Below is a summary of how we are generally compensated in certain types of representation. Of course, every case is different, and before we ever accept representation in any matter, you will be told precisely how your unique case will be billed.
In-Office Initial Consultations
Gilliam Law Firm PLLC provides in-person consultations with prospective clients for reasonable rates, which vary depending on the nature of the representation. Initial consultations in Personal Injury or Traffic matters are provided free of charge or obligation.
Clients desiring a consultation in the areas of Estate Planning, Special Needs Law, Medicaid Planning, Asset Protection, Probate, Estate Administration, and Business Planning will be charged a flat rate of $150 for the initial consultation. This consultation will be scheduled for one-half hour, and at the conclusion of the meeting we will recommend the next course of action, and quote a fee for the work required.
At this meeting, the client will be told the basic applicable rules and law concerning the above issues, and will be presented with options and recommendations for proceeding. At the conclusion of this meeting, if the firm is willing to proceed with representation, the client will be quoted a fee and given an opportunity to execute a fee agreement. The initial consultation fee will be credited against work actually performed, making the initial consultation free to clients that retain our services. The firm is often asked why some areas of law are charged an initial consultation fee, while others are not. The reason is simply that these are highly complex and specialized areas of the law and the matters are very fact specific. It takes significant time and skill to evaluate these facts and formulate preliminary solutions in these matters.
Many people are curious about these areas of the law, but they are not serious about taking immediate legal action. Without an initial consultation fee, too much of Mr. Gilliam's time is spent educating people that are simply curious but have no immediate need for legal services. By charging an initial consultation fee, we limit those appointments to people who are serious about seeking a solution and are ready to proceed. If you retain our services within 30 days of this consultation, you will be given a credit in the amount of the consultation fee against your total fee for services.
Retainers and Hourly Rates
If you choose to work with us on an hourly basis, Mr. Gilliam will assess your billing needs and arrange a reasonable retainer fee for you. Retainers are a sum of money clients pay before the start of work. Retainers are held in trust for the client, and we subtract our hourly fees and costs from the retainer fee on a monthly basis. Each staff member involved in a given matter keeps track of his or her time and bills at a predetermined rate. The normal hourly rates charged by each staff member are:
Duane Gilliam, Jr., Attorney - $300/hr.
Paralegal - $110/hr.
Senior Legal Assistant - $100/hr.
Legal Assistant - $70/hr.
Work is billed in increments of 1/10 hour for each activity. We do not bill for ordinary postage, copying, and long distance telephone expenses. We do bill for costs advanced to the client, including court filing fees, certified copies, certified postage, publication fees, recording fees, deposition costs, and service of process fees.
If your representation spans over multiple months, you will be provided a monthly statement showing a detail of the work that has been performed on your case. You will be expected to replenish the retainer with the cost of that month’s charges. Upon completion of representation, your final bill will be charged against your retainer, and any remaining balance will be refunded to you.
Flat Fees and Package Rates
Many of our Business Law services, including formation for corporations and LLCs, are charged on a flat fee basis. Estate Planning and Medicaid Planning is also normally billed in this manner. This is intended to provide clients with certainty about the final fee, so that clients can accurately budget the cost of legal representation without fear of additional charges due to prolonged time delays.
Mr. Gilliam will work with you to determine a single, flat fee. Half of the fee is due at the start of services, and the balance is due upon completion. Our initial consultation fee of $150 will be applied as a credit to any of the flat-fee services. Our usual flat-fee charges for uncomplicated matters are:
Will preparation (including Powers of Attorney):
- Single Person - $500
- Married Couple - $650
- With Trust provisions - $800 - $1,500 (depending on complexity)
Trusts (usually including pour-over Will and Powers of Attorney)
- Simple (single or married) - $1,700 - $2,200
- Special Needs Trust - $2,000 - $3,000
Other Estate Planning
- Deeds - $200 each
- Powers of Attorney - $300
- Home Visits (Initial Interview or Signing) - $300 each visit
- Probate proceedings--$1,500 minimum; hourly billing plus costs (unless flat fee arrangements have been discussed)
- Guardianship - Hourly billing plus costs, Minimum of $1,500
- Special Needs Trust for Personal Injury - add $1,500
- Emergency Petitions - add $500
With some matters of representation, such as Personal Injury or Estate Dispute litigation, our fee can be charged on a contingency basis. This means that our fee is contingent upon obtaining a successful result for the client. When a contingency fee is appropriate, a fee agreement detailing how the fee will be computed and how expenses will be paid will be provided at the time of engagement.
Credit Cards Accepted
For your convenience, Gilliam Law Firm PLLC accepts most major credit cards, cashier's checks, money orders and cash for payment.