705 Billing Guidelines

Billing Guidelines
Family Law Lawyers Reno Sparks NV

Divorce Attorneys Nevada, Child Custody Spousal Support Lawyer, Men’s Fathers Rights Attorney

Attorney Marilyn D. York
Largest Exclusive Divorce Lawyers
Law Office in Reno Area. Men’s & Father’s Fathers’ Rights

548 California Ave, Reno, NV    Ph 775-324-7979     email:  chantel@marilynyork.net

Content below this line is information for staff.

↔ ↔ ↔ ↔ ↔ ↔ ↔ ↔ ↔ ↔ ↔ ↔ ↔ ↔ ↔ ↔ ↔ ↔ ↔ ↔ ↔ ↔ ↔ ↔ ↔ ↔ ↔ ↔ ↔ ↔ ↔ ↔ ↔ ↔ ↔ ↔ ↔ ↔ ↔ ↔


Go To Test                   Other Office Information

It is each new Legal Staff member’s responsibility to become fully trained in her new job.  Since there is no formal training program, it is strictly on-the-job training which means asking all the questions it takes and getting as much help from other Legal Staff members and Business Staff members as necessary.  Lack of training is not a valid excuse for lack of performance.  Using good judgment in getting the kind and amount of training and specific help on specific casework is expected of each new legal staff member.  Therefore the quality of legal work is expected to be good from the beginning.

Each new Paralegal will get training help from the Associates that she works for, from the other Paralegals who are fully compensated for their training time spent, and from the Business Staff.  Chantel is especially experienced and helpful in billing procedures.

A.   Billing Ethics

Our billing policies below are much more ethical than that of the medical community that generally bills for everything including small to HUGE mistakes that even lead to death.

B.   Billing Philosophy
1. When lawyers meet with paralegals on a case – who bills?
Marilyn and her Paralegal on the case both bill for such meetings and Marilyn wants everyone to be consistent and bill when the lawyer is delegating assignments to the paralegals or giving follow-up information to ensure the paralegal can do a good job. When lawyers and paralegals talk to one another for work, it benefits the client and both should bill. These meetings result in saved costs to the client because the paralegal is more fully informed, can do better work, and charge at a reduced rate compared to lawyer rates. If a lawyer is informally chatting or meeting with staff to bring them up to speed for interest’s sake or without direct effect on a task or furthering a case, don’t bill.
2. Attorneys and Paralegals are expected to work for clients 7.5 hours per day; billing time gets lost but when working 7.5 hours for clients, Attorneys and Paralegals should bill 6.0 hours or more. For the days the Attorneys and Paralegals should work (not on vacations, holidays, sick leave, etc.), billing an average of 5.1 hours per day will generally yield 1,200 hours per year.
3. If legal staff were on a fixed salary they would tend to be careless about billing, especially for clients they like or clients they feel sorry for. Having the legal staff on Performance Based Pay and further encouraging their continuous good performance with a good solid Performance Awards Program is one key to our success. If not for Performance Based pay, why would the legal staff work as many hours and why would they bother billing all the hours they worked?

C.   Billing Times
1. Our Retainer Agreement allows charging (10) minute minimums and (5) minute increments thereafter for legal work and for collection work such as drafting an email for delinquent accounts by Attorney or Paralegal; however, the following new guidelines should be followed except when Clients overly communicate:

  (a)  The legal staff is to straight bill for phone calls to the nearest minute after a 3-minute minimum for any call including leaving a message. Such 3-minute minimums for leaving messages are limited to two per day.
  (b)  Instead of charging (10) minute minimums and (5) minute increments thereafter, Legal Staff should generally bill to the nearest minute but add 4 minutes to actual minute(s) to offset the 1 minute it takes to bill and the time lost because of the distractive nature of family law work; for example, if you spent 1 minute getting a question answered by Marilyn, then bill 5 minutes.  This applies to all Charges except for pro bono Clients and for intraoffice work for Marilyn.

  (c)  Because pro bono work and intraoffice work for Marilyn such as “training or upgrading forms” are corporation expenses not covered by Client fees:

        (1)  Legal Staff should generally bill to the nearest minute but add 1 minute to actual minute(s) to offset the 1 minute it takes to bill. The way to bill this is to add a charge in ML using your name as the bill to client and use Charge Type:  “training or upgrading forms”; Add time, leave Default Rate = 0.00.

