Saving money during litigation sounds impossible, huh? Having worked in a law office for as long as I have, you are bound to pick up some tricks that I am sure your attorney doesn’t want you to know about. You can regain a little control over the billable hour as a client and here is how:
- Communicating with your attorney costs money! That means, every phone call, every email, and every time you drop to drop off documents and have a few questions that you want to ask your attorney will cost you money. My recommendation is save up your questions! Sure, most attorneys aren’t going to charge you for answering a quick text but, if they have to answer a hand full of them they are definitely going to remember the first text and lump it in with the others. So make an agenda of the things that you need to discuss, stick to the agenda and get the answers you need. Whether you call or you meet in person the attorney’s hourly rate stays the same. Pick the way that you feel best suits your ability to communicate. A few quick emails a day is probably the fastest way clients make their own cost go up.
- Organization and copies! When you provide documents to your attorney make sure that they are grouped together in categories and chronologically, otherwise the attorney and then the support staff will get involved in the organization process. What might take you hours at home to organize could take double at your attorney’s office. This is because they’re not familiar with your various bank accounts and properties. An extra way you can save money, make copies of original documents. You’ll save on the copy charge and the time that it takes to make copies.
- Work with associate attorneys or the support staff! It’s hard when you build a relationship with an attorney to trust someone else. But, chances are that you will receive some of the best help (and most cost effective help) from the support staff or an associate attorney. The support staff isn’t going to know the law, but they have access to your documents and can often simplify complex issues into a quick question to the responsible attorney.
These tips and tricks are simple but, they really can help your bottom line. At Smith Simmons, we do our best to create value and to not “nickel and dime” our clients. We’re happy to discuss invoices with you and always happy to share ways to make your case more cost effective. The family law attorneys at Smith Simmons are prepared to assist you in your litigation matter. Contact us today.