One of the most common concerns for those getting involved in legal disputes or thinking about initiating legal action is the cost of the lawyer and associated legal fees. Lawyers too often are not able to help their clients with a clear idea due to the nature of the work that makes it difficult to estimate how much work or even time it will take to bring the case to its logical outcome. While generally, lawyers may be able to give you fixed price estimates for certain standard work like drawing up agreements, wills, lease contracts, etc., but in case of unexpected complications, remuneration could go up. For matters that are more complicated, the hourly billing method can leave clients out of pocket by a large and unexpected sum. Some practical tips on how you can extract the best value from lawyers:
Start With the Right Lawyer
You will lose the maximum amount of money and time if you discover that the lawyer you are working with is not getting the result because of various issues like lack of time, interest, or competence, and have to replace him with a new one. You should always hire lawyers only after meeting them and establishing their credentials. It is best to work with someone with past experience in the type of case you are involved in. Look out for lawyers who are not asking you the right questions but only seem to be interested in their fees.
Don’t Be Influenced By Lawyer Advertising
It is best to avoid lawyers who are indulging in high-decibel advertising on the TV, billboards, local newspapers, trade directories or the radio. These advertisements generally describe nothing particular about the lawyers, except for the fact that they are desperate for business. The best way to get yourself a Boston accident lawyer is by asking people you trust for their recommendations or perusing a directory of lawyers that has some authority.
Be Realistic About the Standard of Lawyer
Just because you have landed up in a legal mess that could potentially be very damaging to your reputation or even put you out of business, you should not automatically seek out the biggest lawyer you can think of. Most of the smaller issues are not going to be of interest to the bigger lawyers because they do not represent good billing opportunities, and even if they do take your case on, they may assign the case to their juniors to handle while you would still be paying top dollar fees. Most often, a smart and shrewd middle-level lawyer is what you need to solve your legal dispute.
Negotiate a Flat Fee Arrangement
Typically lawyers will offer an hourly billing rate for their involvement, which leaves clients at a complete loss as how much the final bill will actually come to. It is best for you to try and negotiate an alternative billing arrangement that envisages a flat fee. This will need you to discuss fees every time you bring to the table new jobs, something that is best done by you without any prompting by the lawyer who may not always take the lead in this matter. You may not actually save money by opting for a flat fee arrangement but you will always for sure how much you have to pay before deciding to assign the job to the lawyer. Where you can really save money is by negotiating the fees and not saying yes to whatever the lawyer suggests. Remember the legal sector is as competitive as any other and you have a huge choice of eager lawyers so do not hesitate to negotiate if you feel that the fees are unreasonably high. Remember to insist on detailed bills that you can review easily.
Opt For Mediation or Arbitration
Instead of fighting protracted legal battles that end up by making only the lawyers richer, you could consider mediation when all parties are interested in maintaining good relations with each other. Arbitration can also help you avoid a lawsuit; however, you need to bear in mind that you cannot appeal against it, unlike a court ruling. Legal fees in arbitration are invariably far less that what is required for court cases.
You can substantially lower your legal expenses by getting yourself a lawyer of the right stature who is ready to take the necessary interest in your matters. Asking for an alternative fee arrangement and negotiating the fees to a more reasonable level or taking his advice for mediation or arbitration can get you the results more economically.
About The Author
Tom Masters is a reputed Boston accident lawyer who also is the president of the local bar council. Passionate about customer education, Tom writes and lectures extensively on how clients can get the most effective legal redress.