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How much do you think a lawyer should charge?

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posted on May, 14 2010 @ 07:39 AM
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Originally posted by St Udio
reply to post by doobydoll
 



para-legals can help you out also
clerk-of-court, somewhat
advocates can assist, the AARP or similar people advocacy groups are in the phone book to assist you in getting the problem solved,
perhaps even just to referring you to a very modest priced specialist in mortgages/laws/

lawyers usually assign things like title searches to the junior staff,
or even a college a student

in any event your estranged other will still need to 'sign-off' the deed/title/lien whatever


thankyou for your advice by the way. much appreciated

i will make further enquiries as to who else may be able to help my situation.
dooby




posted on May, 14 2010 @ 07:40 AM
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reply to post by catwhoknows
 


Should we challenge his bill?



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 07:51 AM
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I'm a plumbing contractor. Years ago I learned if people didn't complain about my prices, I wasn't charging enough.

Lawyers are the same only they have much higher schooling costs. College ain't free, I have 3 in college right now, so I know from where I speak.

Many lawyers are also small businesses. They have overhead expenses not visible.

Finally, welcome to the capitalist system. It isn't perfect, but it's much better than all the others.



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 08:00 AM
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Originally posted by catwhoknows
Recently we had the services of a lawyer.

These services amounted to a few letters, a few phone calls, an error and a lie to cover up that error.

OK, that lawyer charged 1161 dollars.

Should we pay that much?


You should pay whatever you agreed to pay. Most "respectable" lawyers will require a contract up front. This contract will contain their rate. If you didn't sign a contract, did you at least ask what their rate was? If you didn't ask, then shame on you.

Normally, you will also receive a very detailed accounting of the amount of time spent on each item.

You shouldn't ask us if you should pay that much... you know what you agreed to. If you agreed to it, then you should pay it regardless of whether you want to or not. If you didn't agree to it, then contact your state's bar association. They will have a process for fee disputes.



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 08:04 AM
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Originally posted by catwhoknows
reply to post by catwhoknows
 


Should we challenge his bill?



Your state's bar should have a website with details on fee disputes. Here is the SC Bar's fee disputes page: scbar.org...

Read your state's eligibility requirements and decide.



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 09:01 AM
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Before you engage an attorney, you should determine what the fees are up front and preferably in writing.

I agree with the earlier post - The fees don't seem that unreasonable to me. A small town local attorney here charges $225/hour. In a larger town, I could see that number being $350-400/hour.

So, if he did only 3 hours of work at $400/hour, that would easily be $1,200.

You might ask the attorney to give a breakdown on his invoice for the time that he spent. He probably keeps a work log for every hour of his day.

Attorneys, like most professionals, are expensive. Get used to it.



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 09:01 AM
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reply to post by doobydoll
 


You can do any legal process yourself if you have the right knowledge. I just did my own Will, got 2 trustees to sign and date to the fact that I'm in my right mind (debateable) and voilla, a completely legal document!

You can even represent yourself in court on a criminal conviction. Also there is the old quote, "The man who represents himself in court has a fool for a client". BTW, does anyone know who originally said that?



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 09:44 AM
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reply to post by catwhoknows
 


I assume you agreed to pay hourly fees? For work like this, most lawyers charge by the hour. Writing a letter on your behalf is called work, not fun. I am a lawyer and I charge a minimum of $250 to write one letter for someone, based on the following factors: I must open a file. I must meet with you. I must take or at least return your calls reasonably promptly. I must report any response to the letter to you. And all the while I must pay a secretary, light bill, copy machine lease and other equipment maintenance agreements, advertising in the phone book (that one's over 3 grand per month and I only have a small ad), receptionist, rent, etc. I guarantee you that even if I charge 250 for that letter, by the time I finish I will have more than an hour in it. And that's fine if you basically want to stop at the letter. If you want me to continue being involved, I charge by the hour. Moreover, good practice dictates that I spell out in writing the scope of the work and confirm in writing that the work has ended. So, it will probably turn into three letters, two of which I can't charge for.

And by the way, it's also okay with me if you write your own letter. If I can't pay the overhead, I would rather be fishing.

[edit on 14-5-2010 by Berens]



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 10:01 AM
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Originally posted by Berens
reply to post by catwhoknows
 


I assume you agreed to pay hourly fees? For work like this, most lawyers charge by the hour. Writing a letter on your behalf is called work, not fun. I am a lawyer and I charge a minimum of $250 to write one letter for someone, based on the following factors: I must open a file. I must meet with you. I must take or at least return your calls reasonably promptly. I must report any response to the letter to you. And all the while I must pay a secretary, light bill, copy machine lease and other equipment maintenance agreements, advertising in the phone book (that one's over 3 grand per month and I only have a small ad), receptionist, rent, etc. I guarantee you that even if I charge 250 for that letter, by the time I finish I will have more than an hour in it. And that's fine if you basically want to stop at the letter. If you want me to continue being involved, I charge by the hour. Moreover, good practice dictates that I spell out in writing the scope of the work and confirm in writing that the work has ended. So, it will probably turn into three letters, two of which I can't charge for.

And by the way, it's also okay with me if you write your own letter. If I can't pay the overhead, I would rather be fishing.

[edit on 14-5-2010 by Berens]



while i understand that lawyers have overheads etc, as in any business, why pass on your advertising costs to your clients? 3grand a month!
Why cant YOU pay for your advertising?
ya cant say ya dont earn enough.
dooby

[edit on 14-5-2010 by doobydoll]



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 10:06 AM
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reply to post by doobydoll
 


I'm not sure where you live, but in the US, I ran into a similar problem. I had my ex sign a quit claim paper, that got his name off of the property. The mortgage company did not honor the paper, and although his name was no longer on the property, I thought it was awesome that he'd still have to pay the mortgage if anything happened to me.

