Family Law Fees & Costs
Generally, Mr. Borg will meet with prospective clients serious about retaining his services for 30 to 45 minutes without charge.
Fees for handling your case are based on a number of factors. The most common and dominate factor is the amount of attorney time consumed by your case. Our office prefers to handle asset division or support cases on which our clients benefit from Mr. Borg’s extensive background in law and business, as he has been a distributor of national brand products such as books, and Art supplies to military exchanges, President of several health care institutions and heavily involved in the San Diego Real Estate and development business. Sometimes a set fee will be established for a particular aspect of a case or even the entire case if the amount of work required can be determined in advance.
Our office commonly charges an hourly fee, within mid range of the competing offices. We find our fees are often half or even less than many San Diego Law firms. In one particular case, our fee was one-fifth of the opposing attorneys fees. Our client, a developer, was elated with the outcome and remains a friend of the practice. In another recent case, the opposing attorney quoted an hourly fee which was half of our fee, however, his total fees were twice ours.
It is our office goal to provide a cost effective alternative to long drawn out court proceedings. Some law firms pressure their associate attorneys to produce at least 2,000 billable hours per year. No such pressure exists in our office. Surely such billing pressure tends to produce higher bills to clients. Our office employs a contrary philosophy whereby, at the commencement of most cases we create a property division worksheet as soon as possible, which is designed to foster an accounting atmosphere, rather than a course of hateful litigation, likely to produce bills for attorney fees that accomplish very little. We believe our approach provides extraordinary value to our clients.
Be careful in evaluating attorney fees. A law firm that charges a relatively low hourly rate that delegates file work to assistants under pressure to produce billable hours can easily produce a total bill, far in excess of an experienced lawyer dedicated to finding solutions. A good method to gauge fees is by an inquiry of a former client.
Money magazine published a short article a few years ago stating the average divorce cost $36,000 dollars. The brother of a close lawyer friend was recently divorced on the East coast for a cost of $90,000. Ouch! these fees seem far out of line. Fees in Los Angeles have been far higher than in San Diego for as long as Mr. Borg has been in practice.
At the time of this update in October 2007 one local lawyer considered to charge high fees recently stated in open court he charges fees of $450 dollars per hour. Again any fee might be misleading as to the ultimate total depending on what is included and what is added on.
We find most north county attorneys charge less than San Diego Attorneys. One San Diego attorney recently reported his retainer is commonly $5,000 or more. He felt he was in line with other San Diego attorneys. North county attorneys seem to regularly charge retainers of much less than $5,000. Our office typically charges a retainer in the $2,000 to $3,000 range. Some cases are above and some below, rarely less than $1,000. If the case is in crisis mode we have to evaluate how many hours it will take to calm the case down and that will often times be a big influence in determining the retainer in such a case. We normally do not bill for secretarial work. Many competing offices charge for paralegal work that the lawyer reviews which in our opinion contributes to a higher ultimate bill. We have resisted adding a paralegal to our staff as we believe it will cause fees to grow although the work load my dictate that addition someday.
We try hard to provide irreplaceable value to our clients who we consider the best people in the world.
We find most experienced lawyers in the North County maintaining an office quote fees a little over $300 per hour. Again without knowing what is added to that fee it tells the consumer little. Our fees as of this writing are a little below the $300 line.
This is the only article I have ever seen that quotes actual dollar amounts. The most important point to be gained from this article is that we will tell you how it is and work from there which should in the long range keep fees in line. A lawyer working for a fair resolution is the best assurance in keeping fees in line.
We hope your case ends with a win win feeling about your lawyer and his fee as we are here to help you our client.