Posted on May 30, 2017
Calls and emails are all legal services for which you should expect to be charged by your attorney. Unless your case is being handled on a flat fee basis, you should expect to be billed for any communication with your attorney. Many of the professional services provided by lawyers are done by phone and by e-mail. This time can be spent giving legal advice, negotiation, or gathering information to protect your interests. These calls and e-mails are all legal services for which you should anticipate being charged by your attorney.
To make the most of your time during attorney phone calls, plan your call in advance. Organize the information you want to relay, your questions, and any concerns to be addressed. This will help you to be clear and focused during the phone call so that your fees are well spent. Keep your communication focused on legal issues.
You may also be charged for talking to the staff at your lawyer’s office. Check the terms of your fee agreement with your lawyer. Whether you are charged fees for talking to non-lawyer members of the law office may depend upon their role in the office. For example, many law firms charge for the services of paralegals and law clerks.
Remember that non-lawyers cannot give legal advice, so it is important to respect their roles. Don’t expect the receptionist to give you an opinion regarding whether you will win custody or receive spousal support.
Your lawyer’s support staff will be able relay your messages and receive information from you. They may also be able to answer many of your questions. Allowing this type of support from within the firm is an important way to control your legal fees, too.