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Don Glass, Esq
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Law Offices of Donald E Glass
43537 Ridge Park Dr.
Temecula, CA 92590
ATTORNEY-CLIENT FEE AGREEMENT
Unbundled Limited Scope Flat Fee Online Divorce Legal Services / Uncontested True Default Divorce/ Legal Separation / Self-Represented
Law Offices of Donald Glass (“attorney”) and Client (“Client”) hereby agree that Attorney will provide the legal services to Client on the terms set forth below.
This Agreement is different from the usual Retainer Agreement. Unlike a Retainer Agreement, this Agreement is for unbundled legal services for uncontested true default judgment divorces, meaning, limited legal services for preparing legal documents only, rather than for the complete array of services that lawyers often provide to their clients such as in pre-litigation and litigation. Also, the total flat fee will be less than Attorney’s normal full-service attorney’s fee at $395.00 per hour, which would include, but not limited to, the time Attorney spends at court hearings, on telephone calls, e-mails and other electronic communications relating to Client’s matter, including calls and e-mails with Client, and waiting time and for travel time, both local and out of town. This is because the scope of the legal services is limited in that Client will be listed as “Self-Represented” or in “Pro Per” on all documents prepared by Attorney. Attorney will not be listed on any documents as the attorney of record for Client. Attorney is providing services for Client only and not client’s spouse or anyone other than Client. This agreement is not a commitment to handle other legal work. Anything beyond providing and completing the above services is considered other legal work. Firm shall have no responsibility, and Client shall take full responsibility, for any other matter. We have not agreed to go to a hearing or trial with you, or agreed to prepare your case for trial or agreed to provide any legal help or assistance beyond providing and completing these services. Client understands that there may be other issues and considerations which are very important to their case, but which Client does not want Attorney to handle.
This Agreement is designed for clients who see the benefits of our Agreement, and who are better able to budget for our legal services, and who are self-motivated.
This Agreement will not take effect, and Attorney will have no obligation to provide legal services, until: (a) Client returns the electronically signed online client contact form with this Agreement attached thereto and incorporated herein; (b) Client pays the initial $95.00 payment for Step 1 of our services called for under Paragraph 3; and (c) Attorney acknowledges acceptance of representation by sending a receipt to Client for the $95.00 payment. The payment shall have the effect of Attorney’s counter-signing this Agreement and being the effective date of this Agreement and delivery of a fully executed copy to Client.
- SCOPE OF SERIVCES AND ATTORNEY’S DUTIES –
Unbundled Limited Scope/ Flat Fee Uncontested True Default Divorce/ Legal Separation / Online Legal Services for Self-Represented Clients
Client hires Attorney to provide legal services for Unbundled Limited Scope/ Flat Fee Uncontested True Default Divorce/ Legal Separation / Online Legal Services for Self-Represented Clients as listed in the following Five (5) Steps:
Step 1: Client completes the Online Attorney Interview;
Step 2: Attorney reviews Client Online Attorney Interview;
Step 3: Attorney prepares petition for divorce or legal separation;
Step 4: Attorney prepares financial disclosures;
Step 5: Attorney prepares judgment for True Default divorce or legal separation.
Attorney will provide those legal services reasonably required for the above-listed services to Client. Attorney will take reasonable steps to keep Client informed of progress and to respond to Client’s inquiries. This Agreement does not cover any other legal services. A separate written agreement for other additional services or services in any other matter not described above will be required. Attorney is representing Client only in the matter described above.
Our legal fees are subject to change for each Step, at any time, with reasonable notice.
- FLAT FEE
Client agrees to pay a flat fee for each of the 5 steps and at each step as provided in paragraph 5 for Attorney’s services under this Agreement. This fee at each of the 5 steps is fixed and constitutes complete payment for the performance of services at each step under this Agreement and does not depend on the amount of work performed. Client acknowledges that this fee is negotiated and is not set by law. The fee shall be paid by Client in advance of the services to be rendered at each step. The fee will be deposited into the Attorney’s operating account. Attorney hereby discloses to Client that Client has the right to (1) require that the flat fee be deposited into Attorney’s Client Trust Account until the fee is earned; and (2) a refund of any amount of the fee that has not been earned in the event the representation is terminated or the services for which the flat fee has been paid are not completed. Client acknowledges that any one of the 5 steps is completed on the date that Attorney emails to Client the completed documents for that specific step.
