Retainer Agreement (Flat Fee for Uncontested Divorce) - INCLUDING Written Settlement Agreement
Retainer Agreement for Legal Services
January 1, 2010
Law Office of Bradley H. Andrews
60 East 42nd Street, Suite 2515
New York, NY 10165
123 Park Avenue
New York, New York
This letter confirms our financial arrangements regarding your legal situation.
Scope of Representation
I agree to provide you with the normal services involved in an uncontested divorce, including drafting and filing all appropriate documents; communicating with your spouse to coordinate his (or her) execution of the documents; and obtaining a judgment of divorce. I also agree to prepare a written settlement agreement fixing your respective financial and, if appropriate, custody or visitation rights.
You, the client, acknowledge that this retainer agreement does not contemplate negotiation of the agreement or any kind of contested litigation. Rather, I am relying upon your representation that you and your spouse have already agreed upon the terms of settlement. If the matter does require either negotiation or litigation, you will have the opportunity to decide whether to continue with my representation, and if so, we will execute a separate retainer agreement. At that time, the amount collected under this retainer agreement would be the reasonable value of the services already provided ("quantum meruit"), but would in no case exceed the fee set forth below.
The Attorney's Fee
The attorney's fee includes drafting a settlement agreement containing terms that you and your spouse have already agreed upon. The amount of the fee depends on the complexity of the anticipated agreement: either Low ($1,500 - 1,900), Medium ($2,000 - 2,900), or Complex ($3,000 and up). The firm will categorize your case at the time that it provides you with this retainer agreement (see below); however, the Firm reserves the right to determine that the complexity has proven to be different than what was initially scoped, and to hold off on filing the final papers until the client remits payment for the difference. If the Firm does in fact exercise its right to re-categorize the agreement, it will promptly provide to the client its reason(s) for doing so in writing. The firm hereby represents that it in no way has any intention of invoking this right to re-determine the complexity of the written agreement in any particular case; however, it must reserve this right so that the client does not have an incentive to underestimate the complexity of his or her case prior to signing this retainer agreement.
For your case, the firm has at this time categorized the contemplated written settlement agreement as follows: (Low: _______) (Medium: $_________) (Complex: ________)
Note that regardless of whether the case is scoped as Low, Medium, or Complex, the fee does not contemplate negotiation of the agreement or any kind of contested litigation. The firm is relying upon your expectation that the matter will proceed in an uncontested fashion. If the matter does require negotiation or litigation, you will have the opportunity to decide whether to continue with the firm's representation, and if so, we will execute a separate retainer agreement.
You will also be responsible for out-of-pocket costs (disbursements). I have informed you that the expected costs of your matter are the court costs of $335 (there is a filing fee of $210 to initiate the case, and a filing fee of $125 at the time that we submit all of the paperwork). In the vast majority of uncontested divorce cases, those are the only costs. In the event that your case would involve additional costs, for whatever reason, I will promptly inform you of the cost and an explanation of why it is necessary.
Should a dispute ever arise concerning my fee, you may have the right to seek arbitration through New York's Fee Dispute Resolution Program. At your request, I will furnish you with information concerning fee arbitration.
Your Right to Copies of All Documents
I will provide you with copies of all correspondence and other documents relating to your case. My usual practice is to scan documents and e-mail them to you in PDF format.
I am required to certify court papers which contain statements of fact made by you, and specifically to certify that I am not aware of any inaccuracies. Accordingly, you agree to provide me with complete and accurate information at all times.
I am delighted that you have chosen my Firm to represent you in this matter, and look forward to being of service to you.
Bradley H. Andrews
Date: January 1, 2010