At Pate Baird, PLLC, we will collect and use information obtained from credit card transactions only for business purposes. These business purposes include the payment of trust retainers, as well as payment of invoices for completed work.
We do not disclose any nonpublic information (such as credit card numbers and expiration dates) about our customers or former customers to anyone, except as required by law. We do not disclose or sell your information to other entities who may want to sell their products to you.
Pate Baird does not collect or store any private credit card information through its web site. All data is collected by a secure third-party. Pate Baird never receives or stores that confidential information.
Payments-on-account (payments corresponding to invoiced work) are non-refundable. Payments in trust (paid in advance and placed in trust) are refundable only for the portion that both corresponds to work not yet performed and is also above and beyond any amount due on account.
Fees For Legal Services - Our fees for services are established according to criteria specified in the Utah Rules of Professional Conduct for reasonableness, including time and labor, difficulty, novelty, complexity, skill required, time constraints imposed by a client or the nature of the matter, and the nature of the results obtained. Decisions and information may reflect experience, education, wisdom, research, systems, insight, administration, and other resources, not readily visible. Thus, each project is charged according to a fixed quote, fixed administrative cost, or by the benefit or cost in time required, and may reflect "last minute" demands.
Authorization and Advances - Every project is a "non-returnable, special order product," of value to only one client. Its unique and confidential facts determine the law applied. Thus, we typically quote a fixed legal fee for a project and may estimate additional out-of-pocket expenses required, all of which must be paid in advance before the firm will undertake the project or place it on the firm docket. We require written (i.e., letter, email, facsimile, etc.) authorization, and send written confirmation, before we undertake responsibility for any project, although we may begin sooner, at our option, as a timely courtesy.
This assures a clear understanding of the scope and authorization of client instructions. It also establishes the priority for each client matter. Since any increase in scope may increase fees and costs, we require timely authorization and payment when a need for such change arises. All advances (i.e., retainers) are placed in a special trust account until billed against for legal services.
Hourly and Follow Up Work - While predictable production of a well understood project can be quoted, communication to obtain or provide information, discussion of direction or progress of a project, research, litigation, follow up, and coordination are considered "consultation," subject to standard hourly rates. These currently range from $100.00 per hour to $400.00 per hour, depending on an attorney's experience level, and may increase over time, but not above the rates normally charged to our other clients. Standard docketing and follow up matters may be billed at an established administrative rate to minimize or otherwise reflect actual costs.
Direct Costs and Expenses - Direct costs are not included in overhead rates, because they vary greatly from case to case. Clients are responsible for all direct costs advanced on their behalf, such as filing fees, transcript and deposition fees, travel expenses, and expert witness fees. Also included are long-distance, cell, and other toll calls, photocopying, facsimile transmissions, printing, mail services, computerized research, messengers, and "rush" services necessitated by clients. Certain direct costs may be adjusted by an administration overhead percentage reflecting actual cost to the firm.
Invoicing and Interest on Unpaid Balances - We invoice ongoing work monthly, and completed projects may be invoiced immediately upon completion. Invoices contain a clear statement of professional services and direct costs. Contact us at any time if you have questions regarding fees. If a client payment is late, we avoid burdening other clients with resulting higher fees. Instead, payments apply to oldest invoices. A monthly finance charge adds to all unpaid amounts thirty days after the invoice date. The rate is one and one half percent (1½%) per month (an ANNUAL PERCENTAGE RATE OF 18% compounded monthly), and clients are responsible for all costs of collection. This is our standard arrangement, clarified here to avoid future misunderstanding. It in no way reflects concern regarding the financial integrity of any particular client.