- NEGOTIABILITY OF LEGAL FEES
Client understands that the rates set forth above are not set by law, but are negotiable between Attorney and Client.
Step 1: $95.00 flat legal fee – Client completes the Online Attorney Interview;
Step 2: Attorney reviews Client Online Attorney Interview;
Step 3: $200.00 flat legal fee and for each revision – Attorney prepares petition documents for divorce or legal separation;
Step 4: $200.00 flat legal fee and for each revision – Attorney prepares financial disclosure documents;
Step 5: $200.00 flat legal fee and for each revision if no Children, Property and/or Debts or $500.00 flat legal fee and for each revision if any Children, Property and/or Debts – Attorney prepares judgment documents for a True Default divorce or legal separation.
- CLIENT’S DUTIES
Client agrees to be truthful with Attorney and not withhold information. Further Client agrees to cooperate, to keep Attorney informed of any court notices, information or developments which may come to Client’s attention, to abide by this Agreement, to pay Attorney at each step, and to keep Attorney advised of Client’s address, telephone number and whereabouts. Client will assist Attorney by timely providing necessary information and documents. Client agrees to appear at all legal proceedings in Pro Per as may be required by the court if the court deems it necessary, and generally to cooperate fully with Attorney in all matters related to the preparation of
Client is advised that it is Client’s responsibility to notify Attorney If there has been an assignment or application for assignment of child support right to the Department of Child Support Services, and/or whether or not there is receipt of TANF/CalWorks benefits, and a lawyer from DCSS will need to sign off on your any/all judgment documents later on in your case. Furthermore, Client is advised to notify your DCSS caseworker that you will/have filed for divorce and to keep your DCSS caseworker updated. Their response will be based on where they are at this time in the pursuit of a child support case against your spouse and then of course just follow the instructions of DCSS to have the step 3 judgment documents approved by DCSS.
Firm is not responsible for any loss, injury, claim or damage caused by Client’s errors or omissions of or failure or refusal to disclose or decision to not disclose any/all relevant or material information to Attorney, in any/all court documents and/or to any Court.
The choice of whether or not to disclose DCSS or other governmental actions is the sole responsibility of Client and/or to list any property and debt and have it confirmed by the court as separate property or community property awarded by the court to Client, is the sole responsibility of Client and is a critical decision only the Client can make.
- COST AND OTHER CHARGES
Attorney will incur various costs and expenses in performing legal services under this Agreement. Client agrees to pay for all costs, disbursements and expenses in addition to the flat legal fees. The costs and expenses commonly include, service of process charges, filing fees, court fees, messenger and other delivery fees, postage, photocopying and other reproductions costs and other similar items. The foregoing external costs and expenses will be charged at each step of the 5 steps. Client acknowledges and agrees that costs and other charges may total $800.00 or more for the 5 steps depending on circumstances of the case. Attorney will obtain Client’s consent via email and/or text message before incurring any costs. Client also acknowledges and agrees to pay $10.00 per month to Attorney as a case audit fee beginning the effective date of this Agreement.
- DISCHARGE AND WITHDRAWAL
Client may discharge Attorney at any time. Attorney may withdraw with Client’s consent or for good cause or if permitted under the Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of California and/or applicable law. Among the circumstances under which Attorney may withdraw are: (a) with the consent of Client; (b) Client’s conduct renders it unreasonably difficult for the Attorney to carry out the employment effectively; and/or (c) Client fails to pay Attorney’s fees or costs as required by this Agreement. Notwithstanding the discharge, Client will remain obligated to pay Attorney at the agreed rates for all services provided and to reimburse Attorney for all costs advanced.
- CONCLUSION OF SERVICES
When Attorney’s services conclude, whether by completing the services covered by this Agreement, or by discharge or withdrawal, all unpaid charges for fees or costs will be due and payable immediately.
