What is a retainer agreement?
A retainer agreement is a written agreement (a contract) between you and the lawyer you hire to represent you in your legal case.
In it, it will contain the terms of your professional relationship, including but not limited to:
- how much the attorney is going to charge for his or her services and those of his support staff;
- whether it is a hourly rate, a contingency (percentage) fee, a fixed or flat fee, or a fee governed by statute;
- who will be responsible to pay for the case costs, for example: court transcripts, deposition transcripts, filing or administrative fees, expert witness fees, and office fees such as calls, or photocopying, etc.
- what you will be expected to provide; and
- what you can expect from the attorney.
A retainer agreement generally covers every one of these things and usually more, as well. A written retainer agreement is a good beginning for a productive relationship with your lawyer as it lays out what you can each expect from each other during the course of your case.