The term retainer agreement simply means a legal agreement with the law firm.
In New Jersey, there are certain rules that require a lawyer, who signs up a client, to have the new client sign a legal agreement. The rules of professional conduct require an attorney to identify certain material terms within the legal agreement. Those terms must include the scope of representation and the fee to be charged. The retainer should also include notice that their lawyer has advised the client of the right to pay hourly, and that any cases settled is subject to a statewide judgment lien search.
Contingency Agreement Lawyer in New Jersey
A pure contingency retainer means that you agree to pay the Firm at the end of your case based upon a percentage of the recovered payment received from the other side. In New Jersey, matters are set by a fee schedule where the Law Firm can only charge a percentage based upon the following scale
- 33 1/3% of the first $750,000 recovered;
- 30% of the next $750,000 recovered;
- 25% of the next $750,000 recovered;
- 20% of the next $750,000 recovered; and
- on all amounts recovered in excess of the above by application for reasonable fee in accordance with the provisions of the court rule.
The above fee schedule applies to personal injury cases. For other employment and discrimination matters, the rule allows the firm to negotiate a different rate for such cases. For each case, we sit down with our clients and discuss the extensive services we provide and come to a mutually agreeable rate for all cases.
Hourly Retainer Agreement Attorney in New Jersey
An hourly retainer is offered to clients on certain matters because our clients understand that a contingency fee is not available. There are certain cases were we are required by rule to charge an hourly rate, such as family law, and defense matters.
We also charge an hourly rate, which is offered on matters where the firm has been retained to negotiate, counsel or draft documents, and is required for defense matters when our clients are being sued. Hourly legal agreements also require our clients to pay costs. We are negotiable with our clients on the down payment, or retention fee, charged. Hourly rate clients are charged monthly, unless otherwise agreed.
Blended Rate Legal Agreement Attorney in New Jersey
We offer a blended rate legal agreement to clients who are able to pay by the hour, and accept a lower contingency percentage payment. The blended rate legal agreement is ideal for those clients who do not want to pay a higher contingency or higher hourly rate, but would accept a lower rate for both.
Flat Rate Legal Agreement Attorney in New Jersey
In certain matters we offer a flat rate for our services. This assures the client that the rate charges will be a fixed, negotiable rate and no more. The matters are typically offered for criminal matters, counseling, training, and pre-litigation demand letters. A flat rate is not always for everyone, for example if you are unemployed or low on funds, the flat rate my still be out of your reach. As such, we are willing to work with you on your financial ability to retain us.
Costs in a Lawsuit
In all cases, you are required to pay costs out of any settlement for a contingency case or once an invoice is submitted on an hourly case. The fee paid to the firm is based upon your gross recovery, minus the costs associate and paid for by the firm. Costs typically are courier fees, court filing fees, postage, experts, or expenses for medical records. After these costs are deducted from the gross settlement proceeds, the attorney fee is paid. From this amount left over, then any 3rd party such as 3rd party legal loans, secured debts, liens, medical treatment, Medicare/Medicaid or judgments that are recorded are paid.
Retainer Agreements Law Firm Basking Ridge
To learn more about the various types of legal agreements, whether contingency, hourly, blended rate or a flat fee, The Mark Law Firm represents clients throughout the State of New Jersey and remains reasonable and open to discuss your ability to pay. We work with our client and make sure that you are satisfied with our services first, and we consider payment second.