        (2)  For Performance Pay “time and a half” bonus pay, that minimum remains at 600 hours per semester but pro bono hours billed are not counted; for example, if a Staffer bills 630 hours in a semester with 10 of them being pro bono, then only 20 hours would be at “time and a half”.

        (3)  For work that an Associate delegates to Paralegals, a percentage adds to the Associate’s pay except that pro bono dollars billed do not count.

  (d)  Do not bill tasks separately to Clients merely for the sake of adding 4 minutes to each task in lieu of lump billing; example number (1): for two tasks done in one 10 minute period, the Client should be billed for 10 + 4 = 14 minutes and not twice at 5 + 4 = 9 minutes each; and example number (2): for two tasks separated by legitimately working for another Client in between, then each task may logically be billed separately at 5 + 4 = 9 minutes.
2.   There is a list of Minimum Billing Charges with times on ML (“draft…” this or that). Always bill at least these minimums and more if it takes you more time because of complications:
draft Acknowledgment and Waiver
draft Affidavit of Resident Witness
draft Affidavit of Service
draft Application for Setting
draft Civil Cover Sheet
draft Family Court Information Sheet
draft Notice of Appearance
draft Notice of CMC
draft Notice of Hearing
draft Notice to Set
draft Proof of Service
draft Request for Submission
draft Substitution of Counsel
3.   For Awards, the minimum billing requirement of 95 hours per month assumes it can be done on a yearly basis of taking 5.4 weeks of vacation, holiday, sick, personal days off in a year. This 1140 hours billing per year is lower than most law offices and was lowered twice at this office. Working 46.6 weeks x 5 days a week = 233 workdays per year. 1140 hours billing / 233 days = 4.89 hours per day for the 233 days one could be working. 

4.  If a Legal Staffer wanted to take off 1 extra week a year and still bill 1140 hours/year: Working 45.6 weeks x 5 days a week = 228 workdays a year. 1140 hours billing / 228 days = 5.00 hours per day for the 228 days one could be working.

D.   Billing Procedures

1. Anytime work is done to further a case, that time should be billed to the client. This does not infer that billing is always appropriate when a case is furthered. For example – when the Court, opposing attorney or a client causes completed work to be redone, it’s appropriate to charge for the original work and the new work. If you did work that was wrong and needed redoing, it generally is not appropriate to charge for the original work and the new work. Proactively reviewing documents to keep a case on track sometimes may not further the case at the moment but it is still necessary to ensure nothing is missed. Billing for such reviews is appropriate.
2. Staff may bill “N/C” time to a Client. Billing a “No charge” is a tool for the biller.  It may be used or ignored.  New hires often like a place to enter time well spent but not chargeable. If the client would likely believe that he got some good value for free while the legal Staffer was helping “further his case” then billing the “No charge” would seem to be worth the effort. “No charge” hours billed are ignored by ML and pretty much everyone else. Such hours do not count towards Performance Based Pay nor Awards. 
3. When billing, you can find yourself in moral dilemmas by trying to be fair to the client, yourself, and to Marilyn. Keep it simple, follow rule # 1 above; those on performance based pay should limit # 2 N/C time to extraordinary circumstances.
4. Use the ML stopwatches to start, end, and measure the time spent working for a client.
5. When on the phone, at end of the conversation note elapsed time and use it for billing.
6. As you work for each client, try to keep up with billing your time. Because your work will often be interrupted and even your interruptions will be interrupted sometimes multiple times, try to at least write down on a list each client’s name that you worked for during the day. As you get a private moment, try to add times to those names on your list and ensure they are billed.
7. Before the lunch break, bill all morning time worked for various clients before your memory is blurred by afternoon commotion. Refer to your morning list of clients you worked for and the notes you made.
8. Before leaving work in the evening, bill all afternoon time worked for various clients. Refer to your afternoon list of clients you worked for and the notes you made. Look over your total billed hours for the day and think about how many hours you worked that day for clients. Remember the rule of thumb –
“For 7.5 hours of work, you should bill more than 6.0 hours.” Bill >80% of your hours worked.
If you are falling short of that ratio, become more vigilant in billing accurately and fairly and aggressively.
9. Attorney and Paralegals should include the time it takes to calculate, post, and detail the descriptions when they bill on ML as time included on the bill. Include at least 1 minute.
10. If a client cannot afford your representation and falls behind in payments, it is essential that the lawyer deals with reality, and sometimes the client needs to be fired.
11. Bill accurately and precisely to reduce Client complaints. Consolidate billing as appropriate but list details.
12. Always use good judgment in your billing methods, descriptions, and time spent, but bill aggressively and fairly.
13. Try not to bill for the time you think it may have taken you and don’t bill for the time you think it should have taken you. Bill conscientiously for the time it took you.
14. At the end of a hard day’s work, compare how many hours you worked to how many hours you billed. That may help remind you of forgotten hours or forgotten clients. Work hard at your billing. Adjust at end of day if appropriate.
15. Bill often throughout the day so details are not forgotten.
16. When you take a snack or bathroom break, it may be fair to bill if your mind is still working to further the case.
17. There are non-billable activities such as when you take a gab break.
18. Develop your own memory methods and reminder methods to avoid forgetting to bill for work done.

