Rates & Billing

Rates:

Our rates are structured to provide you with high quality legal service at the lowest possible cost. Our philosophy is to keep private legal representation affordable.

In general, we bill you for the time spent on your case; for some cases, we are able to offer a flat fee payment. At the end of your initial consultation, we will let you know what fees are required to hire us.

Our hourly rates change periodically. As of January 2017, our hourly rates are:

Joni J. Berner
$375
Margaret Klaw
$375
Megan E. Watson
$375
Lisa M. Shapson
$375
Jennifer Dumin
$275
Stephanie Stecklair
$225
Judy Stouffer, Law Firm Administrator/Senior Paralegal
$125
Anna Marie Trantas, Paralegal
$125

Administrative Staff Projects (preauthorized by you)
$50

For mediation clients, we bill $300/hour in two-hour blocks. To serve as an arbitrator, we also charge $300/hour.


Fee Agreement and Advanced Fees:

If you would like to hire us after your consultation, we will ask you for advanced fees based on what you would like us to do and our assessment of the amount of time it may take to get started. This amount is not a flat fee – your actual legal fees and costs may be more or less. If unanticipated or new issues come up that render our estimate substantially inaccurate, additional advanced fees may be required to continue representing you.

The advanced fee amount will be discussed at the end of your initial consultation and reflected in our fee agreement. When you send back the signed fee agreement, we also require payment of the advanced fees by check, money order or credit card (Discover, MasterCard or Visa), which we then deposit into a trust account in accordance with the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct.

Billing:

You will receive monthly billing statements from us which show, in increments of 0.1 hours (six minutes), the work done on your case and the corresponding amount of funds transferred from your trust balance to Berner Klaw & Watson LLP as payment. If your case is active, you are required to keep a minimum of $1,000 in your trust account and we expect you to automatically replenish the trust account when your balance dips below this amount. If you have money in your trust account at the conclusion of your case, we will refund the balance to you.