Publications

Articles on Attorney Fees

Thirty days for lawyers to file for fees and costs following withdrawal from representation. PA 096-0981

September
2010
Illinois Law Update
Page 452
Illinois attorneys now have 30 days following their court-approved withdrawal from representation of a client to petition the court for the reasonable compensation for their services. (755 ILCS 5/27-2)

Now How Much Would You Pay? Avoiding Involuntary Pro Bono

By Karen Erger
August
2010
Column
Page 430
Remember, there's nothing unprofessional about getting paid

See comments from our readers

April
2010
Column
Page 170
Habitability warranty disclaimers; FOIA attorney fees; family law attorney fees

Attorney Fees in Domestic Relations Cases: The 2009 Amendments to “Leveling of the Playing Field”

By the Attorney Fees Committee of the ISBA Family Law Section Council
March
2010
Article
Page 136
Learn about important changes to the attorney fee provisions of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act.

“[M]ortal combat”: Carr v Tillery

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
March
2010
LawPulse
Page 122
A legendary Metro-East trial lawyer and his former partners go head to head.

Federal courts have jurisdiction over legal malpractice claims in patent infringement cases

January
2010
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
On November 10, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Cook County finding, in a legal malpractice suit, that the contingent fee arrangement between the parties was not void, and that jurisdiction over the malpractice claim rested exclusively with the federal courts. 

New statute clarifies family law attorney-fee provisions

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
October
2009
LawPulse
Page 490

Coming January 1: New Rules of Professional Conduct

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
August
2009
LawPulse
Page 386
Among other things, the new rules clarify that flat fees do not constitute frowned-upon "advance payment retainers," which is good news for most lawyers.

1099s for deadbeat clients?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
January
2009
LawPulse
Page 10
 A law-office management expert puts forth the option of sending a nonpaying client a 1099 for the value of your services. Is it really OK to do so?

Correspondence from Our Readers

November
2008
Column
Page 546
Two takes on two-tiered billing.

Don’t Be Afraid To Be Paid

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2008
Article
Page 558
Learn how to create a bill-paying culture among your clientele.

Two-Tiered Billing in Illinois Divorce Cases - a Critique

By James H. Feldman
September
2008
Article
Page 452
Illinois divorce lawyers typically charge a higher hourly rate for court than for office time. It's time that changed, the author argues

Engagement Letters, Fees and the Dowling Case

By David A. Berek and Fred R. McMorris
May
2008
Column
Page 262
Consult Dowling for guidance on fee arrangements and how to describe them in engagement letters.

Correspondence from Our Readers

January
2008
Column
Page 6
Labeling security retainers; order-of-protection abuse.

From Here to Retainer Fees

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
December
2007
Article
Page 636
Learn how to craft retainer agreements to define and clarify the scope of your engagement, why it’s important to collect fees up front, and more.

Initial consultations - satisfaction or your money back?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
August
2007
LawPulse
Page 398
Should lawyers provide free consultations to prospective clients? Discounts to new clients? Refunds of a consult fee to clients who ask for one? ISBA lawyers offer their opinions.

Validity of advance payment retainers for attorneys upheld

July
2007
Illinois Law Update
Page 348
On May 3, 2007, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirming the Circuit Court of Cook County's judgment ordering DLA Piper to turn over funds from an advance payment retainer paid by defendant Michael Davis.

The Illinois Supreme Court OKs advance payment retainers

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2007
LawPulse
Page 286
The court last month approved lawyers' use of the advance payment retainer, cautioning that more familiar retainer agreements will be the preferred option in most cases.

It’s official - you can’t collect fees for collecting your own fees

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2007
LawPulse
Page 286
As a matter of public policy, "lawyers representing themselves simply do not incur legal fees," the third district ruled recently.

The trouble with hourly billing

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2007
LawPulse
Page 286
Does the tradition of billing by the hour push lawyers to pad bills and thus engage in the kind of "dishonest" behavior forbidden by the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct?

Bad faith needed for defendant to receive attorney fees under the Consumer Fraud Act

March
2007
Illinois Law Update
Page 124
On December 21, 2006, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, and the Circuit Court of Cook County, striking the defendants' petition for fees.

Extra fees for extra effort - a win in the appellate court

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
February
2007
LawPulse
Page 66
The appellate court reversed the trial court's rejection of a plaintiff's firm's argument that its extraordinary effort justified fees that exceeded the statutory med-mal limit.

Accepting Payment by Credit Card: Priceless?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
January
2007
Article
Page 18
Setting yourself up to accept credit card payments has its advantages - and its risks. 

Billing Gallantly

By Karen Erger
December
2006
Column
Page 684

Legislature overturns one-year limit on family-law fee suits

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
September
2006
LawPulse
Page 458
    Family law practitioners now have 10 years to sue clients in an independent action for unpaid fees. 

Reasonable Fees in Dissolution of Marriage Cases

By Donald C. Schiller
September
2006
Article
Page 474
A look at what the cases say about what constitutes a "reasonable" attorney fee in a divorce proceeding.

Trial Lawyers’ Top Opinions of 2005

By Hon. James P. Flannery Jr.
March
2006
Article
Page 122
From pre-trial notice requirements to spoliation of evidence, 2005 produced an array of Illinois cases of special interest to the trial bar.

Attorney’s fees are not recoverable absent express statutory or contractual language

February
2006
Illinois Law Update
Page 68
On December 1, 2005, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District, reversed the decision of the Circuit Court of Menard County, which held that a contract provision stipulating that the defendant management company would be responsible for "all collection costs" allowed recovery for attorney's fees.

Attorney has no right to contingency agreement fees if client does not appeal unfavorable decision

November
2005
Illinois Law Update
Page 564
On August 5, 2005, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Cook County dismissing the plaintiff's complaint. 

Fees, Part 1: Budgeting required for Capital Litigators

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
September
2005
LawPulse
Page 438
Appointed criminal defense counsel must now submit budget estimates under the amended Capital Crimes Litigation Act.
 

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