19. High stress work may require frequent and longer breaks. Stress is contagious, increasing stress on one person tends to increase stress on other Staff who are nearby; conversely decreasing stress on one person tends to decrease stress on other Staff who are nearby.

20. Stress has a compounding factor and can reach the intolerable range where a little less stress feels much better and a little more stress feels earth shattering.  It is simple:  when you can bill more aggressively and work less which means stress less for the same amount of money, you will like your career choice better and enjoy your life more.   

E.   Billing for thinking, planning, problem-solving, and brainstorming
To build a house, it must be built in someone’s mind, then built again probably by someone else when putting it on a drawing, then physically built by more other people. The new home buyer pays for all this.
Many complex situations arise in a family law case which requires or causes thinking, planning, problem-solving and brainstorming time. During the days before a big trial, the attorney’s mind will often be troubled and focused on that trial while she is driving, eating, trying to relax, or even sleeping. Trial or not, if you are home relaxing; driving a car; sleeping restlessly; in the shower etc. but you find yourself working on a case you may bill for it, especially if you make progress. Some of our best breakthrough ideas, big and small, come during more relaxing moments.
Thinking, planning, problem-solving, and brainstorming time spent on a case is legitimate to bill but needs somehow to be blended or lumped into billable choices on ML. Billing choices “prepare for court” and “research” obviously include thinking, planning, problem-solving, and brainstorming time.

ML billing choices such as “draft”, “finalize” and “revise” taken at face value seem to be only for the actual time spent typing on a computer but in reality by necessity they include some thinking, planning, problem-solving, and brainstorming time that should be lumped into the billing.
“Review” or “Revise” is a thinking, planning, problem-solving, and brainstorming time but often seems vague to clients and they may feel like they are paying when the case is not furthered. It helps to add appropriate notes on the billing for conclusions drawn, examples:
1. Review Court document received, determined that it is correct.
2. Review email from opposing counsel, it lacked “such and such” and follow-up action is needed.
3. Revise custody agreement with recently negotiated details.
Bad examples from Client’s perspective:
1. Review Court document received.
2. Review email from opposing counsel.
3. Revise the custody agreement.

When preparing for Court, lawyers use ML billing term “prepare for court” which obviously will take thinking, planning, problem-solving, and brainstorming time.

When “Preparing” for a non-client conference (opposing counsel for example), consultation, or phone call, it takes thinking, planning, problem-solving, and brainstorming time especially for a complex situation. Such time is legitimate to bill, can easily be lumped into the event itself and clients generally are accepting (or unknowing).

When “Preparing” for a client conference, consultation, or phone call, it also takes thinking, planning, problem-solving, and brainstorming time especially for a complex situation. Such time is legitimate to bill but clients may criticize it if it is not explained properly when billing.  Marilyn suggests combining the explanation and the billed time with the main activity; examples follow: (1)  Prepare for client conference, conference 1:10; (2)  Prepare for client phone call:10.

