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Can I pay a lawyer/attorney as a independent contractor with a upfront cost rather than paying a lawyer/attorney monthly?

Saginaw, MI |

I don't like the fact that lawyers/attorneys charge monthly fees, regardlessly if your using their services or not. So is there a way I can hire a lawyer/attorney as a independent contractor and pay them upfront costs for whenever I need them?

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer
Posted

I do not know of any attorney that charges monthly fees regardless if your using their services or not. What you're describing might be if you have extensive and/or regular legal needs and wanted an attorney on permanent retainer. However, that is probably very rare. Instead, most attorneys require an advance fee or retainer upfront and would only send a monthly invoice if they do more work than was covered by the retainer.

DISCLAIMER: This answer is provided as general information, which may not be appropriate for the specific facts of your particular situation. No attorney-client relationship has been established based on this limited communication. You are advised to consult with an attorney in your jurisdiction before taking any action or inaction that may affect your legal rights. www.hecklerlawoffice.com

Asker

Posted

I'm with this pre-paid legal service named "LegalShields at http://www.legalshields.com and they charge my business a monthly fee. I just only need a lawyer to ask some business questions and read and fix any errors I've placed in my contracts. So should I call LegalShields and tell them that I want out, because their charging a monthly fee for something I only for answering business questions and fixing errors on my contracts?

Christine Marie Heckler

Christine Marie Heckler

Posted

In my opinion prepaid legal plans are not a good value. First, you are paying even when you might not have any legal needs (as you have noticed). Second, when you do have a legal need the company farms the work out to an attorney that is getting paid so little you shouldn't expect much them to spend much time on your matter. Plus, I don't think they provide any actual court representation. Therefore, I recommend that you terminate the prepaid legal service and just pay an attorney as needed. If you develop a relationship with an attorney (by going to the same attorney for all your legal needs), he or she will probably answer any simple business questions you have without charge. That's how I treat my return clients.

Asker

Posted

Thank you Ms. Heckler for your advice, I wish you could be my lawyer but I need a lawyer that deals with corporate, finance, intellectual property, publicity and privacy, and first amendment. Basically I need a entertainment lawyer :)

Christine Marie Heckler

Christine Marie Heckler

Posted

Good luck. I handle general corporate and business law, but not intellectual property.

Asker

Posted

Maybe you can help me to setup my business the way I want it. :)

Posted

I agree with Christine; there is almost no such thing as what you are describing. Every time you hire an attorney, he is your contractor. Did you mean that he is your full time employee and you pay his health insurance and payroll taxes? that is about the only circumstance where you would have a bill regardless of how much work he did...

Ezra N. Goldman

Ezra N. Goldman

Posted

somehow, your comments didn't appear for me until I posted this answer... prepaid legal. While I agree in principle that these aren't a great idea, I don't think paying an entertainment lawyer some $350/hour will be cheaper than paying a generic legal plan by the month...

Posted

Lawyers are independent businesspeople who can charge as they see fit. When working for clients, the lawyer almost always is acting as an independent contractor. You, as a potential customer, can try to negotiate with the lawyer. If you do not like the way one lawyer sets fees, and he refuses to change it, you can always shop around with some other lawyers. You can have any arrangement that you and the lawyer agree to.

In most cases, fee arrangements offered by a lawyer will be legal and ethical. A few types of charging arrangements could be illegal, such as a contingency fee in a criminal case (attorney pay depends on outcome of criminal case), or requirement that client agree to testify as a favorable witness in the case of a different client, etc. Contingency fees are allowed in most civil cases, and that is a common way for people to get representation without paying money up front, by paying instead a percentage of the amount of money the attorney acquires for the client.

Contact me at 248-399-6930 for a free consultation. You and I do not have an attorney-client relationship formed by our communications on this website. Advice given by me on this website is general advice based on partial information. You should not rely on any advice given without first hiring a lawyer in the area where the case is pending, and providing that lawyer with full information.