I’m here today to talk about how our law firm quotes our legal fees to you and this is a very interesting topic and obviously of extreme importance to the clients. It’s something that covered at our initial intake with you when we first meet with you, when you’re deciding whether to retain us and our firm uses what we called block fee quotes. Now, let me explain to you what that means. For a typical matter like a summary conviction or more minor matter, nothing’s minor in criminal offense but what I’m talking [about is compared to] things like sexual assault, murder, assault, DUIs or domestic assault or minor theft or minor fraud cases for those more minor cases where we anticipate, it’s more like a one day trial or maybe a two day trial, we’re able to give you an exact quote of a block fee from start to finish, for example, obviously this is not a quote but we can say, “Look, your case, if it goes to trial is gonna cost $1 plus HST start to finish or it’s gonna cost a fifty cents if you decide to resolve it by way of guilty plea”. We know how much work these cases take from experience. Now, what’s the advantage of this over typical lawyers, what they do (and criminal lawyers, by the way, many of them give block fee quotes because it’s a very efficient way of of the client knows what they’re facing right up front). What happens with hourly rate is it’s very inefficient. Lawyers in the province, family law lawyers, other lawyers, civil lawyers, criminal lawyers as well might charge you three, four, five, six hundred dollars an hour. What happens then, you have no idea what your legal fees are gonna cost essentially. The time meter goes on and on, every phone call you make, every letter, every email, every discussion with another lawyer in the firm, there you go is another point five, they block, they time the increments with point one, point one being six minutes, you get a bill from it. It reminds me of my friend who went for his divorce. He hired very good divorce lawyers who charged him six hundred dollars an hour. Every time he went to the office, the lawyer would start the story all over again and you know, joking or exaggerating a little bit. What’s your name? How old are you? You know, and you get a bill for five to six hundred dollars. That’s not the way our law firm works. We quote a block fee. Now, on more complicated matters such as a sexual assault and aggravated assault, these are much more difficult cases, much more time consuming, requiring many many court appearances and literally hundreds of hours of work and not to minimize DUI because they can require 50, 60, 60, 70, hundred hours of work too but sexual assault is more serious charge. You’re getting into hundreds of hours of work. It’s difficult for us to give you an exact quote right up front but we can give you a ballpark range right from the get-go that is gonna be within a range, let’s say, you know $6-$8. It’s gonna depend once we get the disclosure then we’re gonna know how long’s the trial gonna take? Is it gonna take hundreds of hours, thousands of hours and we can hone that quote but at least right up front, you know what you’re facing within a range . My suggestion to you is this is much more efficient than going into a lawyer’s office and you say, “Look, I’m gonna charge you of five hundred bucks an hour. Where does that end? What is the efficiency to that? You know, there’s maybe a perception that ‘there’s no incentive. We’re here to resolve the case, let’s just keep the meter running.’ Our firm doesn’t run that way. There’s been a lot of [push] on the law side in recent years to move towards block fees to to get people proper quotes. This leads to certainty. You’re gonna know what you’re facing up front. For a minor charge, for sure right to the penny, you’re gonna know what you are facing and on a more serious charge, we’re gonna be able to give you a ballpark so we can try and work within your budget. That’s the pricing model we have at Kruse Law Firm. I suggest you the modern way of other criminal lawyers are doing it and the efficient way so the person know what they’re facing up front and there’s no shock, “sticker shock” once you get a bill for like the three hundred hours that the lawyer worked in your file at five hundred dollars an hour.

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