You have been convicted of a crime, lost on appeal, and are considering filing a motion for post-conviction relief. But, before you decide to hire the attorney, you have questions about the fees and costs. Many attorneys will charge you a flat fee that is high enough to cover the representation from the initial investigation phase to the hearing phase. My approach is a little different.
Before I review and investigate your case, I do not know if there are arguments that support a motion for post-conviction relief and, if we decide to move forward with the filing of the motion, I won’t know if a hearing will be scheduled until a few months after the filing. Because of this, I divide my fees into two phases:
Initial Phase: I will charge you a flat fee that will cover the review of the file and the investigation into what happened at the trial level in order to determine possible arguments in support of the motion. After this is complete, I will discuss my findings with you in order to decide if we are moving forward with the motion.
Motion/Hearing Phase: If, after we discuss my findings, you decide to hire me for the second phase, we will enter into a new flat fee agreement. Part of the flat fee will be earned at the time the agreement is signed and the other part will be deposited into our trust account. If the judge schedules a hearing on our motion, the amount that was deposited into the trust account will be transferred to our operating account and treated as earned. But, if the judge makes a decision without a hearing, this amount will be returned to you.
Costs: Sometimes we will need to pay outside parties for their services in relation to your case (e.g., ordering the transcripts of court events at the trial level, depositions). In these cases, you will be responsible for making these payments. We will contact you to discuss the amount being charged before we agree to any services/amounts.