At the end of doing research, lawyers and paralegals bill for winding down, drawing conclusions, making notes (thinking, planning, problem-solving, and brainstorming). But what about at the end of a conference, consultation, or phone call? When “Contemplating” (winding down, drawing conclusions, making notes) after a non-client conference (opposing counsel for example), consultation or phone call takes thinking, planning, problem-solving, and brainstorming time especially for a complex situation. Such time is legitimate to bill, can easily be lumped into the event itself and clients generally are accepting (or unknowing).

At the end of a conference, consultation, or phone call with a client, there is often time spent “Contemplating” (winding down, drawing conclusions, making notes – thinking, planning, problem-solving, and brainstorming) especially for a complex situation. Such time is legitimate to bill but clients may criticize it if it is not explained properly when billing.  Marilyn suggests combining the explanation and the billed time with the main activity; examples follow: (1)  Prepare for client conference, conference, follow up with an email to opposing client 1:20; (2)  Prepare for client’s phone call, phone call, making notes after a phone call :15.

Please chat about these Billing Guidelines with Chantel and Ray, ask questions, get and give opinions, feedback, and suggestions.

F.   Words for Associate Lawyers

Being a lawyer can be overwhelming when helping with the business side along with doing the legal work. This law office offers all the help you will need to succeed on both the legal and business side of each case. On the legal side, you may seek help from Marilyn, her other lawyers, and the paralegals (don’t wait for help to arrive – be assertive in asking for it). On the business side, most activities are done by the business department but you have a small part of the responsibility that is very important: networking to get clients; help with the screening of new clients during the Initial Consult (Icon), convincing the clients that they want to hire you at the end of the Icon; collections and stop working as prudent; doing fine work to get referrals from happy clients; being liked enough by clients to get referrals.
1. Always remember the CLIENT is #1.
2. Your clients are your collective boss in so many ways and they will determine your pay and your job satisfaction. The good news is that you have a lot of control over who hires you and you can stop working for them at will, especially if you are good at networking and converting Initial Consults (Icons) to clients.
3. Don’t play God, there is no room for large egos or narcissism. But remember you are the best. You are the best because you care, because you are smart, because you will over-prepare, because you will go the last mile, and then some.
4. Lawyer-Client relationships should be professional yet friendly and team-like.
5. Earn Clients by getting referrals by doing good work and by networking.
6. Market yourself. Don’t oversell but be brilliant at marketing. Read the “Little Red Book of Selling”. Study. Experiment. Learn.
7. Keeping the client happy. Give occasional n/c time on the billing (prudently).
8. Set Client expectations. Do not Guarantee outcomes. Explain how fast the Initial Retainer will go. Please follow Marilyn’s strategy in being reasonable and keeping demands reasonable and then fighting hard to hold that line. We generally do not ask for more than half the “baby”.
9. Show compassion and empathy to clients. They are suffering and your kindness helps them.
10. Pay attention to your Critical Numbers: conversion of Icons to clients; billed hours; % collections; average hourly rate.
11. Always bill 1 hour for Icons.

Initial Consultations (Icons) –
1. This is our lifeblood, learn how to make the most use of this fantastic sales opportunity.
2. At first ask some getting-to-know-you questions – some friendly, some leading – all helping you to screen him as a possible client. For ones you want as a client, use assumptive techniques and closing statements. Remind him that the Icon is fully credited to future work if he hires you today.
3. At end of Icon for those ones you would like to hire you, introduce them to ‘their’ paralegal and ‘business liaison’. Ask them to spend a few minutes with Chantel or Mollie who can explain our business side briefly and answer business questions.
4. On Icons who do not hire you within a few days, call them to see how they are doing and if you can be of any more help.
5. Clients that were active as of 10/1/10 had spent $15,028 on average with us and were still going. No Icon Conversion means no $15,028.

