Clearly the most popular question during any consultation is, “How much is this going to cost me?"
First of all, the firm provides all potential clients with up to one hour of free consultation by telephone or in person. Because no attorney client relationship is formed at the consultation, attorneys are forbidden from providing legal advice during the consultation. The purpose of the consultation therefore is to help a potential client gain valuable information about the very complex process and the attorney who may be engaged to get them through it.
The attorney may discuss common strategies, basic legal principles, and general procedures so that a potential client gains a feeling that they can get through the litigation, even if he or she cannot afford an attorney. Even though every potential client may not be prepared to hire an attorney, the firm believes in developing a positive relationship from the very first contact each potential client has with the firm. Our primary mission is to ensure the client understands that if and when he or she is ready for help, the firm will be ready to hit the ground running.
The amount of the retainer in a family law matter is generally dependent on the attorney assigned to a case and the person who the client wants standing by his or her side when things get tough and if and when a contested hearing is required. Our retainers generally range from $2,500 to $5,000 but can be higher when the firm is retained on very short notice before a hearing or when being hired for a case outside of the Denver metropolitan area. Time spent on traveling for long distance cases is handled on a case-by-case basis and all efforts are made to mitigate the extra time necessary to appear in Court in jurisdictions that may require more travel time.
The firm will often consider flat fee rates for other types of cases such as criminal defense, wills, and cases that do not require litigation. Contact the firm to acquire a specific quote for your case.
This enables the client and the firm to avoid any conflict with the firm that would only exacerbate the conflict already plaguing a client’s case. For this reason, most clients will have to post a retainer, which is not a fee but a deposit that belongs to the client. The firm only bills for the actual time spent on a case and deducts such time from the retainer. The client will then be required to sustain the retainer by replenishing the retainer back to the initial amount.
The firm bills twice per month for two reasons. First, it provides the client with more frequent information about what is going on in his or her case while the activity is fresh in their mind. It also helps the client keep better track of the fees and so they can help keep the fees as low as possible.
In maintaining a strong relationship with each client, most cases will require a sustaining retainer.
The firm’s hourly rates are extremely competitive, mostly because the firm believes that being accessible to more people is more important than matching hourly rates with our competitors.
They range from $225 to $350 per hour. Higher hourly rates often mean more efficiency such that the overall cost of a case is not based particularly upon the attorney that a client has engaged. Attorney Márquez’s motto has always been to help more people as efficiently as possible.
That is precisely why he has gained experience faster than is customary. He alone has helped more than 500 clients in his career thus far, which is more than other attorneys who have practiced more than double the amount of time he has been in practice.
An experienced attorney will help a client prioritize his or her goals such that a client is compromising from the bottom up while still achieving the most important goals. This is obviously not an easy task but one that an experienced attorney can navigate…successfully. The firm will not be able to guarantee any particular outcome or budget. However, together the client and the attorney will formulate a plan that is aligned with the client’s goals and resources. When the parties are far apart, the cost is generally outweighed by the risk of going to court. When the parties are not that far apart, the cost can usually be avoided by considering creative alternatives that will keep the control over the outcome between the parties. We understand that many clients will want their day in Court, but the firm believes that such a motivation can often be satisfied in more reasonable and cost-effective ways.
The most complex of cases can often be the least costly and the most seemingly straightforward cases can end up costing the most. The most expensive part of any case is litigation. The client will often be presented with a cost benefit analysis when considering legal strategies and alternatives. That makes it easier to make decisions regarding issues that are mostly financial in nature. Since the firm believes in our clients keeping as much of their resources in the family, the firm will generally promote outcomes that benefit the client, and not the firm. Clearly, no parent can place a price on his or her children. Therefore, those are the most difficult decisions to make. Settling out of court often comes with significant compromises that cannot be expressed in dollars. The analysis then switches to what the Court refers to as the best interests of the children. If a client’s goals are child-centered, the decision-making process will generally lead to favorable outcomes.
No attorney in the entire state will be able to predict the cost of your case unless the firm agrees to use a flat fee.