You might have to refinance your loan.

It only cost me a few bucks to do the quit claim.



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 10:09 AM
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It is an interesting subject. I was called for jury duty the other day. In the examination of potential jurists they asked us what we thought about the current lawsuit climate. I stated that there are not nearly enough lawsuits. If everyone who was wronged in daily life was able to seek justice, then the amount of lawsuits would neccesarily become much, much larger. The only reason why we don't have more lawsuits is because most cannot afford the legal costs needed in order to get justice. Especially when smaller amounts are concerned.

I think a good solution would be to have a goverment paid panel of lawyers available to help those who cannot afford the outragous legal fees. Then let the people choose if they want them or one they can hire on their own.

They should also reform small claims court. Put a jury in there as well. Let them hear all the day's cases. No excusals, every citizen has to take their turn. Majority rule with a simple show of hands. Then we may have some justice.

Edited to answer op's question:

Lawyers should be able to charge whatever they wish. Even writing letters takes time, especially if they are required to familarlize themselves with factual evidence concerning the case. It is up to the person who hires them to decide if their services are worth it. Like I said the goverment should have lawyers available for civil matters as well as criminal matters.



[edit on 14-5-2010 by sligtlyskeptical]



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 10:15 AM
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Originally posted by catwhoknows
reply to post by Sinter Klaas
 


Guess what?

Lawyers charge whatever they want - why is there not a menu?

Lawyers should state their charges for everything first, like restaurants.


Or you could ask them how much they would charge for this type of service before you have them do it. If you don't like their rate, or if they won't tell you...go to someone else. Very simple.


Why would anyone not do this for any service...you should always get a price quote up front and then decide if you want to use their services.



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 10:16 AM
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Originally posted by catwhoknows
Recently we had the services of a lawyer.

These services amounted to a few letters, a few phone calls, an error and a lie to cover up that error.

OK, that lawyer charged 1161 dollars.

Should we pay that much?


Free...Unless He/She wins!



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 10:40 AM
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Originally posted by Blanca Rose
reply to post by doobydoll
 


I'm not sure where you live, but in the US, I ran into a similar problem. I had my ex sign a quit claim paper, that got his name off of the property. The mortgage company did not honor the paper, and although his name was no longer on the property, I thought it was awesome that he'd still have to pay the mortgage if anything happened to me.

You might have to refinance your loan.

It only cost me a few bucks to do the quit claim.


i live in the UK and i'm not sure if things work the same here as in the US, probably not.
The mortgage company have said they cant refinance me on the property anyway, because they say i dont earn enough on just my wages to repay them, even though i've been paying the mortgage religiously for 18 months, and on just my wages! so i've proved them wrong there.
the mortgage was offered based on both our wages being taken into account.
I reckon i'll see if i can enquire further to see if i there's something else i can do.
once my lawyer knew i couldnt meet the costs, the response was "oh i'm sorry, i cant help you then, goodbye".
In a situation such as mine, legal and lawyers costs are impossible to find for people such as myself who are on a low income, and dont qualify for legal aid or assistance (free).
Anyway, lawyers will charge inflated fees forever because they can.
Only the better off amongst us can afford lawyers, the rest of us are lesser beings and cannot have any right to legal processes just because our jobs dont pay us enough.
whingeing ended lol
dooby



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 11:04 AM
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Lawyers should charge what ever they want. Its a free market society.
Ask for the hourly rates up front and if you don't like it find another lawyer or try to negotiate a better price.



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 11:46 AM
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Originally posted by Erasurehead
Lawyers should charge what ever they want. Its a free market society.
Ask for the hourly rates up front and if you don't like it find another lawyer or try to negotiate a better price.




yeh cos all lawyers are prepared to negotiate an affordable rate - not. I dont know of ANY, and i've asked plenty of them, believe me. They just dont want to know.
if we dont like it find another lawyer- and what will that achieve? nothing because its well known that the legal profession are ALL expensive, totally out if the reach of low incomes.
the law and lawyers are priced for the better off imo.
I for one have NEVER heard of an inexpensive lawyer, ever.
Everyone should have the right to affordable access to legal proceedings.

slightlysceptical
you're bang on with your post imo. a great idea!


dooby

[edit on 14-5-2010 by doobydoll]



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 02:47 PM
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reply to post by doobydoll
 


You believe its your right to hire a lawyer at the price that you want?

What do you propose? Do you think lawyers should be forced to charge lower rates by the government so you can afford it?

I believe that lawyers pay a lot of money to go the law school and they should be able to charge what ever rates they can get. If you want government price controls then move to China.



posted on May, 14 2010 @ 03:35 PM
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Originally posted by Erasurehead
reply to post by doobydoll
 


You believe its your right to hire a lawyer at the price that you want?

What do you propose? Do you think lawyers should be forced to charge lower rates by the government so you can afford it?

I believe that lawyers pay a lot of money to go the law school and they should be able to charge what ever rates they can get. If you want government price controls then move to China.


its not my right no, thats all too obvious.
Because i cant afford lawyers' outrageous fees means i am denied justice. and i believe justice is everyones right. you obviously dont.
i dont expect a price i want, but at the very least a price i can afford. whats wrong with wanting that?
Alot of people pay alot of money for their career qualification in whatever profession, but they dont present you with a bill that looks more like a telephone number. only lawyers do that.
i'm not saying for one second that they should work for next to nothing, i'm saying why do they have to over-inflate their charges to the point where lesser off people can NEVER benefit from justice.
justice should be for everyone, not just the wealthy.
dooby



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