When a potential client calls expressing an interest in our services, we schedule a brief telephone interview of no more than 15 minutes duration with the client. All of our communications with a client or a potential client are subject to the attorney-client privilege.
If it appears we can help the potential client, we may offer the potential client a retainer agreement. A retainer agreement is like an audit program or a roadmap. It reflects our analysis of the client’s case, and outlines our plan for bringing the client into compliance with the law. Our strategy for helping a client is not static, and may adjust as appropriate during the course of an engagement. During the course of an engagement we frequently refer back to the retainer agreement, to make sure our work in on track in accomplishing the client’s objectives.
In the retainer agreement the client agrees to pay for our services at our hourly rates in effect from time to time. We charge for all of our time spent on a case, including time in interviewing the client, researching and investigating the case, and drafting the retainer agreement. As noted above, such up-front work is some of the most important work in a case.
The client also agrees to reimburse us for out-of-pocket costs which we incur in representing the client, such as UPS document delivery charges.
At the outset we collect a retainer from the client. This is not a fixed fee for the engagement; we do not accept engagements for a fixed fee. Rather, a retainer is a deposit. We credit a retainer to the client’s account, and charge our invoices against the client’s account. The client remains responsible for paying the balance of the client’s account in excess of retainers paid by the client.
We reserve the right to terminate the attorney-client relationship at any time.
The Oakland County Circuit Court, Pontiac, Michigan, and the 52-4 District Court, Troy, Michigan, shall have exclusive jurisdiction of any and all claims arising with respect to our representation of a client, including claims to collect balances due to our firm for fees or costs. For this purpose the client(s) and our law firm consent to personal jurisdiction in the State of Michigan. Should Dunn Counsel PLC bring legal action to collect a balance due, the defendant shall be liable not only for the balance due to the firm, but also for costs and attorney fees incurred by the Dunn Counsel PLC in the collection action, including time spent by the firm’s attorneys at their regular hourly rates in effect from time to time.
Each of our retainer agreements incorporates the foregoing terms.