This is a lawyer specific question. For example, we typically handle contracts on a flat-fee arrangement. Thus, we would not charge is the client came in with questions. However, some attorney charge differently.
If you found this Answer helpful, please mark it as "Best Answer". Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Peter J. Lamont, Esq. Law Offices of Peter J. Lamont 623 Lafayette Avenue, Suite 2, Hawthorne, NJ 07506 Phone: (973) 949-3770 Fax: (866) 603-0471 Toll Free: (855) NJLAW01 (855) 655-2901 www.peterlamontesq.com Additional Offices in New York, Monument, CO, San Juan, PR and affiliates throughout the country. PLEASE NOTE: The above statements are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and the receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between sender and receiver. You should not act or rely on any information contained on this site without first seeking the advice of an attorney.
If you are paying an hourly fee then the lawyer can charge for you coming to the office to ask questions because the lawyer is dealing with you rather than work on other cases.
I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at Eric@RothsteinLawNY.com. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.
Read the terms of your retainer agreement. If it based on an hourly fee then you can be charged for any time the attorney spends on the case whether it is in court, doing research or answering the phone.
This e-mail may contain confidential or privileged information. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender immediately by return e-mail and delete this e-mail and all copies and attachments. If you are not the intended recipient, or the employee or agent responsible for delivering the message to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. IRS Circular 230 Notice: Unless specifically stated otherwise, any tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein. Unless specifically stated otherwise, this communication shall not be deemed to be legal or tax advice, and no attorney-client relationship shall be deemed to have been created.
The attorney-client relationship, including fees, is usually governed by a professional services agreement ("contract"). The contract you signed with your attorney should spell out what the fees are and how they are typically charged. For example, if your attorney agreed to charge you a flat fee for their services, then you would typically be entitled to periodic updates about your case without being charged. If however, you agreed to an hourly fee arrangement, ie., pay as you go, then the attorney can charge you for these types of inquiries, even telephone calls. The customary fee agreement typically allows for billing to occur in 15 minute increments. Say for example that you pay your attorney an hourly rate of $200.00 per hour. If you call your attorney and speak for 11 minutes, that telephone call will most likely be billed at a rate of .25 of $200 or $50.00. This is a protective measure many attorneys build in to their contract to prevent the very small number of clients who will call the attorney 10 times per day. If you are not that type of client then you most likely will not be charged for infrequent calls, however it is a good practice for the attorney to reflect the telephone call on the clients bill as a NC or no charge.
Answering a question on AVVO.com is for general advice only and does not in any way create an attorney-client relationship and is given for the sole purpose of advertising. Each state has its own rules governing the attorney-client relationship and you should check with the state bar in your state for the rules governing the attorney-client relationship as they may and or are likely to be inconsistent with answers to general questions you receive on AVVO.com. Answers you receive on AVVO.com should not be taken as legal advice as they are given solely for the purpose of lawyer advertising, specifically aimed at potential clients in local jurisdictions where the attorney's primary practice is located. Local rules may vary from county to county even within a state. You should, as a matter of practice, contact an attorney located in your jurisdiction for legal advice and act only on that advice. You should not take substantive action, other than making further inquiries from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction, based on information that you receive on AVVO.com.
Of course s/he would and should, unless that attorney has told you it will be ok to do so.
If you found this "helpful" or "best answer," please click it with my appreciation. My response is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice nor creates an attorney client relationship which requires all the details and a personal conference.