When you hire an attorney, you need to clearly understand what services you will be contracting for, and what your responsibilities will be in the relationship. A legal services retainer agreement does just that, it defines the roles and responsibilities of each party.
More specifically, a legal services retainer agreement is an agreement between an attorney and a client in which the attorney agrees to represent the client in a specific matter, for a specific hourly or flat rate amount. A legal services retainer agreement outlines the formal legal framework to which clients and attorneys are bound, and often involves principles, professional rules, and obligations.
At Schmitt Law, PLLC, our legal services retainer agreement defines the following:
- Identification of the parties.
- The specific legal service to be provided.
- What legal services may be excluded?
- The client’s rights and responsibilities.
- The attorney’s duties.
- That the attorney cannot be asked to engage in illegal, unethical, or fraudulent conduct.
- The hourly rate the attorney will be compensated for services rendered.
- The initial deposit amount required from the client (referred to as “retainer”).
- The billing cycle and when payment of fees due from the client.
- The minimum billable time.
- What tasks that the attorney performs that will be charged to the client?
- What costs the client will be responsible to pay?
- If travel time will be charged to the client.
- That the attorney does not make representations to the client about the specific outcome of their case.
- How long will the attorney retain my file after the case is closed?
- What happens if the client wants a copy of their file after the case is closed?
- What is required if the client or attorney wants to terminate representation?
The benefits of having a clear and concise legal services retainer agreement are that it provides security and confidence to both parties. Having a detailed legal services retainer agreement takes the guesswork out of the parties’ expectations and obligations and protects the parties financially and legally.
CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED DIVORCE ATTORNEY IN GRAND RAPIDS, MI
If you would like to learn more about divorce actions, contact Schmitt Law, PLLC. We will meet with you to discuss your divorce and its potential impact on your family, finances, and future. Please reach out to our office for knowledgeable advice regarding your concerns about divorce, custody, parenting time, child support, and spousal support. Contact Schmitt Law, PLLC online or by calling (616) 608-4634 for a consultation today.