G.   Words for Paralegals – Being a paralegal can be overwhelming too. Having multiple bosses in multiple cases can be very challenging. This law office offers all the help you will need to succeed. You may seek help from Marilyn, her Associate Lawyers, other paralegals, and the business staff (don’t wait for help to arrive – be assertive in asking for it). Your best role aside from doing good legal work is to ‘Mother’ the lawyers and clients. It is not enough to be a babysitter – you need to make your lawyer’s job easier and help her remember important schedules and commitments. Lawyers going to court with great paralegal support are more likely to be great in court. The same is true for other work the lawyer does. Anything you can do to make the lawyer more successful will make you more successful. On the business side, most activities are done by the business department but you have a small part of the responsibility that is very important: networking to get clients; collections and encouraging the lawyer to stop working for a client when prudent; doing fine work to get referrals from happy clients; being liked enough by clients to get referrals; being liked enough by lawyers to get enough delegated work from them to bill minimum hours.
1. Always remember the CLIENT is #1.
2. The lawyers are your collective boss in so many ways and they will determine your pay and your job satisfaction.
3. Almost as important is your client relationships and keeping clients happy.
4. Doing high-quality and efficient work will cause the lawyers to respect and rely on you thereby making them feel comfortable about delegating more work to you.
5. Don’t play God, there is no room for large egos or narcissism. Don’t think you are a lawyer or as good as a lawyer – you have a different role and need to be good at your own role.
6. Paralegal-Client relationships should be professional yet friendly and team-like.
7. Earn Clients by getting referrals by doing good work and by networking. Yes, some of our clients, rightfully so, think our paralegals are heroes and will refer their friends to our office and suggest they try to get a particular paralegal assigned to the case.
8. Market yourself. Don’t oversell but be brilliant at marketing. Read the “Little Red Book of Selling”. Study. Experiment. Learn.
9. Keep the lawyer and the client happy. If the lawyer is not happy, no one is happy. Same for clients.
10. Help set and reinforce realistic Client expectations.
11. Show compassion and empathy to clients. They are suffering and your kindness helps them.
12. Pay attention to your Critical Numbers: billed hours; group % collections.

H.   About the Business staff
See business staff job descriptions at https://marilynyork.net/BusinessStaffJobs.php

I.   Words for all – Virtually everything you want comes from other people. To get what you want you have to give enough other people what they want.

Extraordinary Us –
1. Our Legal Team is the best. We keep getting more higher-end cases and doing very well with them.
2. Our Business Team is the best. We have learned and perfected every detail of running the business, controlling the critical numbers, and have full confidence of a long and continued business success.
3. Each of us should be proud of our individual contributions and the overall results.
4. This law office keeps improving and each year has an unprecedented level of great business procedures and client services.


A. Lawyer and Paralegal team topics.
1. Responsibilities of lawyer to paralegal.
2. Responsibilities of paralegal to lawyer.
3. Benefits of Paralegals.
4. Delegating work to paralegals.
5. Generally Paralegals need their own discretion to bill for hours they work.

B. Collections https://marilynyork.net/CollectionAttempts.php
1. Stopping work for a Client: Theoretical…. Practical….
2. Minimum collections for each lawyer is 95% (major factor in performance based pay). She who is a great Collector can probably get away with ‘murda’.
3. Collections is the responsibility of each lawyer because the lawyers control work and work stopping.
4. Paralegals need to help in collections by advising the lawyer on the case and by actually making collection attempts on the clients.
5. Each client is assigned a business department “liaison” who will make many of the collections attempts.
6. Mid-month and end month “Client Retainer Status Reports” are emailed to clients.


Below are some pertinent Website, Office Manual, and Retainer Agreement references – please read.

From https://marilynyork.net/Paralegals.php

Dedicated & trained Paralegals who are thorough and patient –
1. Make Law Offices more competitive by lowering the overall cost of services to Clients thereby attracting more Clients. 2. Are often more flexible, more adaptive, and generally better at certain types of legal work, and better at controlling certain details or repetitive processes than Lawyers. 3. Are more available and attentive to Clients since they don’t go to Court, travel, or get so absorbed in cases. Fostering communications between Client and Paralegal is usually a very good idea. 4. Relieve Lawyers of routine work that frees them up to concentrate on strategy, case management, and other complex issues of a case. 5. Improve Client satisfaction by taking care of details, being available for Telephone calls and visits, getting and relaying Lawyer answers to Client questions. Things Paralegals can do –
1. Interview witnesses and Clients. 2. Communicate with Clients. 3. Collect, organize and summarize facts and documents. 4. Produce drafts and even final copies of letters, pleadings, and related case and court documents for a Lawyer’s review and signature. Repetitive legal forms should usually be drafted by experienced qualified Paralegals to allow the use of Lawyers time better.
Things Paralegals can ‘NOT’ do –
1. Accept a case from a Client. 2. Set or collect Client fees. 3. Share Profits of the Law Office. 4. Own a share of the Law Office. 5. Give legal advice. 6. Plan legal strategies. 7. Take depositions. 8. Represent a Client at Court hearings or trials. 9. Sign legal documents.


