Legal Fees and Alternatives to the Billable Hour
SS+D knows that no two legal issues are alike and tries to present as many reasonable options for billing as possible. We will discuss billing options with clients who would like more information after a free 30-minute initial consultation. Because we are a Dayton firm and make all our decisions locally, SS+D has the freedom to consider and discuss with the client alternatives to billing on an hourly basis.
In addition to billing in one-tenth-hour increments on an hourly basis, with all costs and expenses agreed to by the client in advance, our probate litigation attorney will also discuss alternatives to the billable hour. Some of these alternatives include (1) a flat one time fee for a specific agreed upon legal service; (2) a reduced hourly with a specific bonus based outcome; or (3) an agreed upon contingency percentage fee. Regardless of what fee arrangement is agreed upon, the course of action and the fee arrangement is put into writing for the client and SS+D to sign following the first meeting.
Alternative Dispute Resolution and Mediation
Although our Probate Litigation Practice Group has tried many trials to the Court and to juries, we are also trained and experienced in mediation. Mediation is an alternative form of dispute resolution that is confidential and can be faster and less expensive than a court trial if both sides truly want to mediate and if a skilled mediator is involved. Because of the number of legal issues in Probate Court that may be difficult to prove without evidence, some cases cannot be mediated until the evidence has been collected and reviewed. We will always recommend mediation if it is in the client’s best interest because, in addition to the speed and cost of resolution, mediation can also protect family relationships, since finances, evidence, and relationships are discussed in private and not in open court.