The Weisblatt Law Firm, LLC knows that everyone has limited resources and wants to use those resources wisely. We endeavor to make sure that your legal dollars are used carefully and efficiently. If you have any questions about your invoices, we ask you to call or schedule an appointment. There is never a fee for discussing any billing questions.
Most of our work is done on an hourly basis. We bill in quarter-hour increments. This means that if you call or send an e-mail, the minimum amount that we will bill you for that call or e-mail is a quarter of an hour. This means that it is much more efficient for you to try to “bundle” your questions so that you can use the full quarter hour. If I have several e-mails or calls back and forth in a single day, I typically count them all together instead of separately. So, for instance, if we have three five minute calls in one business day, I usually will just charge fifteen minutes for those three calls. Rarely, however, is it quite this straightforward, because typically responding to a call or an e-mail requires that I review the file, or court documents, or rules or laws to make sure that the client is getting the right answer. This process is why a “five minute call” sometimes ends up taking much more than the minimum fifteen minute charge.
My hourly rate is similar to those charged by other lawyers with my experience and talent. There are many lawyers in and around Houston who charge more and many who charge less. I will state my hourly rate in the written contract and it typically does not change during the representation. I do change my rates from time to time, but I endeavor to do this in a fair way, and always with reasonable notice.
My assistants are not lawyers, they are paralegals. Whenever possible, I have the paralegals do as much as they can without practicing law. My paralegals bill at a significantly lower rate than my rate and cost savings can often be achieved by allowing them to do as much as possible.
Sometimes, I will perform certain tasks on a flat fee basis. It is very important that we both understand exactly which tasks are to be performed for this flat rate. HINT: If it is not listed, in writing, in the contract, it means that it is NOT part of the flat rate project. If you think it should be – we should talk about it BEFORE the engagement begins. I promise, I’m open to any discussion and it is better for both of us to fully understand what is being done and the fee for that work.
I make my money on the legal work that I perform. I do not customarily charge for copies, faxes or long distance calls. (I do charge for copies if I have to pay a copy service for the copies which happens sometimes if there is a huge volume of documents). If I incur an expense in your representation, I will bill that through to you at the actual cost I pay. The most common expense is postage. I will always be pleased to produce a receipt for any expense I charge you, the only exception being for parking when I sometimes cannot get a receipt.