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How Do We Get Paid?
We have several flexible fee structures available. The client may opt for the fee structure that best suits his or her unique personal circumstance and the legal matter he or she is pursuing. Hourly rate, contingency fee, a flat fee, or a hybrid of an hourly rate, contingency fee, and/or flat fee are all viable options. Additionally, we frequently enter into legal-fee risk-sharing arrangements with clients. We do this by offering alternatives to flat fees and standard hourly billings.
There are special hybrid fee arrangements where Malecki Law receives a percentage of its hourly rate or a flat fee(s), with the remainder being contingent on the outcome of the matter. We are always open to finding ways to accommodate clients who want to pursue important and seemingly meritorious, but otherwise costly litigation, arbitration, whistleblowing, or regulatory matters. We understand that in the absence of this flexibility, it can be intimidating and impossible for clients to recover their financial losses or go up against large institutions. We are committed to providing the best legal representation to our clients.
The American Bar Association has very clear rules regarding legal fees and what is and is not allowed, per a state-based statement of client’s rights and responsibilities.Client’s Rights
The client is entitled to be charged reasonable fees and expenses. You are entitled to have your lawyer explain before or within a reasonable time after the commencement of representation, how the fees and expenses will be computed, and the manner and frequency of billing. You are entitled to request and receive a written itemized bill from your attorney at reasonable intervals. You may refuse to enter any arrangement for fees and expenses that you find unsatisfactory. In the event of a fee dispute, you may have the right to seek arbitration: your attorney will provide you with the necessary information regarding arbitration in the event of a fee dispute, or upon your request.Client’s Responsibilities
In exchange, the client must honor the fee arrangement as agreed to with the lawyer to the extent required by law. All bills tendered to the client for services rendered pursuant to the agreed-upon arrangement regarding fees and expenses should be paid when due. A client who discharges the attorney and terminates the attorney-client relationship must nevertheless honor financial commitments under the agreed to arrangement regarding fees and expenses to the extent required by law.Your Opponent’s Legal Fees
Under the “American Rule,” each individual party is typically expected to pay their own legal fees. This is to ensure that individuals are not hesitant to bring a lawsuit for fear of not being able to afford the financial repercussions of paying their opponent's legal fees, should their opponent win the case. There are some exceptions to this methodology, including when there is an applicable and valid contract stipulating that the losing party will pay the fees or when there is a state or federal statute that requires it for the given circumstances to name two.Can I Request “Legal Fees” as Part of My Damages?
Though the “American Rule” generally dictates that each party pays his or her own fees, you can request your legal fees be covered as a part of your damages. These are distinguished from “incidental fees” but that does not dictate that this request will be obliged, even if you win your case. There has not been much consistency of judges’ rulings regarding fees as damages, but Malecki Law has had exceptional success when asking for fees as damages and can help you in this area. This potential scenario is one we can discuss if you have concerns about covering your and/or your opponent’s legal fees.Referral Fees
If another attorney is brought in on or referred to the case, any referral fees must comply with DR2-107(A) of the Rules of Professional Responsibility. Most importantly, as the client, your fees should not increase. If you have any questions on this or any related matters, please reach out to the experienced attorneys of Malecki Law who are here to assist you.