either in a flat fee or with a retainer, do attorneys charge for wait time in court/travel time to and from?
Have a protective order hearing coming up. I have the option of using a lawyer with no retainer agreement, but a deposit and an hourly rate or one with a retainer deposit and an agreement. In either case, is wait time in court charged at the hourly rate?how about travel time?
1 Attorney answer
Generally speaking, we charge for all time spent on a file. If I'm away from my desk for your case, then I can't work on other cases. So, yes, a five-minute hearing in court might result in a two-hour bill, because that was two hours dedicated to your case. That's why lawyers like to schedule multiple cases for the same hearing: we can pro-rate the travel and waiting time over multiple cases. Flat fees do not normally get a charge for travel or waiting time, because that time is included in the flat fee. A lot of judges start their hearings by "calling the docket" (bringing up each case one by one) and getting time estimates; then calling the cases beginning with the shortest time estimates. Some judges leave all the cases without lawyers to the end. This results in (A) the people involved in cases without lawyers see how it's done; and (B) the lawyers spend less time sitting around waiting and go back to being productive.