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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99668 Find in a Library
Title: How To Set and Collect Attorney Fees in Criminal Cases
Corporate Author: American Bar Assoc
Criminal Justice Section
United States of America

American Bar Assoc
Section of Economics of Law Practice
United States of America

American Bar Assoc
Section of General Practice
United States of America
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 43
Sponsoring Agency: American Bar Assoc
Chicago, IL 60611
American Bar Assoc
Washington, DC 20005-1009
Sale Source: American Bar Assoc
Order Fulfillment 513
750 North Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This monograph contains five papers designed to provide guidelines to private criminal lawyers in the setting and collection of fees.
Abstract: An introduction notes that setting and collecting fees is among the greatest challenges in criminal practice, where attorneys are both overworked and underpaid. A paper on setting and collecting fees advises attorneys to set three goals: avoid extending credit to clients, who should obtain it from other sources; set a single fixed fee to cover all services contemplated; and learn to appraise the value of a task in advance. Comments from prominent criminal lawyers are presented concerning (1) the need to discuss fees with the client as soon as possible and to bill and collect promptly, (2) the need to use a written contract, (3) the desirability of charging more to clients able to pay more to offset lower fees for poorer clients, (4) reasons for taking cases, and (5) the importance of properly estimating the value of services. A transcript of a presentation by a prominent criminal defense lawyer gives facetious advice on psychological strategies useful in being financially successful as a criminal lawyer. A discussion of the problems facing criminal defense lawyers includes the results of the author's interviews with approximately 200 attorneys. It argues that private criminal lawyers are important to the legal profession in both symbolic and practical terms and that the loss of private criminal practice would harm both the public and the criminal justice system. Chapter reference notes and sample attorney employment contracts are included.
Index Term(s): Attorney client relations; Defense counsel; Legal fees
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