How to Reduce Legal Fees

Nevada Divorce Legal Fees

How to Reduce Legal Fees

The case may be just brewing, you may have been sued, or you may be tens of thousands of dollars into a lawsuit…at any point you may realize that the legal cost is getting out of control or is more than you can handle. You may feel that the cost for legal representation exceeds the value of the dispute, or at least the value to you. It is clear that you need to reduce your legal fees in any way possible, but you may not be familiar with the area of law in which you find yourself. You may be feeling taken advantage of because you didn’t do anything wrong, but now you are the one who has to come up with money out of pocket. The frustration can be huge, but please remember: the attorney did not get you into this lawsuit. We are here to help get you out of your legal predicament and that costs money. Below are some of the ways that you can reduce legal fees when you find yourself in the legal realm.

There are ways to reduce your legal fees before even hiring an attorney:

DO NOT IGNORE the fact that you have been sued or need an attorney’s advice. It is more costly to try and fix a problem that has been made worse by inaction. If you receive a notice to respond within a certain timeframe – RESPOND! If you do not respond, other wheels begin turning which could mean a lawsuit being filed when it could have been avoided, it could mean the person suing you gets what they asked for because you did not timely respond, and it can mean you have entirely lost your opportunity to get a fair shake. You may be afraid to say the wrong thing, but saying nothing at all is legally interpreted to mean you agree with what accusations are being made against you.

CONSULT WITH AN ATTORNEY, or several attorneys. Once you have consulted with an attorney, the other party cannot use that attorney even if you do not hire that attorney. The consultation with an attorney can tell you the ballpark retainer fee and give you an idea of what to expect as far as a timeline.  The attorney can tell you what deadlines are in your immediate future so you do not make it worse for yourself by missing a deadline.

ORGANIZE yourself: get a folder or binder where you begin to keep everything related to this matter.  Now whenever you meet with an attorney or need to put together your own letters or responses, everything will be in one place for easier reference. Saving your time is saving your money.


How to reduce legal fees once you hire an attorney:

ORGANIZE yourself: even after you retain an attorney, continue to keep copies sent to you. Many clients waste good money asking for copies or information that has already been sent to them. They are charged for the time for staff or the attorney to review the request, find the item and either make copies or email it to the client. Time is money, so organize yourself to minimize duplicating work for your attorney who keeps track of every minute and charges you for those minutes.

BE FAMILIAR with the terms in your Retainer Agreement. Attorneys have clients sign Retainer Agreements so that clients know what is expected of them and what to expect from the attorney. For example, if you fail to make payment as promised to your attorney, they can withdraw from your case.   The Retainer Agreement will also list any costs that you may have to pay above and beyond the initial retainer fee. These costs may include postage, filing fees with the court, Subpoena fees, etc. If you know what to expect, the process will be easier for you.
OPEN YOUR MAIL.  It is easy to want to ignore the swirling ocean of paperwork that now envelopes your life. DO NOT IGNORE your mail. Courtesy copies of documents in your case should be mailed to you from your attorney so that you are aware of what information is coming and going between your attorney, the court, and the other party in your case. Your attorney will also send you periodic billing statements. Billings from your attorney detail how much work is being done on your case. You may lose the right to dispute billing items if you do not review your billing and bring up disputed items with your attorney within a certain amount of time. Do not wait until the end of your case to look and see what work your attorney actually did on your behalf. A review of your billing also can give you insight into behind-the-scenes work that is going on that you are not even aware of.  Clients sometimes think that nothing is happening in their case, when things are happening, just not things that involve the client’s regular input. There is a good deal of work that happens in every case that does not directly involve the client: research, preparation of pleadings, and communication between your attorney and court staff or the other attorney. Seeing that these things are occurring makes you an active participant and saves you money so that your attorney does not have to explain what has been going on.
COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR ATTORNEY. Clients can become unhappy with their attorney. This may be one of the worst parts of your life and dealing with your attorney can become one of your least favorite things. When people become disgruntled with their attorney, whether it is from lack of communication or billing issues, they often want to switch attorneys. It is important to remember that there is a greater price for a second attorney to review everything that has already transpired, so it may not be worth the added expense. Talk to your existing attorney and let them know your frustrations and see if a new understanding can be gained. What you and the attorney learn by such an exchange can save you both time and money.

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