Clients are always concerned with their attorney fees, and rightfully so because you work hard for your money. But a lawyer’s time and advice are valuable, this is why you retained a lawyer in the first place.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Your actions (or lack thereof) have a direct impact on the length of time it takes to resolve your case. Cooperate with your attorney and provide requested information and paperwork as soon as reasonably possible. Repeated requests for the same information will inflate your bill quickly.
At the same time, your attorney cannot control the actions (or lack thereof) of the opposing party. When one party has unrealistic expectations and is unwilling to compromise, this prolongs the case and runs up attorney fees.
Don’t fight with the other party over issues as a matter of “principal.” For each issue, ask yourself how much will it cost you to fight over this issue? Is it worth it?
Be honest with your attorney. Failing to tell the entire story or not providing the attorney with all of the information necessary will end up costing you extra money in the end.
Determine your objectives early and try to avoid changing positions unnecessarily.
Keep in mind that every communication with your attorney is something that you are billed for. While venting might make you feel better, be mindful of the time. Using your attorney as a therapist can be expensive!
Try to get in the habit of writing down your questions and maybe sending one email a day (or week) with several questions instead of emailing every time you think of something. This will definitely keep your fees down.
Lastly, making every minor issue a major one, being high-maintenance, and needing constant reassurance will cost you extra because it will require extra time and attention to your case.
Just remember, your attorney is on your side and wants to see your case resolved as efficiently and cost-effective as possible. An experienced attorney might cost a bit more, but they will end up saving you money when all is said and done.
Article written by: Laura Tweedt, Paralegal at Moore Family Law Group