What is an “hourly-fee” retainer agreement?

Professionals offer their time and expertise. In many situations, the hours and costs required to assist a client with a legal problem or need cannot be accurately determined or estimated during the initial interview. In those matters, the attorney’s time spent on the case is billed on an hourly basis, in increments of 1/10th of an hour. Hourly fee retainer agreements usually are required in contested divorce cases, child custody cases, cases involving litigation, or potential litigation, in court or before administrative boards. The firm will require payment of a retainer fee at the outset of representing a client.

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