How much do you charge for your services?
By far, this is the most frequently asked question.
Our fees vary by the type of work we perform. Residential real estate transactions are handled on a “flat fee basis.” Generally speaking, purchases are billed at $995.00, sales at $895.00 and refinances at $595.00, although certain circumstances give rise to higher fees. Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy cases are also handled on a flat fee basis, $2,000.00 for Chapter 7 and $3,000.00 for Chapter 13.
Most representational matters, such as as civil litigation and divorce are handled on an “hourly basis.” This means that you will pay us for the work we do by the hour, plus the cost of any expenses that we incur during the course of handling your case. Our current rate varies between $300.00 and $400.00 per hour, depending upon the nature of your matter.
Certain cases are also handled on a “contingency basis.” This fee arrangement is generally acceptable in matters where you are seeking monetary recovery for damages. In most such cases, we agree to take a percentage of your net recovery as our legal fee.
Pickus & Landsberg reserves the right to determine the fee structure in any particular matter, but the type of fee you will pay will be decided upon and agree in advance. Please note that the fees quoted herein are subject to change.
Do I really need a lawyer?
This is a decision that only you can make. If you are considering hiring an attorney, something major must be happening in your life. Whether you are purchasing a home, have a need to sue someone, or have found yourself being sued yourself, you want to be sure that everything is done correctly. Legal processes are complex- and one mistake can be costly.
In real estate transactions, you will sometimes be told that an attorney isn’t necessary, that the title company can close the transaction for you. Generally speaking, that’s true. Title companies do have settlement departments that will close your mortgage and record your documents. What you are not told, however, is that title companies are specifically precluded by law from giving you legal advice or acting as your legal advocate. If a contractual issue arises, or if there is an unresolved inspection issue, or a myriad of other problems, you will need to seek out and retain an attorney. At that point, an attorney will insist on an hourly fee, and you will end up spending more money than you would have, had you hired an attorney in the first place.
If you get a speeding ticket, most people will tell you to just go to court alone and talk to the Prosecutor to get a reduction in fines and/or points. While it is true that Municipal Prosecutors will engage in plea bargaining and generally offer a reduction in fines and/or points, what you aren’t told is that with an offense that carries 4 points, the Prosecutor will generally offer to reduce the charges to a 2 point offense. In many cases, however, an attorney can convince the Prosecutor to offer a zero-point offense. This can save you thousands of dollars in insurance surcharges.
At Pickus & Landsberg, our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to insure that your matter is handled properly, to the best possible outcome. Of course, we cannot guaranty results. No attorney can. You do have our commitment, however, that we will put all of our resources to work in order to bring you the best results possible.
But what about simple LLC formations or wills? Can’t I just go to Staples or one of those document websites?
You could, but again, this is a decision that only you can make. But do you know the difference between a corporation and an LLC? It can be extremely expensive to convert if you make the wrong decision. Do you know how to make a subchapter-S election? If you pass your time frame for filing, there are significant penalties. Do you know what an operating agreement is? Or the ramifications of not having one?
You can certainly get blank lease documents at Staples. But do you know which costs must be identified as “additional rent?” Did you know that if you fail to do so, you cannot evict a tenant for failure to pay those costs? Do you know what reporting obligations a landlord has? Do you know that you could forfeit any security deposit by failing to report? How about window bars? Do you know the new laws pertaining to window bars in rental units?
The law, its rules and procedure are highly complex. In some cases, you can make it through without ab attorney without significant ramifications. But do you want to take that chance?
Do you accept payment plans?
Sometimes, depending upon the situation. We do our best to accommodate our clients.
Do you accept credit cards?
Yes, we accept all major credit cards, except in real estate transactions (where same is prohibited by Federal Banking Disclosure Laws) and in the case of bankruptcy, for obvious reasons.