Eastern Oregon Criminal Defense and Family Law
Every case is unique, therefore it is very difficult to predict how much a case is going to cost. Family law cases are only billed by the hour. Therefore, the more time a case takes to resolve, whether that be through negotiations or trial, the more expensive the case will be. Criminal cases can be billed by the hour or through a flat fee. If you are charged a flat fee, you will be required to pay the entire flat fee up front, but then will not be billed any additional amount for attorney's fees.
In most cases, other than those paying a flat fee, we will require that you pay a retainer prior to providing any legal services. The retainer amount varies depending on the complexity of the case, and may increase in certain situations. Typically, the more complex a case, the higher the retainer will be. Any retainer paid will be held in a client trust account. The money held in a trust account belongs to the client, and is only withdrawn after it is earned by our firm. During our representation of you, our fees and costs will be paid by your retainer. Generally, clients are also required to maintain a minimum trust balance, meaning that if your trust account balance drops below a certain amount, you must replenish the trust. At the conclusion of our representation, any unused retainer money will be returned to you.
Except for some criminal consultations, our office charges a $150 fee for consultations. These meetings typically last 30 minutes to 1 hour. The consultation allows prospective clients to meet with the attorney, discuss their legal issues, and obtain initial advice. Keep in mind that during a consultation the attorney-client privilege applies regardless of whether you decide to hire the firm.
We recommend that only the prospective client attend all meetings with the attorney, including the initial consultation. If third parties are present, whether that be in person or over the telephone, the attorney-client privilege may not apply.
With each new client and matter, our office is required to search for potential conflicts of interest. Prior to scheduling an appointment with one of our attorneys, your name and any names you provide relating to your matter are checked against those of current and past clients to see if our representing you creates a conflict of interest. When calling for a consultation, please have the names and spellings of all parties relating to your matter available. Please inform us of any other names used or if you have affiliated companies so that we may enter those into our conflicts system. Failure to do so may prevent us from discovering a conflict which may disqualify us from continuing to represent you and cause considerable inconvenience and expense.