Despite the multitude of benefits associated with flat fees – from rewarding efficiency rather than time to eliminating the hassle of timing – most attorneys still haven’t embraced it. One concern attorneys have about flat fees is that the agreement will drive up customer calls every minute or attorneys hold their bags against an eager opposing attorney who tends to file requests for anything.
Click here to view flat fee videos – https://www.facebook.com/124918837530631/videos/382244012605222
Yet lawyers are not without protection. One source is your own expertise and your data. Looking back on customer bills, think about how long it took to resolve cases in general and rely on that. If a contested opposing attorney is an outlier, the additional hours are averaged against the cases that can be resolved quickly.
However, a sow (scope of work) is the most powerful tool that lawyers can use to prevent a client or opposing lawyer from taking up your time. Regarding opposing attorneys, there are specific cases where you can research and find out their practice. If your objection is known to be aggressive, you can suggest a clause stating that the flat fee will only apply to responses to two requests and that all other requests will be billed at the hourly rate. The same procedure applies to customers. If you want to avoid long calls, encourage unlimited email as part of your agreement, but charge additional phone call charges. If you are concerned about email 24/7, let customers know that the agreement includes unlimited responses to emergency emails (you can define the emergency in your agreement). There is a fee for other emails. A narrow scope of work provides the best protection and empowers clients by helping them understand your practices and preferences.
For more ideas on flat fees, see the video above or my article six years ago, Six Ways To Avoid Paying a Fixed Fee Price.
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