documents which I will review in advance of a one-hour in-person meeting. In the meeting, I will advise you of what actions you need to take to comply with the law and give the opportunity to ask any questions that you may have about the process.
If you are an owner or manager of residential property and you-you need the required government approvals, select this option. Based on information that you provide me, I will prepare (1) Application for a Basic Business License (BBL); (2) Application for a Certificate of Registration/Exemption under the Rent Control Law. Once the documents are prepared, in a one-hour session we will go over the documents to ensure that the information is correct and you will have the opportunity to ask any questions that you might have about the process.
(**This service does not include procurement of a certificate of occupancy (if applicable), nor does it include filing documents with the District or filing fees – however those services can be added at a later time**)
If you are an owner or manager of residential property and you already have the government approvals necessary to rent the property to tenants, I will: (1) prepare a legally compliant residential lease based on the specifics that you provide; (2) prepare all legally required disclosures that must be delivered to the tenant when the lease is signed.
f you are purchasing an existing liquor license, applying for a new license, or moving a license to a new location, select this service. I will prepare the application for you, file the completed application with ABRA, communicate with the licensing specialist assigned to your case, and submit any supplemental information that the agency may require, once you provide it. (**This service does not include any filing fees charged by ABRA which vary, depending on the application, nor does it include representation at any hearing held in connection with the application – such services can be added at a later time)
If you presently own or operate a licensed establishment, or, are in the process of opening one, and you want to confirm that you are in compliance with the law, select this option. I will review all of your licenses and government approvals and in a one (1) hour session, advise you on any steps that you need to take to comply with the applicable regulations. I will also give you the opportunity to ask any questions or voice any concerns that you may have.
If you know which service you need, simply select it from the menu of flat fee options in our online scheduling tool. If you have a question about a service, or if you don’t see your service listed, and want to inquire about additional flat fee options, I would love to speak with you about it.
Un-bundled Legal Services
These services, also sometimes called “limited scope representation” are similar to the flat fee services above, in that you know, at the outset, what the total cost will be. However, instead of agreeing to complete a task, such as an application, from beginning to end for you, I provide you with advice and information so that you can complete it for yourself.
For example, if you want me to handle your liquor license application from beginning-to-filing, the flat fee is $1,600.00 as set forth in the schedule above. However, if you have been working on the application yourself, but, have been struggling with certain sections or questions, and you want to book an hour of my time so I can help you with it–that is an unbundled service. You will also notice in the schedule below that there are litigation-related services.
To be clear, I do not think that DIY litigation is ever a good idea, especially where the opposing party is represented by counsel. However, litigants frequently successfully represent themselves in the Small Claims & Conciliation Branch of the Court where the proceedings are less formal and the amounts in controversy (less than $10,000) cannot be cost-effectively handled by counsel. Also, if you are going to insist upon representing yourself in a civil matter, you should have knowledgeable support services at your disposal, to improve your chances to the extent possible.
Schedule of Un-bundled Services
Legal advice – one-time in-person consultation for one (1) hour in person or by phone about the procedure or substance of your case. $200.
Litigation Document Review and Revision – Review pleadings and other documents prepared by Client, suggest edits, revise arguments, and provide relevant precedent. $1,500
Application Review and Revision-Review applications to D.C. Government agencies, for licenses, permits, permissions etc. and suggest changes where necessary. $400.00
Document Review and Advice– Review pleadings and other documents prepared by opposing party/counsel and provide advice and suggestions about responsive filings. $400
Drafting- I will prepare pleadings (Answer or Complaint $1,000.00), motions (Procedural $800; Substantive $3500), and other documents, including discovery requests and answers (priced on a case by case basis depending on complexity)
Factual investigation: contacting witnesses, public record searches, in-depth interview of client. $1,800 per day.
Legal Research and Analysis. I will provide a memorandum of law and analysis of your case, situation, or legal question. $1500
Evaluate Settlement Options. I will review settlement offers to date and status of the litigation to make a recommendation regarding your settlement position. $750
Planning for court appearances. This service will have to be arranged and priced on a case-by-case basis since court appearances vary widely in length and complexity.
Representing you in Court for a day or specific matters. This service can only be offered in cases where the representation can be carried out consistent with my obligations under the Rules of Professional Responsibility. Pricing will vary based on the complexity of the matter.
For my behavioral health provider clients only (at least for now) I offer a subscription-based legal service which is a cost-effective, proactive solution to therapists’ business, regulatory and professional problems. For a reasonable monthly fee, you have the opportunity to call me as soon as you have a question and need expert guidance. For more information visit our Behavioral Health Provider’s Page.