The Hows And Whys of Having A Lawyer In Philadelphia On Retainer
One common misconception we often come across, particularly among smaller businesses, is that having a lawyer in Philadelphia on retainer is only for larger organizations. In fact, businesses of almost any size could keep a lawyer on retainer, and a lot of situations exist where this would make sense.
Our business lawyer explains what having a lawyer in Philadelphia “on retainer” means and some of the reasons why you might want to do so.
What You Get When You Have A Lawyer On Retainer
Simply put, having a lawyer on retainer in Philadelphia is a way of having access to legal advice, services, and representation without the expense of having a full-time lawyer on staff.
Effectively, a retainer works much like pre-paying for a service. When you pay a lawyer a retainer of $500 per month, you will have the right to get up to $500 worth of legal services in that month. When you exceed that amount, then you are billed at a pre-determined rate.
The details of the arrangement are generally detailed in a Retainer Letter, which works much like a contract. The contract specifies the amount of the monthly retainer, the services which can potentially be rendered, as well as costs for going beyond the retainer and any other fees or penalties that might apply.
The Benefits of Having A Lawyer on Retainer
Fundamentally, retainers are a good deal for both sides. On one hand, the lawyer gets a steady – often small – income and knows that he/she will be the lawyer you turn to whenever you are in need. You get direct access to that lawyer and can put ask advice when needed. In addition, you have a single predictable amount that you are paying for legal services per month, which makes budgeting easier.
When you have a lawyer on retainer, that attorney agrees to make himself/herself available for your questions when needed, within reason, so you will mostly likely receive preferential scheduling. The arrangement allows a familiarity as well. You know what you can expect from a lawyer that you work with frequently and you know that you can count on the advice that he/she gives you. Conversely, your lawyer will be familiar with your company, your history, and your preferences with regard to legal actions.
In turn, having a lawyer on retainer also means you have less uncertainty should any legal issues arise. In the event someone threatens to sue, you simply give them your retained lawyer’s card. Often, merely demonstrating that you have a lawyer already on your side can be enough to deter frivolous or spur-of-the-moment legal threats.
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