The Bittinger Law Firm strives to make its fee structure and your legal costs as transparent and predictable as possible.
Hourly Rates. The firm bills at an hourly rate of $375 for Ann Bittinger and $250 per hour for associate attorneys.
When billing by the hour, clients are charged for attorneys’ responses to emails and discussions on the telephone, in addition to time spent negotiating, researching and writing. We calculate time in one-fifth of an hour increments. We will send you a bill at the end of each month for the previous month’s work, itemizing time spent each day on your project. If at any time during the month you want to know your balance, please ask. The last thing we want is for you to be surprised when you receive the bill.
The firm prefers hourly billing because no two transactions are alike. Seemingly complicated disputes sometimes resolve very quickly. On the other hand, a contract negotiation that seemed simple at first glance may take weeks to negotiate to a client’s satisfaction. We take our cues from you and do not perform work unless asked to.
Administrative Costs. Although most law firms charge an up-front administrative fee or charge clients for postage, copies and long distance telephone calls, we feel that our high level of customer service includes incidentals such as these routine administrative expenses. The only administrative costs we routinely seek reimbursement from clients for are courier fees and overnight mail postage costs.
Payments. The firm accepts only checks and cash payments. Credit cards are not accepted at this time.
Project Rates. If you want to spend only a certain amount on a project, tell us. Template agreements, employee manuals, compliance plans and the like are easier than other projects to complete at a set price because there is no unknown other side to negotiate with. If you want a set rate for a project, do not hesitate to ask. Similarly, if you are on an hourly basis but want to dedicate only a certain amount of time or funds to a matter, let us know.
Retainers. Retainers are typically required unless proof of ability to pay is otherwise provided.
Packages. As a small business, we understand the value of predictable expenses. To that end, we provide a number of package deals that include a set number of hours to be used over the course of a year, payable in advance at the beginning of the year or in equal monthly payments. Many of our clients take advantage of this lower hourly rate and sign-on for a package deal.
Ninety Six Hours. The Firm provides a total of 96 hours of Ann Bittinger’s services over the twelve month period, for $28,800 which averages 8 hours per month at $300 per hour. This is our most popular package, as most established businesses seem to need at least 8 hours of assistance a month. You could use all the hours as quickly as you like; you are not limited to 8 per month; nor do you lose them each month if they are not used in that certain month. You pay the Firm Two Thousand Dollars per month over the twelve-month period, whether or not any hours were used that month. In the alternative, you can pay the yearly amount up front. Although you do not lose the hours if not used each month, you have to use them by the end of the 12-month term or you lose them. If you use all the hours before the 12 month period is up, the remaining monthly amounts become due in full.
Forty-Eight Hours. Under the same arrangement as in the previous paragraph, the Firm provides Forty-Eight hours of services per twelve-month period, which averages four hours per month. You pay the Firm $1200 per month or $14,400 at the beginning of the term. This is also a discounted rate of $300 per hour. Interestingly, all clients who have chosen this package have used their time before the end of the one-year term.
One Hundred Forty-Four Hours. Under the same arrangement as provided above, the Firm provides One Hundred Forty-Four hours of work per twelve-month period. This level is ideal for clients that require routine legal assistance but perhaps not enough for the client to employ their own attorney or maintain a full-time specialist in its legal department.