In the majority of cases, our office bill on a time basis, however we sometimes bill on a value of service basis.
I charge $175 per hour for my time. Time usage is tracked by tenths of an hour. I charge either $60 per hour or $20 per hour for my legal assistants' time depending on the complexity of the task they are performing.
There are some recurring pleadings that we do so often that we have standardized with the help of computer software. When we tailor-make those pleadings to a given case, we may charge a flat fee for those pleadings because of the extensive prior time that has been put into preparation of the forms.
We use TABS III (Trust Accounting and Billing System) software that allows us to input our time on a daily basis and bill monthly. The balance of each account is available by calling our bookkeeper, Linda. Our billing cycle ends on the 25th day of each month and bills are mailed by the 31st. We ask that any questions about billing be raised within 10 days of receipt of the monthly statement. Otherwise, the billing will be deemed accepted as presented.
I enter into a written Attorney/Client Agreement. Many of the ideas in the Agreement came from the American Bar Association. I teach seminars on Attorney/Client Relationships in the area of billing, collections, and communications.
I require a retainer fee at the time the Attorney/Client Agreement is signed. The amount of the retainer depends on the expected time the case will consume.