About Costs

Cost Deposits

There are no charges for any legal services on contingent fee cases, however, the costs and expenses of a new case are the client's responsibility.

We require a cost deposit of $575.00. On Post Judgment cases, we require a cost deposit of $275.00.

Filing and Services

A lawsuit is begun by filing a complaint. All courts require initial filing fees. These filing fees are about $400-$450 depending on the specific court. After filing, the complaint must generally be personally served on each defendant. Independent process servers will usually serve for about $55-$65.

Public Record and Computer Searches

In preparation for the complaint, it is often necessary to verify corporate or partnership status with the Secretary of State, or check fictitious business name filings, license issuance or review other public records. Each inquiry, search, or verification results in minor charges. We typically limit these to $25 per subject. We also bill copy fees and related expenses. Credit reports are requested on debtors from credit reporting companies and each report is charged at cost plus an allocation for the subscription fees. Other computer database searches, such as real property are charged a similarly minor amount.


During litigation, we will consult first with our clients if depositions are necessary. Depositions are costly, and we do not initiate them without client authorization.

Postage and Photocopy

Postage expenses are charged at cost and a routine photocopy is charged at 10 cents. If extensive photocopying is necessary, it is usually contracted out and charged at cost plus messenger expense. These are almost always nominal charges.


After judgment has been entered, various documents are obtained from court clerks, recorded or filed with governmental agencies and served on debtors or others. Each document and each service is charged at cost. Document and filing fees are typically in the $10 to $40 range while service of process fees are $55 to $65 per entity. We do not authorize costly vehicle seizures, keepers, or real property levies without first discussing the cost with our client. 


Our staff of experienced attorneys and paralegals conduct in-office and in-court investigations with no separate charges for contingent fee clients above the costs of the search. If indicated by the circumstances, we may suggest outside investigation. We always consult in advance for budget and authorization.

Recovery of Costs

Costs can be added to the judgment if the cost was paid to governmental agencies or process servers. This usually covers most of the costs but a few, such as computer investigation, may not be recoverable. The amount not recoverable is usually not significant.

Cost and Expense Billings

The initial cost and expense deposit is used until depleted. Thereafter, the minor costs and expenses are billed monthly if advanced. We generally do not incur any major expenses (over $100) without billing our client. If billings for costs and expenses are not paid, no further work or services requiring monetary advances are performed.


See Our Retainer Agreements


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