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Introducing Flat Fees

by | Feb 7, 2016 | Family Law

For 26 years, The Manely Firm has billed its clients in the most traditional way: hourly billing. Clients paid for the hours billed. What could be more straightforward, more honest, more reliable?

Eventually, a few sole practitioners tried flat fee billing, where a client pays a single fee for the attorney to handle all the work in that case for that one fee. The problem with this model was that one side or the other was almost guaranteed to lose out. Either the client was going to get short shrifted, paltry service or the firm was going to lose its shirt. The metrics were so unfair that I have written posts excoriating the practice.

But, as my dear friend Bill Howe likes to explain, if you are getting your kitchen remodeled and you are interviewing a contractor, you ask, “How much is it going to cost?” If he answers, “I don’t know. I’ll send you a bill every month and you pay it,” you are unlikely to hire that contractor because his billing makes no sense. (Of course the difference in the example is that there isn’t someone well paid by your opposition to come in with a sledge hammer to destroy all your contractor’s work.

Still, point taken. Lawyers have gotten expensive, too expensive for many if not most of our population. And writing checks without a definitive end is never fun. This is why three years ago we created the Justice Cafe’, a division of the Firm offering a completely different service model. And while that model is a fantastic way to greatly increase the number of people who can afford legal help, it does not substitute for the classic soup to nuts approach to the practice of law.

With years and years of data available to us, Shelia crunched the numbers so that we would have an exceptionally firm footing to determine a flat fee which fell within a small variable to adequately fund the client’s case, offering a good balance to both client and firm. With months of deliberation and debate by the attorneys, we are now rolling out this groundbreaking model.

So now we can offer a flat fee option to our clients. Our flat fee is more reasonable than any other actual, brick and mortar, well established firm. We are very proud of the work that went into crafting this model and quite certain that our clients will receive the same top notch service for which our U.S. Supreme Court winning firm is known throughout the world.

We still have our traditional hourly option available for those cases that are almost certainly more contentious and problematic than a flat fee case would allow, so don’t worry. If you need us to move mountains or re-invent the wheel, we are still here to do exactly that.

But for most folks, a steady hand, firm conviction and exemplary track record will see them through their case, soup to nuts. And it won’t break your bank.

Michael Manely