Indiana Attorney Fees

Attorneys can charge clients for legal services in a variety of methods.  At Wischmeyer Law Office we work with clients to determine a fair mechanism to assess attorney fees that takes into consideration the scope of the client’s work, type of case and the client’s situation.

Contingency Attorney Fee.  Wischmeyer Law Office accepts some cases on a contingency fee basis.  This means that a client is charged a percentage of the recovery that a client receives from a claim or lawsuit.  The client is not charged any attorney fees upfront or during the case.  The client will be responsible for expenses such as court fees, deposition fees, expert and non-expert witness fees and other common expenses that arise during litigation. Expenses are paid from a client’s settlement at the conclusion of his/her/its case.  This fee arrangement is most common with personal injury matters, collection files and cases where the client is seeking money damages.

Hourly Attorney Fee.  The most typical type of attorney fee for an attorney to charge is an hourly attorney fee.  The attorney and staff keeps track of his or her time in 6 or 15 minute increments and the client is billed for the time spent on the case.  Jason Wischmeyer is honest about his hourly rate and upfront in informing clients that he charges $225.00 per hour for attorney time and $95.00 per hour for paralegal time.  Although this is an option for all clients, many clients have preferred to move away from this type of billing arrangement toward one of the other types of attorney fee options.

Flat Attorney Fee.  Often an attorney fee can be determined up front so that a client knows what his/her/its legal matter will cost.  The case is discussed and an educated determination of what the attorney fee will be is decided between the client and attorney.  A flat fee attorney fee can promote efficiency by both the attorney and client in an effort to reach a resolution early in the process.  The flat fee can be based on a variety of factors such as the results of a case, specific tasks that are common in a case or based on case type.

Value Based Attorney Fee.  Attorney fees may be charged based on a combination of other types of fees.  For example, a case might be assessed a lower hourly or flat rate with a contingency payment or flat fee payment based on the outcome of the case.

Monthly Retainer Attorney Fee.  When an ongoing relationship exists or is established with an attorney, attorney fees may be charged at a flat rate per month for handling all of a client’s legal matters.  Typically, this is an agreement for a term of months or years or the term of a case.

General Retainer.  An Attorney may request a general retainer for attorney fees be paid up front.  Funds paid by a general retainer must be held in an attorney’s IOLTA trust account and accounted for throughout a client’s case.  These funds always remain the client’s funds until the attorney bills the appropriate attorney fees to a client’s legal matter at which time the billed attorney fees may be moved and applied toward the attorney fee invoice.  If a case concludes or the client decides to change course with his/her/its legal representation then the client is entitled to all money that the attorney has in trust that has not been used to pay attorney fees per the attorney fee contract.

Written Fee Agreement.  Whatever type of attorney fee agreement is reached between the client and attorney this fee agreement should be reduced to writing.  Preferably a signed agreement, any type of writing whether by confirmation letter, Representation Agreement, email, agreement signed on an IPAD or tablet can be sufficient to establish an attorney-client relationship and will make clear what both the client’s and attorney’s obligations will be during the course of representation.