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How Much Is This Case Going to Cost Me? 

This is the million-dollar question. I know financial matters are important to my clients. I always have a contract that the client reviews and signs. I make sure that the client knows the potential cash outlay that may occur. In the legal world, there are different levels of attorneys. There are younger, inexperienced attorneys that are cheap.  There are firms that do a “volume business” and they charge low retainers.  Then they hand the case to a young associate and the senior attorney takes most of your money. The “volume” law firms have little time to spend with you as they have so many cases they are just trying to move them along the line.  

My law office is one attorney; me.  I do not take hundreds of cases a year.  That would not be fair to me or you.  I select my cases based on whether the client and my office are a good fit.  We are dedicated to making sure you can contact me or my office staff at anytime. We make ourselves available to work on your case when it is needed, not just when we can “find the time.” I ask you to take a look at my google reviews.  I take pride in what my clients have said about me and my staff. Those are real people that left reviews, and I think it speaks volumes of what I have tried to build over the last few decades.  Click here to view Google Reviews.

Divorce Cases 

Almost all lawyers who practice civil law require an initial retainer for a civil case. A divorce is a civil case. You will find the retainer fees vary in Southern Illinois  from $1,000-$10,000.  My minimum retainer is $5,000.00 for all civil cases.  Sometimes I will require $7,500.00 to $10,000 depending on the difficulty and time involved in the case. I have found some people shop around for low retainers. However, understand that the retainer is just the first step.  Whether you put down $500.00 or $5,000.00, the attorney bills an hourly rate.  A low retainer is just a gimmick. I do not believe in gimmicks.  I know that most important civil cases are going to require time and money. 

Civil lawyers also charge an hourly fee. The hourly fee can be anywhere from $100-$400 an hour in Southern Illinois.  Hourly fees in Chicago and New York can start at $400.00 and go up to $1,000.00 an hour. I have set my hourly fee at $300.00 an hour based.  Like a client told me recently, you get what you pay for.  The low hourly fees are for new attorneys with little experience and young associates at the big volume firms. The client recently paid a low hourly fee and was disappointed that the associate attorney never called her back or discussed her case.  

When it comes to fees, think about how much the case means to you.  Do you want the best possible outcome in your case?  Do you feel better knowing your attorney has practiced law for decades? Or would you be content with a new attorney who is learning the law, on your dime? In civil cases, especially divorce, your whole future depends on the outcome of the case.  How much is your future worth?  How much did you pay for your last car?  $10,000? $25,000?  $30,000? $80,000?  Is your future worth as much as your car? I am always up front about my fees and willing to discuss them with you if you decide to hire me as your attorney. 

If you need a civil attorney for your divorce or other civil matter, please call my office to schedule a free ten-minute consultation. I will give you a quote on pricing.  

Criminal and Traffic Cases 

Most lawyers in Southern Illinois charge what is called a “flat fee” for criminal and traffic tickets The “flat fee” is different than an hourly fee. A flat fee is the total cost for representation. There is no hourly billing, and you pay the flat fee and no more.  For less serious crimes and traffic offenses, I set a flat fee for my initial retainer.  If there is no hearing or trial, the client owes no more. If there is a hearing or trial, which would include more work and time, I charge an additional flat fee. The fees are clearly stated in the contract that the client reviews and signs.  For more complicated and higher-level crimes, such as first degree murder or a sexual assault case, I require a retainer and charge an hourly fee. 

If you are charged with a criminal offense or have traffic tickets, feel free to call my office.  I schedule free ten-minute phone calls to discuss your case and give you a quote on pricing.