Our Normal Billing Policy
Unless a separate billing arrangement is made with your Walter | Haverfield attorney, as reflected in an engagement letter, our general policy is to charge for our legal services at normal hourly rates, for the time that our attorneys, paralegals and electronic discovery support personnel spend working on your legal matter. We base our schedule of normal hourly rates for attorneys, paralegals and electronic discovery support personnel on a number of factors, including years of experience, specialization in training and practice, and level of professional attainment. We adjust our schedule of normal hourly rates annually, effective January 1 of each year, to be sure that they are reasonable and competitive. However, we reserve the right to review and modify our rates more often if necessitated by special factors such as inflationary cost increases affecting our practice. Your W&H attorney can provide you with our schedule of normal hourly rates upon request.
Our attorneys, paralegals and electronic discovery support personnel record their time in 1/10th hour increments. This recorded time includes office and telephone conferences with you and others, correspondence, legal research, drafting and review of documents, court appearance (including waiting time), and necessary travel time. If possible, we will perform other work while traveling, to minimize the expense and time chargeable to you. From time to time, internal conferences will take place among our personnel, and two or more may attend meetings or proceedings on your behalf. Although this approach might appear to result in duplication of effort, it is our belief that this practice facilitates communication, improves the quality of the work, and ultimately is more economical. Your W&H attorney will always use his or her professional judgment to spend only the time necessary to properly represent you.
In the course of our representation, we may pay certain costs to others on your behalf, which may include filing fees, transcript fees, witness fees, courier services, expert costs, outsourced litigation and electronic discovery support services, out-of-pocket travel costs, mileage costs, etc. These advanced costs and certain office expenses, such as copier charges, facsimile charges, computerized research, litigation and electronic discovery support service charges will be charged to you in addition to the legal fees, and will be separately itemized on your invoice. Our charge to you for certain office expenses, such as copier, facsimile, computerized research, litigation and electronic discovery support services is determined by us as a specified unit cost, intended to reflect related costs of labor, supplies, utility costs, etc. , and thus may not necessarily reflect the actual direct cost to us.
We bill our invoices on a monthly basis. Unless other terms are reflected in the engagement letter, payment is due promptly upon receipt of our invoice. We reserve the right to impose a reasonable interest charge on any balance that is not paid within 30 days after the date of the invoice.
Termination of Agreement
You may terminate our engagement at any time by written notice to your W&H attorney. However, your termination of our engagement does not relieve you of your obligation to pay for legal services rendered or costs incurred or paid on your behalf prior to receiving notice from you. We have the right to withdraw from our engagement for good cause. Good cause includes refusal to abide by the terms of the agreement relating to the representation such as the agreement to assist and to cooperate as appropriate and to pay our invoices in a timely manner.
We like to think of our firm as a modern law firm with old fashioned values. Our founding partners, Paul Walter and Rusk Haverfield, who founded our firm in 1932, left us with a legacy of providing our clients with quality, value, and service. We work hard to maintain that legacy and recognize that in order to do so we cannot rest on our past achievements, but rather we need to earn your trust and confidence on each matter you entrust to us. In the end, our success is measured by the satisfaction and success of our clients.
Our Commitment to You
We are committed to providing our clients with the highest quality legal services in a responsive and efficient manner - at a fair price. We will make every effort to understand your legal matter and your expectations and will establish reasonable goals and deadlines. Your W&H attorney will keep you reasonably informed of the progress of our services and significant developments, and we will respond to your inquiries in a timely manner, which includes having our attorneys or other staff members return phone calls promptly and providing you with copies of important correspondence and documents.
Although you may be assured that we will do our best to provide you with the highest quality legal services in a responsive, efficient manner, we cannot guarantee the success of any given undertaking. During the course of our engagement we may express our opinions or beliefs concerning your matter, various courses of action, and the results that might be anticipated. Any such statement made by any partner or employee of our firm is intended to be an expression of opinion only, based on information available to us at the time, and must not be construed by you as a promise or guarantee of any particular result.
Your Responsibilities to Us
To meet our commitment and enable us to render our legal services, you need to fully and accurately disclose to us all facts that may be relevant to your matter. You will keep us fully informed of new developments relating to your matter, as they occur, and will assist and cooperate with us as appropriate in dealing with your matter. We expect you to pay our invoices timely . Your satisfaction with our legal services is important to us. If you have any questions or comments concerning our services, staffing, billing or any other aspects of our representation, we ask that you promptly contact your W&H attorney. It is important to us that you are satisfied with our services and our responsiveness at all times. If your W&H attorney does not fully satisfy your concerns, please feel free to contact our Managing Partner.
As lawyers, together with all providers of personal financial services, we are required by law to inform certain of our clients who receive such services of our policies regarding the privacy of client information. We have been and continue to be bound by professional standards of confidentiality, imposed by The Supreme Court of Ohio, that are even more stringent than those required by law. As part of our ongoing professional obligation to maintain the confidences and secrets of our clients, we have always protected your right to privacy. We do not disclose any nonpublic personal information obtained in the course of our practice, except as permitted by law and the confidentiality obligations of our profession.
Types of Nonpublic Personal Information That We Collect
In the course of, and for the sole purpose of, providing certain legal services, we collect nonpublic personal information about you, including personal background and financial information.
Protecting the Confidentiality and Security of Current and Former Clients' Information
We retain records relating to professional services we provide so that we are better able to assist you with your needs and, in some cases, to comply with professional guidelines. In order to guard your nonpublic personal information, we maintain physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards that comply with our professional standards. We may communicate with you using cell phones, e-mail, or other new technologies, which are subject to interception by third parties. If you do not want to communicate with us using any of these methods of communication, please inform your W&H attorney.