Every undertaking of representation for a criminal case, regardless of complexity or severity of the charge should begin with a written agreement between the client and attorney that spells out in detail the scope of the representation. Here is an example for your review:
LAW OFFICES OF MATTHEW R. GEBHARDT, P.C. ATTORNEY CLIENT AGREEMENT-CRIMINAL/TRAFFIC MATTER
IDENTIFICATION OF PARTIES. This agreement is made between MATTHEW R. GEBHARDT, attorney hereafter referred to collectively as "Law Firm", and xxx hereafter referred to as "Client(s)."
LEGAL SERIVES TO BE PROVIDED. The legal services to be provided by Law Firm to Client(s) are filing of appearance, filing a motion for discovery, examining discovery, and plea bargaining for a charge of yyy.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF LAW FIRM AND CLIENT(S). Law Firm will represent Client(s) in above referenced legal matters. It is understood that this Agreement does not include representation on a jury trial, appeal, re-trial or for any other purposes except those expressly stated herein. It is understood that if Client(s) fail to appear in court and a warrant is issued, for any reason, then an extra $400 is due Law Firm and will be paid by Client(s) to resolve the Client(s) failure to appear. Client(s) will be truthful and cooperative with Law Firm; keep Law Firm reasonably informed of developments and of Client(s) address, telephone numbers and whereabouts; and timely make any payments required by this agreement. If matter is dismissed/SOL/Nolle and the Government files a motion to reinstate said charges, this shall be a new case and not part of this fee and representation agreement.
PAYMENT. Client(S) will pay Law Firm for services as follows: A fixed flat fee of $ for a plea or $ for trial provided the case does not exceed ### court appearances. In the event additional appearances are required, the fee for each additional appearance shall be $. All fees are NON REFUNDABLE and is considered earned upon Law Firm' first appearance for Client(s) in court and/or first negotiation with opposing counsel, parties and/or government to this matter. If the client chooses to conduct a bench trial or file a preliminary motion an additional fee of $1000 shall be required in advance of each trial and/or motion. If a jury trial is selected, an additional fee of $2500.00 for the first 2 days and $895.00 additional for each day thereafter will be charged.
This amount is above and beyond the fixed flat fee, said jury amounts shall be paid in advance. If for any reason current misdemeanor charges are upgraded to a felony charge, this agreement shall be null and void. Any fees earned prior to the upgrade of charges are non-refundable. If for any reason this flat rate agreement is considered nonenforceable then the Client(s) agree that the proper hourly rate to be charged by Law Firm is $250.00 per hour including any travel involved. In addition, Law Firm shall appear at the date, time, and location given Law Firm by Client(s) and/or on client's behalf. Law Firm will not verify the correctness of said court date, time and location. If said court date, time and location are incorrect for any reason Client(s) is not entitled to a refund of any fees given Law Firm, said funds shall be considered as earned by Law Firm if they appear on the date, time, and location given Law Firm by Client(s) and/or on their behalf.
***Any payment not received on or before the due date will result in the immediate filing of a Motion to Withdraw as attorney filed in the proper court of venue to terminate my representation of xxx on this matter. If such motion is granted by the court, xxx shall not be entitled to any refund of prior fees paid.
PAYMENT SCHEDULE Amount Due On Paid $ $ $
CONTINUANCES. Client(s) agree to pay to Law Firm and additional fee for continuances required due to Client(s) failure to procure documents, information and/or clients request for additional court dates.
COSTS. Client(s) will pay all "costs" in connection with Law Firm representation of Client(s) under this agreement. Costs include but are not limited to, court filing fees, deposition costs and expenses, court reporter fees, expert fees and expenses, document copying, travel, long distance telephone charges.
CANCELLATIONS. Any cancellations of court dates by Client(s) will result in a $250.00 fee.
Xxx | Matthew R. Gebhardt (Client) | Attorney for Defendant
Criminal Defense Attorney