Legal Services for Business
1125 Wheaton Oaks Court, Wheaton Illinois 60187
Phone (630) 588-1131, Fax (630) 682-1131



BILLING POLICIES
Q: What are the firm's billing policies?

A: While we do handle some matters on a contingency basis (in which we work for an agreed upon percentage from any recovery), most of the work we do is on an hourly fee basis (in which work is billed to the client according to how much time is spent). This page is here, in turn, to provide our clients with a more detailed overview of the firm’s billing practices and procedures. If you're a client of the firm, and there is something about your bill that you don't understand, you should find an explanation here. If you don't find the answer to your question on this page, please contact the attorney with whom you are working as soon as possible. We want to be sure that you understand your bill and that any errors are identified and corrected as soon as possible.


Q: Do you charge to travel to other counties or to court?
 
A: As a general rule, for cases pending in the Chicago metropolitan area, you will be billed for trips to the courthouse, depositions or other facilities at rates comparable to those that would be charged by attorneys in the locality in which the case is pending, regardless of whether we maintain an office in that area. As a general rule therefore, subject to the restrictions stated below, this means that we will usually not charge you "travel time" for trips our lawyers may have to make from one county to another to attend to your business. You may, however, be charged for costs associated with such travel, out-of-state travel time or travel time that proves necessary because of concerns unique to the case itself (i.e. witnesses located out-of-state).


Q: What will we be charged for consultations along the way?


A: We want you to feel free to discuss pending matters with us and to feel at ease when we call to ask questions of you. So, as long as the time spent does not exceed that which would otherwise be billable in a given month, and if we agreed to represent you on such terms, we will not charge attorney time for inquiries you make regarding the status of cases we are handling for you, or calls we make to you regarding questions we have. We may, however, charge for time spent on legal issues you contact us about that are unrelatd to matters you have assigned to us, meetings called for purposes of legal consultation, and for discussions between us and other professionals with whom you may work (i.e. accountants, in-house counsel).


Q: Am I going to have to pay for your filing or other administrative time?


A: You will be billed for professional time spent by our lawyers and paralegals but not for time spent answering billing inquiries, in-house photocopying or otherwise attending to administrative matters that do not require the skills of a professional lawyer or paralegal. Although you may be billed for time spent reviewing documents, therefore, you should only receive such bills when the review was intended to identify and analyze legal issues rather than put the file in order. We appreciate the fact that such efforts may be difficult to follow by reference to a single monthly statement, therefore, so we encourage you to contact us with any questions you may have.


Q: When is payment due?


A: Bills you receive from us are due upon receipt. Unless otherwise agreed, if you have an amount on retainer with the firm, your amount due will be charged against that retainer five days after we send it to you.

A: Unless you have requested and we have approved our working on credit, you may be required to maintain a means of payment on file with the firm, which may include a credit card or retainer. Please stay current. Credits we would otherwise apply to your account for client consultation, travel, or other discounts on our regular billing rates, may not be applied (and may be returned to the bill) if your account is over 30 days past due for two or more billing cycles.


Q: What happens if you hire an outside vendor to do work for the file?


A: From time to time, it may be necessary for us to use the services of outside vendors, such as delivery services, legal research databases, professional copiers and the like. When we get such outside assistance, we are doing so as your agent. So it is important to reiterate that you may be held directly responsible for bills from such vendors. Please bear in mind therefore that, although we strive to ensure that we retain professional, high quality service providers at reasonable prices, the cost of such services is likely to fluctuate. Costs incurred for the use of outside vendors will appear on your bill as expenses. We will try to ensure that copies of the original bills are available for your review, but it is important that any concerns you have with an outside vendors bill be brought to our attention as soon as possible after you receive our bill.


Q: Does that include legal research? 


A: Although you will be charged what we are charged by outside vendors, your bill is determined somewhat differently for bills incurred from using our legal research database provider (currently Westlaw). Our Westlaw bill is based on an annual charge that we pass through according to each client’s pro rata use of the service. By contracting with Westlaw in this manner, we realize substantial savings over the usual costs associated with the service (usually translating to less than half what the cost would otherwise be), and we pass that savings on to you. In any given month, however, your allocated Westlaw expense may vary, depending upon how much time was spent conducting research on matters you assigned to us rather than on others. We are not currently charging our clients for copying, postage or facsimile charges incurred in-house, although we will pass on such charges to you when an outside vendor is used (i.e. Federal Express, Kinkos, etc.).


Q: Will I be charged for photocopies? 


A: Historically, in order to get copying work done that was usable in the courtroom (documents that are "Bates" stamped), law firms had to send out such work to be done by vendors that would hand stamp each individual page, a process that resulted in costs of as much as 35 cents a page. We're using a copier with new technology that's all but done away with the need for such a process, however, dramatically reducing our need for an outside copy service, and the costs incurred by our clients. To cover our expenses on such copying, if the matter we're handling for you involves significant volume (or Bates stamping), you should expect to be billed a base charge of 15 cents per page. But that's a fraction of what we (like other law firms) used to have pay outside vendors, and we're therefore glad to be among the first law firms in the area to be providing this resource to our clients.

MAKE A PAYMENT

If you are a client with an outstanding invoice from us, you can now make a payment on that account with your Visa, Mastercard, Discover or American Express Card. Just click on the LawPay logo above of this message or CLICK HERE.