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Every criminal case is unique We treat every client individually and therefore every fee structure is individually tailored toward the facts and circumstances on the client.
The vast majority of criminal cases that we accept are done so on a flat fee basis. The Rules of Professional Conduct prohibit criminal cases being accepted on a contingency fee basis. No guarantees as the outcome of any case can be made. Fees are not used to improperly influence prosecutors or judges. Fees are paid so that we can dedicate and expend our time and our collective resources effectively when representing you in your particular case.
Some cases demand immediate attention, while others may take a long time before they can be resolved. Some cases require all attorney’s fees to be paid in advance, while others may be able to be paid over time. Every case will be looked at individually and every client’s ability to pay will be considered.
One advantage that we enjoy is that we have gathered a team of experienced and highly skilled lawyers together under one firm to work for the benefit of our clients. This allows us to quote more affordable fees with greater resources in which to work the case. We consider the seriousness of the charge as the most important factor to consider in setting an appropriate fee. As you can imagine, we will charge significantly more to represent someone who faces life in prison than one who faces a maximum six-month misdemeanor sentence. A prior criminal record can require us to charge more in light of the fact that it may subject the client to increased penalties due the habitual offender laws or the fact that the prosecutors and judges are more likely to be tougher and thus require us to spend more time and effort on the case. The location where the case is pending can be a factor as we estimate how much time it requires to properly handle your matter. We handle cases throughout the Louisiana, but it is typically less time consuming to handle matters nearer to Baton Rouge and the surrounding parishes. Of course our size allows us to send attorneys throughout the State and even into other states to handle matters in an affordable way. We have lawyers licensed in multiple states and we have associated other attorneys in other states to allow us to handle cases from California to New York.
Once we consider what needs to be done and how much time needs to be dedicated, we will set an appropriate fee. In addition to the attorney’s fees, the client will be responsible for all costs that are reasonably necessary to properly work the case. Those costs may include court associated fees such as transcripts and court records. Investigators, expert fees and other costs to obtain records and those things that may be helpful to you in your defense will be required to be paid in advance. Travel, copying, photographs and other costs associated with the case will require payment up front or reimbursement prior to the case resolution. A minimum fee will be required to begin working the case. Once that is agreed to and paid, we will immediately begin working on the case unless otherwise agreed to in writing. Whether the full fee is paid up front or will be paid over time, the full fee is due prior to the final resolution of the matter. We will keep you informed as to our progress so that you will have time to plan your finances accordingly. If at some point prior to the case being resolved you wish to discharge this office, you agree to pay us for the time that we have spent until the time of discharge. Our hourly rate is $350.00/hour for attorney time and $75.00/hourly for staff/in-house paralegal time. We will charge this rate and any expenses incurred against any amount that has been paid.
Some cases are so complex that we cannot simply calculate, in advance, how much the representation will cost. In those cases, we will be clear that the fee will have to adjusted and recalculated as we proceed. We will require a minimum fee to begin working on the matter and inform you as we proceed if additional fees will be required. We may require the additional payments to be made before additional work is performed. Many times clients will ask “Why do I have to pay if I am innocent?” That is a perfectly natural reaction and valid question. Unfortunately there is no a very satisfying answer. The Constitution requires that everyone charged with a crime is entitled to representation. Furthermore, the Court must appoint an attorney for those people who are determined by the Court to be truly indigent. For all others, the choice to hire an attorney is up to the individual. This can be costly even if you are innocent---particularly if you are innocent. Our criminal justice system is imperfect. Innocent people do get prosecuted and do go to jail. Your freedom is precious to us. As private attorneys we work for the people who hire us. We get paid only by the people that hire us to work for them. We choose for whom we wish to work. When you pay us to work for you, you are paying for our time, our effort, our past experiences and our reputation to protect you from the awesome power of the Government. The resources available to the Government are almost limitless when a prosecutor places a target on you and seeks to strip you of your freedom. Our office is structured as a means of combining our efforts to meet the challenge of the Government’s power. When you hire us, you are not simply paying for one attorney’s hourly rate. You are marshalling the forces of many attorneys, with separate experiences and expertise, their individual and joint reputations and relationships, to fight for justice in your unique case. You are also getting this “team” for a fraction of the cost if multiple attorneys and staff were hired individually.
Our commitment is to charge fair and reasonable fees so that we can fight on your behalf.
PERSONAL INJURY/WRONGFUL DEATH
Unlike some law firms who run “settlement mills”, we are very discriminating on the personal injury cases that we accept and prosecute. Typically, these cases are accepted on a contingency fee basis. There are no fees paid up front. We will loan you and cover all of the upfront costs for you and, in some limited circumstances, assist with necessary living expenses. Although you are ultimately responsible for these outlays, we will typically get reimbursed for them from any judgment we obtain. Our attorney’s fees are determined by an agreed upon percentage of the monies recovered in the case. Generally, this percentage increases depending upon the complexity of the case and at what stage of the proceeding the case is resolved i.e whether the case settles before trial, at trial, or goes onto an appeal. The general idea is that the attorney’s fees and costs paid by us are reimbursed upon settlement or judgment.