There are plenty of resources on the Internet on how to assess a lawyer's fee and account, so there's no point to explain the entire process thoroughly. By the way, you can always hire professionals specializing in the estimation of legal bills, such as Legal Bills Ontario, and get a detailed assessment online. Instead, we will focus on three key points when assessing a lawyer's fee as well as what you should avoid when you receive an account from a lawyer.Assessment Process: What to Consider
First, make sure to start the process as soon as possible. If you start the process within the first month after receiving your lawyer's bill, it will be easier to conduct. Otherwise, you will have to get the permission from the court in order to assess it.
Second, bear in mind that costs tend to be awarded against you. That doesn't mean you should give up pursuing a bill assessment. However, it's good to keep this fact in mind when you consider an assessment. This is especially true if the account is reasonable and fair.
Third, try to familiarize yourself about factors that will play a big role when an assessment officer wants to determine if the fee and bill are reasonable. Those factors include:
●The complexity of an issue
●The importance of the case
●The time spent by your lawyer
●The competence and skill of the lawyer
●The issues at stake
●The lawyer's responsibility
●The final results of the case
●The client's budget
●The cost expectations by the client
In addition, an assessment officer will try to determine if a step taken by the attorney was really necessary or not.Avoiding Assessments and Dissatisfaction with The Lawer's Accounts
Here are a few tips on how to avoid dissatisfaction with your lawyer's accounts.
First tip: Before the process begins, discuss your expectations about the costs with your lawyer. Ask your lawyer to give you a fair-minded approximation of the bills you may expect. This includes the expenses that your attorney is going to incur on your behalf. Also, do not hesitate to ask your attorney if he/she will provide you with set fees for some services, such as drafting by-laws or registering liens.
Second tip: Be sure to familiarize yourself with your lawyer's billing policies and accounting. That said, try to find out how disbursements are billed, if the lawyer will bill hourly, who will work on the file apart from the lawyer, how frequently the accounts are sent out, and what payment options are available.
Third tip: The lawyers usually charge less if you strive to make it easy. Take your time to sort documents through the boxes. This way you will submit only what the attorney really needs for the case. You are also advised to provide summaries of the charts and files that describe the documents to the lawyer.
Fourth tip: Talk to your attorney about your concerns if you're not satisfied with a bill you receive. If you have legitimate concerns, many lawyers will be willing to cut down on their accounts.
After all, you can always look elsewhere if a lawyer isn't receptive to your issues and concerns. Luckily, there are still many lawyers who are willing to help their clients and fairly charge their services.