Lawyer's $2,500 Minimum Fee Earns Him 30-Day Suspension
By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on April 12, 2012 5:02 AM | No TrackBacks
Attorney William Vilmont has gumption. Either that, or he simply doesn't know when to cut his losses and repent.
The Iowa attorney has earned himself a 30-day suspension and all because he decided to charge his client a $2,500 minimum fee. For your average criminal representation, this wouldn't be an outlandish amount. However, Vilmont only spent 3.7 hours on the case -- one hour of which was used to provide an accounting.
Still, he adamantly maintained that he did not charge an unreasonable fee.
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I have been thinking again....... There is suppose to be this great lawyer here in Fl that for $10,000 will probably get you a sentence reduction. I for one am sick of hearing about it. I copied the above from 'greedy associates'. The fl lawyer is doing the same thing right? The above lawyer spent 3.7 hours.
I don't know the specifics of this case or any rules that were broken, but speaking in general, does a client pay for time or for results? Seems to me if the lawyer is successful, that's what is being paid for. Assuming the fee structure is presented up front without coercion and the client is free to sign on or go elsewhere, there isn't an element of unfairness or even outlandishness. You hear of professionals charging $1,000 an hour. (If I can accomplish something in one hour that takes a less skilled person six hours, should we not be paid the same?) If they're good enough and their skill is needed enough, it's a free (capitalistic) country! (Of course any attorney who promises results like a sentence reduction should be regarded as a crook.) As with any type of service, the rates go up when there's high demand. At least the guy didn't pad his hours. (Now if someone charges huge fees and doesn't put in the work and is then unsuccessful, that's a different can of worms.)
Bar ethics boards are extremely reluctant to pursue actions against other attorneys, esp. suspensions and action like that. If they actually acted to suspended this guy, they consider this to be a very serious violation.