Client may have access to Client’s case file electronically via Attorney’s email systems at any reasonable time. At the end of the engagement, Client may request the return of Client’s case file. If Client has not requested the return of Client’s file, and to the extent Attorney has not otherwise delivered it or disposed of it consistent with Client’s directions, Attorney will retain the case file for a period of ONE YEAR, after which Attorney is authorized by this agreement to have the case file destroyed. In the event Client requests that Attorney transfer possession of Client’s case file to Client or a third party, Attorney is authorized to retain copies of the case file at Attorney’s expense. The case file includes Client papers and property as defined in Rule 3-700(D)(1) of the California Rules of Professional Conduct.
10. PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY INSURANCE DISCLOSURE
Pursuant to California Rule of Professional Conduct 1.4.2(a), I am informing you in writing that I do NOT have professional liability insurance.
11. NO TAX ADVICE
Attorney has not been retained to provide Client with any tax advice concerning any of the services described in paragraph 3. Any documents prepared by Attorney may have specific tax ramifications. To be sure Client understands and is certain of all the potential tax consequences, Client should consult with tax advisors regarding these matters.
- ENTIRE AGREEMENT
This Agreement contains the entire agreement of the parties. No other agreement, statement, or promise made on or before the effective date of this Agreement will be binding on the parties
- SEVERABILITY IN EVENT OF PARTIAL INVALIDITY
If any provision of this Agreement is held in whole or in part to be unenforceable for any reason, the remainder of that provision and of the entire Agreement will be severable and remain in effect.
- DISCLAIMER OF GUARANTEE AND ESTIMATES
Nothing in this Agreement and nothing in Attorney’s statements to Client will be construed as a promise or guarantee about the outcome of the matter. Attorney makes no such promises or guarantees. Attorney’s comments about the outcome of the matter are expressions of opinion only, are neither promises nor guarantees, and will not be construed as promises or guarantees. Any deposits made by client or estimate of fees given by Attorney are not a representation of a flat fee and will not be a limitation on fees or a guarantee that fees and costs will not exceed the amount of the deposit or estimate. Actual fees may vary significantly from estimates given.
- CALIFORNIA LAW GOVERNS
California law shall govern this Agreement.
Attorney has security measures in place to protect against loss, misuse or alteration of client information under our control. When you enter sensitive information (such as credit card number) on our order forms and online attorney interview, we secure or encrypt the transmission of that information using secure technology. We follow generally accepted standards to protect the client personal information submitted to us, both during transmission and once we receive it. No method of transmission over the internet, or method of electronic storage, is 100% secure, however. Therefore, we cannot guarantee its absolute security and by electronically signing this retainer agreement, you acknowledge and accept that Firm cannot guarantee the absolute security of your personal confidential client information. Client has carefully read this Agreement and considered the additional information and advice that Attorney has provided to Client and Client understands the possible risks and benefits described in this Agreement. Understanding those possible risks and benefits, Client voluntarily, knowingly, and intentionally enters into this Agreement with Attorney.
- CONSENT TO USE OF E-MAIL AND CLOUD SERVICES
In order to provide Client with efficient and convenient legal services, Attorney will frequently communicate and transmit documents using e-mail. Because e-mail continues to evolve, there may be risks communicating in this manner, including risks related to confidentiality and security. By entering into this Agreement, Client is consenting to such e-mail transmissions with Client and Client’s representatives and agents. In addition, Attorney uses a cloud computing service with servers located in a facility other than Attorney’s office. Most of Attorney’s electronic data, including emails and documents, are stored in this manner. By entering into this Agreement, Client understands and consents to having communications, documents and information pertinent to the Client’s matter stored through such a cloud-based service.
- MODIFICATION BY SUBSEQUENT AGREEMENT
This Agreement may be modified by subsequent agreement of the parties only by an instrument in writing signed by both of them.
THE PARTIES HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD THE FOREGOING TERMS AND AGREE TO THEM AS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS AGREEMENT AS PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH 2 ABOVE.