From Office Manual:

(Law Business Success Formula)
1. Advertise and network enough to keep an excess supply of Client Applicants wanting to hire us.
2. Screen and select the most worthy Applicants (those who can pay).
3. Set legal hourly rates and initial Retainer fees optimally.
4. Do efficient, productive and effective legal work to keep Clients happy so they refer others to us.
5. Get out of cases quickly when it is apparent that the Client will not be able to pay us.
6. Legal Staff Members consistently meet minimum hourly billing requirements per year.
7. Legal Staff Teams each consistently exceed 95% Collections per year.
8. Lawyers maintaining an Icon Conversion Rate > 50%.
9. Don’t become complacent or satisfied that the Office or your work is good enough.
The Law Office Team, like a dogsled team, must work together, have a specific destination, work smart, know when to change course, avoid pitfalls to accomplish mutual goals. This Law Office does not need babysitters so don’t be one. Be a Business Mother instead – a business cannot have too many Mothers who nurture it, care for it and keep it healthy. Continuing to make small improvements pays off big! Keep up the good work.


There exists a mutual kind of a partnership between the lawyer and her paralegals because they make up a team with high continuous expectations that affect the lawyer’s reputation:

1. The lawyer’s client and his family, his loved ones and his friends; Marilyn and her employees; and the courts all expect great legal quality, effort, efficiency and results from mostly the lawyer but partially from the paralegals.
2. Marilyn and her business staff expect each legal team member to bill minimum required hours and keep % Collections at 95% or more.

For a lawyer to generally have her own exclusive paralegal, it is a great opportunity but one with great responsibility. For the above high expectations to be realized on a continuous basis – both team members must be highly intelligent, skillful, trained, motivated, have mutually strong team members, and be action-oriented.

In order to accomplish this greatness, the lawyer must accept the leadership role and responsibility for her team. By accepting the paralegal into her team, the lawyer becomes obligated to delegate sufficient work to her paralegal and insure that her paralegal is performing and accomplishing team goals and is given the opportunity and necessities to do so. Personal growth of the paralegal should be a concern. If the lawyer does not have enough clients to support minimum billing for herself and her paralegal, it is the lawyers responsibility to go to the business department and request more initial consults.

The lawyer and her paralegal are more than a legal team. They are also a business team with business expectations such as making minimum billing, % Collections, and pleasing the Client when he compares his legal team’s effort to how much money he spent. This means that the lawyer as team leader must consider many business decisions as well as legal ones (and become a good business person of sorts in addition to being a good lawyer). Common business decisions follow:

1. Deciding when to stop working for a client that is not paying; is abusive; is uncooperative; or is stoned all the time.
2. How to conduct initial consultations to best screen would-be clients so that unwanted ones are discouraged and desired ones want to hire you.
3. Anticipate current and future workloads and react by encouraging or restricting initial consults in hiring you.
4. How and when to delegate work to the paralegal from business-driven decisions. Such business decisions will not be detrimental to the legal work if the work is properly supervised and checked.

The paralegal must perform at a high enough level to earn the lawyers trust and respect so that the lawyer finds it advantageous to delegate work to the paralegal. If the paralegal makes too many errors and her work quality does not generally please the lawyer, the ideal relationship described here may never exist.

If the lawyer prefers to have no paralegal on her team or to use a paralegal part-time as needed (subject to availability) where the lawyer has significantly less responsibility to the paralegal, that alternative should be open for discussion.

These are very high expectations indeed, but Marilyn has high expectations for herself and for others. Being part of her law office requires high standards with hopefully high rewards such as being paid well, feeling good about your work ethics, personal growth, work quality and results in helping others.

