Are there alternatives to paying by the hour? Like a flat rate payable in advance? Or a monthly payment plan for 3 years?
Another question: What's a retainer? I paid one for $ 5,500. Never got anything for it. After months, the lawyer said "sorry this hasn't worked out" and that was the end. I didn't even get an invoice or a break down of the billing (like 1 hour handling e-mails, 1 hour being on the phone).
Another question: Would a retainer be used for regular work, or is it a kind of one-off fee to open the door and thereafter the hourly billing begins? That lawyer had a $ 250/hr rate and I was hoping to get 20 hours plus some court fees for the $ 5,500.
Q3: Yet another lawyer never spoke with me nor do we have a written contract. We were exchanging e-mails and then I get a bill for > $ 3,000. Once again, the actual work was less than an hour. And that includes e-mail correspondence and dictating a motion.