We take most of our cases on a contingency fee basis. Instead of paying your lawyer an hourly rate throughout the representation, you assign a percentage of your recovery to your attorney.
Employment cases are taken on a 40% contingency.
This percentage is exclusive of costs. So although you will not be paying for your attorney's fees directly, you will have to pay for any costs that are levied by third parties, such as the court, a mediator, or a stenographer (for example: the lawsuit filing fee, subpoena service costs, and stenographer's fees).
It is important to understand what you're signing up for when you choose a contingency fee. Many potential clients ask whether we will accept a lower percentage, or whether they can get a discount after the case ends. Our answer to those questions is almost always "no." Here's why:
As a Contingency Client, You Are Entering a Shared Risk Pool. Signing up for a contingency fee plan is, in many ways, similar to purchasing an insurance plan. Employment cases are highly unpredictable, which makes them financially risky for both you and your attorney. Selecting a contingency fee is one way to help offset that financial risk. But it only works because there is a "pool" of individuals who have selected it. A plaintiff's-side law firm handles a number of contingency cases at a time. When you select a contingency fee, you are essentially signing up for a "shared risk pool" with the firm's other contingency fee clients.
In some cases, the Firm's percentage may end up being more than it would have earned had the client paid by the hour. But in many other cases, the Firm's percentage ends up being far less than it would have earned if the client had paid by the hour. And some contingency cases will conclude without a settlement or a favorable court finding - meaning that the Firm is paid nothing for its work on that case. Ideally, a Firm's "pool" of contingency-fee cases will balance each other out, so that on average, the Firm recovers fair compensation for its work. When you sign up for a contingency fee, you are deciding to be a part of that shared pool. We cannot predict which "end of the pool" you'll end up on. This is the risk associated with a contingency fee plan. The percentage cut that you assign to the Firm could end up being less than what you would have paid if you had been paying by the hour - but it could also be more. If you want to be absolutely certain this will not happen, an hourly fee is the best option.
HOURLY FEES: $400-$450 PER HOUR
We can only take a case on contingency if: (A) there is an amount of money that you are seeking to recover (e.g., lost wages), and (B) we think there is a good chance that we will be able to prevail and recover something for you. If you do not meet those requirements, you will need to pay your attorney by the hour. Situations that commonly require you to pay hourly include:
Non-Compete defense - when an employer is suing you, or threatening to sue you. In this situation, there is no monetary award that we are seeking. Because there's no monetary award for us to take our fee out of, we typically charge by-the-hour.
Low recovery prospects - if your case has a low chance of success, or if you haven't lost a lot of money. In this situation, the potential award at the end of the case is low. A percentage of a small award would not be sufficient to compensate us for our time. In that situation, we would most likely have to charge by the hour.
Your Choice. Sometimes our clients decide that it just makes better sense for them to pay by the hour. If you have flexible funds, it may be less expensive for you to pay an hourly rate, rather than assigning a percentage of your recovery.
A hybrid fee is a mix of an hourly and a contingent fee - you agree to pay a reduced hourly rate (for example: $200/hour instead of $400/hour), coupled with a reduced contingency fee (ex: 20% instead of 40%).
There are some jobs that we do so often, we know going in roughly how much time we will have to spend. For these projects, we offer flat-fee services. In a flat-fee project, you pay a one-time fee - there's no guess work. You know exactly how much the entire project will cost. If we end up spending more time than anticipated, you won't owe anything extra. For example, we charge a flat fee to handle unemployment appeals before the TWC.
The fee for a consultation is a one-time event. It is essentially a flat-fee: you are paying for the attorney's time and legal advice. We offer different rates for different types of consultations:
$100-$200 for case evaluation consultations. This is our signature service - the answer to the question we are most frequently asked: "Do I Have a Case?" If you're wondering whether a law has been broken, whether your termination was legal, or whether the treatment you're enduring at work might be unlawful, this is the service for you. We review your facts, explain the law and how it applies, and advise you on a course of action. See the "Honest Risk Assessment" section of our What Makes Us Different page for more information.
$300-$400 for consultations on employment contracts, such as non-compete and severance contracts. Employees who need a contract review are not typically looking to pursue a case. Instead, they simply need advice on how to interpret a contract, or how to negotiate for better terms. We spend time reviewing the contract before the meeting, point out potential red flags, give tips on negotiation, and answer all questions.