Litigation and Trial Fees: Should You Charge More?

attorney at trial

A lot of lawyers do have fees that increase based on filing a lawsuit, trial, or appeal. I have zero criticisms of other lawyers who decide to do that. However, at my firm, we don’t charge an increased fee for litigation or trial.

Why not? There are a few reasons:

  1. I never want a client questioning my judgment and recommendations. We have a quick trigger when it comes to filing lawsuits. In some cases, we don’t even send a demand. I don’t want a client to ever think I’m pursuing a particular course of action because I’m just trying to charge a higher fee.
  2. I don’t want a client making a bad decision about filing suit or going to trial based on fear that the fees will go up and they’ll get less. Some clients are risk averse. Some clients are myopically focused on the fee (see last week’s post about clients hiring lawyers based solely on their fees). I never want a client to feel like they should take a particular offer, or delay filing suit or a trial date because they’re afraid the fees will increase.
  3. When advising a client on what to do, I just don’t want the headache of having a discussion about fees going up. I don’t want it to even enter the equation. The client has enough to think about when evaluating their options. I don’t want them worrying about a fee increase as well.

There are valid reasons for lawyers to increase fees for litigation or trial. But, for me, I’ve found it’s just easier to keep it simple and charge one fee, regardless of when and how the case resolves.

What do you think? Join the discussion with me on LinkedIn here.

About the Author

Darl Champion is an award-winning personal injury lawyer serving the greater Metro Atlanta area. He is passionate about ensuring his clients are fully compensated when they are harmed by someone’s negligence. Learn more about Darl here.