430 Oak Grove Rd, Suite 5
PO Box 170818
Spartanburg, SC 29301
Initial phone consultation
is free of charge. Call for an appointment: 864-431-3455
2006-2015 Gary M. Frazier
Fee vs. the Billable Hour
you hire a lawyer you pay a certain amount up front (called a
retainer) and the lawyer bills you hourly for all the work he or
she (and the staff) does on your case. Your hourly charges are
billed against that retainer and when that is used up, you give
the lawyer more money. Until the conclusion of your case, you keep paying, and
the lawyer keeps billing you by the hour, usually in 6 minute
increments for everything he or she does on your case--and I
literally mean everything. Spend 10 minutes on
the phone talking with your lawyer about a question you have and
you'll see that call on the next month's billing statement:
"Phone consult with client: 0.2 hrs." And depending on
what your lawyer's hourly rate is, that one phone call can cost
you anywhere from $30 to $100 or more. With flat fee billing,
paid for that phone call--and every phone call--up front.
Paying a lawyer
by the hour to
handle your case makes budgeting for your legal fees
difficult. Hourly billing is open-ended, and puts you, the
client, in the position of not knowing how much your divorce or
other Family Court matter is going to cost until your case
settles or at the conclusion of the trial when the judge issues
the final decree. With flat fee billing, you know before your
case even starts how much you're going to have to pay your
lawyer. The only variables are costs and expenses, and I always
work with clients to keep those as low as possible.
A flat fee gives you the
certainty of knowing what the total expense for legal fees will
be. You don't have to worry about monthly statements that list
every letter, fax, phone call, and e-mail and what you had to
pay for each one based on the time that was spent doing them.
And since very few matters in Family Court are decided quickly,
you won't go for months worrying about how
much your legal fees will ultimately be and how you're going to
pay for them. With a flat fee you know from the start and can
Here is my fee
structure as outlined in the contract signed by my clients:
The following fees are due when the contract is signed:
1. Retainer Fee: This fee covers my agreement to handle
the case, which may preclude me from taking on other representation and may conflict me from future representation. It further
covers my responsibility for keeping and storing the clientís case file for 6 years after representation ends. This fee is due and is considered earned upon the execution of the contract and is non-refundable. Representation does not begin until this fee is paid.
2. Pleadings Fee: This fee will cover the drafting and filing of the summons, complaint, motion for temporary relief (if necessary), or the answer and counterclaim. It does not include the filing fee(s).
3. Temporary Motion Fee: This fee will cover all legal services rendered in preparing for and attending the first temporary (or emergency) hearing. This fee includes, but is not limited to, client interviews, the preparation of all affidavits, exhibits, and
clientís financial declaration.
4. Settlement Fee: This fee will cover the remaining legal services rendered in this case up to and including a settlement reached before a pre-trail hearing is requested by either party. It includes, but is not limited to, the negotiation and drafting of a formal settlement agreement, and the attendance at a pre-trial or final hearing for the purposes of presenting the agreement to the Court for approval.
Additional Fees: The following fees are for my services that may be necessary over the course of the case.
5. Discovery Fee: This fee is due and payable immediately upon
invoicing if formal discovery is initiated by either party,
6. Mediation Fee: This fee is due and payable immediately upon
invoicing if mediation is necessary. This fee covers my preparation for and attendance at the mediation session. It does not include the mediatorís fee.
7. Trial Fee: This fee is due and payable immediately upon
invoicing if no settlement is reached before or at the first pre-trial hearing (or after
Fee: This fee is due and payable immediately upon invoicing
iff additional motion hearings or mediation sessions are
9. Rule to Show Cause: This fee is due and payable immediately upon
invoicing if If I am required to defend a Rule to Show Cause against my
client or prosecute a Rule to Show Cause on behalf of my
and material contained in this website are for general
informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal
advice and should not be used or relied on as such. Any
liability that might arise from any use or reliance on the content
of this website is expressly disclaimed. Your use of such
content does not create an attorney-client relationship; only a
signed representation agreement can do that. The content of
any communication you send to us via the internet or through
e-mail may not be considered confidential. Gary M. Frazier
is licensed to practice law in the state of South Carolina only.