Attorney's and fees - Posted by Mike Schmidt (IL)

Posted by Mike Schmidt (IL) on July 20, 2001 at 15:17:13:

Thanks for the comments Sue.

We have a family member that we have used in the past but he is 40 miles away which I feel is to far for these type transactions, so I am lost when it comes to fees. This firm is well known in the area, deals with zoning also. Heck one of the firm members is the last mayor of my town.

Attorney’s and fees - Posted by Mike Schmidt (IL)

Posted by Mike Schmidt (IL) on July 20, 2001 at 13:44:18:

I am in the process of finding an Attorney I can develop a working relationship with that also understands what it is we do with REI.

I found one that seemed well versed in Subject To, trusts etc. Just curious what would be considered fare hourly rates. I guess I view this like finding a doctor where the cheapest rate is not always the best bargain if you know what I mean. So far I have done my first two deals solo but see I should have an attorney soon. Here is what they quoted:

Hourly attorney work= $165 / hr
Paralegal work = $50 / hr

Mentioned that the bulk of real estate transactions is going to be paralegal. Any thoughts?

Re: Attorney’s and fees - Posted by Becky IL

Posted by Becky IL on July 20, 2001 at 14:44:17:

Mike, I’m in the Chicago area and those rates are quite reasonable. However, like Sue said in her post, you will require itemized billing statements and you will need to watch for how much time they spend on routine tasks. Also, many attorneys have minimum billing increments, such as .25 hours for every phone call they make, etc. See if you can negotiate this down to .10 hour minimum billing increment. Also, if you’re worried about the bill running out of control, ask about fixed rates for a closing or a fixed rate for handling an eviction or for drafting contracts.

Re: Attorney’s and fees - Posted by SueC

Posted by SueC on July 20, 2001 at 13:51:38:

Mike, rates are somewhat regional, and also vary depending on whether you’re near a city or in the outlying areas, but all in all, that seems like a fair price. In the Philly area for example, rates are roughly about $175-$200 an hour, with paralegals being billed at $70-90 per hour.

The key is to get a bill from the lawyer that is itemized as to how many hours are spent on each task; some lawyers just bill the lump sum for al work done for the client. That way, they can quote you a low or reasonable rate, and then make up for it in time spent, and without detail you can’t know what they actually did. If it sounds like the are spending too much time doing certain things, like say ten or fifteen hours to review and draft what should be a basic contract, you need to be able to call them on it.

Re: Attorney’s and fees - Posted by Mike Schmidt (IL)

Posted by Mike Schmidt (IL) on July 20, 2001 at 15:44:01:

Thanks for the input Becky.

As posted I really dont know whats reasonable as far as hourly charges go, but am glad to see they seem in line!! I will be sure to get these rates detailed.

Thanks again.