For a lawyer to become a good delegator she must over delegate, push the paralegal’s limits, delegate beyond reason and be daring until the optimum current level is discovered. Then next week or maybe next month shoot for a higher delegating level. By over delegating, it will cause the lawyer some extra work in training more and consulting more with your paralegal, but there should be a benefit to the team’s ability to be flexible and effective. (Don’t law schools push law students? Isn’t a paralegal a law student of sorts?) When your paralegal becomes highly trained and effective, she will be proud of her skills and be appreciative of your efforts.

As a matter of good practice, Lawyers should delegate work to no more than 2 paralegals and Paralegals should not work for more than 2 lawyers.


From Retainer Agreement –

“Returning phone calls promptly by an attorney under the above-described pressures is desirable but sometimes not possible. Additionally, when an attorney is preparing court documents and working on cases, interruptions can shatter attention spans and continuity in the work and a day of continuous interruptions can cause insanity. Therefore this Law Office’s message handling policy has evolved as follows:
1. Paralegals receive incoming phone calls and messages from Clients whenever possible. These messages are carefully considered and those needing quick response will get highest priorities. Phone conversations with Paralegals concerning the Client’s case are charged at paralegal rates so it is always advantageous for the Client to be brief and to the point. Messages via email are much more cost-effective and generally much better thought out.
2. Messages typically get summarized, accumulated and presented by the Paralegal to Attorney at opportune times. Answers are generally relayed back to the Client by the Paralegal, but when Attorney sees a need for a direct answer or a client insists on talking to an attorney directly, an attorney will call the Client.

This policy allows Client to get answers quicker and at less cost. It reduces the amount of time Attorney is on the phone or on short consultations thereby allowing Attorney to do better quality and more productive work for each client because of fewer interruptions.

It is important that Client, Attorney, and Attorney’s staff work as a team and are courteous and understanding with each other. Clients that express meanness or become insulting are generally asked to find another Law Office that might suit them better.

Because Client agrees to pay Attorney in advance, if Client’s Retainer Account has a balance due regardless of any Deposit amount, the balance due is considered past due (delinquent) and a breach of his Retainer and Payments in Advanced Agreement. Any such balance due is the responsibility of Client to pay Attorney and it should be paid immediately to insure continued representation. Sending out Client Retainer Status Reports mid-month and end month help keep Clients informed about charges and status of their retainers, credits, and balances. Finance Charges (.75%) are added to Client accounts at mid-month for balances from the end of the prior month that were not received by mid-month. Additional Finance Charges (another .75%) are added to Client accounts at end of month for balances from the mid-month that were not received by end of the month. All Attorney and Paralegal services for Clients stop as accounts have a balance due. Such Clients will no longer be able to communicate with Attorney or Paralegals about his/her case until a sufficient new amount of retainer is paid to the Office Manager. This Law Office cannot afford to make loans for legal services and costs. As with other businesses, services without paying should not be expected. Clients who need to borrow money to solve their legal problems need to borrow in advance from friends, relatives, and banks and not from Attorney.

Attorney agrees that summary statements for legal services and costs called “Client Retainer Status Reports” will be itemized to include hours expended and description of such services and costs and mailed twice monthly.

Attorney makes no warranties or representations concerning the successful conclusion of this claim or the subject matter of this agreement; nor does Attorney warrant the favorable outcome of any legal action that may be filed. All statements of Attorney on these matters are statements of opinion only and are not a warranty of success. Attorney does not warrant or guarantee that she will obtain reimbursement for Client for any of Client’s costs, attorney’s fees or expenses resulting from this civil action.”


Charities We Support

Nevada Youth Empowerment Project (NYEP) – http://nyep.org

Truckee Meadows Housing Solutions (TMHS)https:// truckeemeadowshousingsolutions .org/

Nevada Humane Societyhttps://nevadahumanesociety. org/

Good Shepherd Clothing Closethttp://www.gsccreno.org/

Res-quehttps://res-que.rescuegroups. org/

Lexie’s Gifthttps://www.lexiesgift.com/

Solace Treehttp://www.solacetree.org/

The family law and divorce information on this Reno-Sparks, Nevada (NV) website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. The receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. We are child custody, visitation, spousal support, and, men’s and fathers’ rights lawyers. We serve Reno, Sparks, Fernley, Fallon, Carson City, Minden, Gardnerville, Lovelock, Winnemucca, Yerington, and Incline Village.