Initial consultation, whether by telephone or by appointment in my office is free of charge. Feel free to call my office to arrange an appointment to discuss your case and to discuss what it would cost to represent you in the case. Consultation at any jail or prison facility in Jacksonville is free of charge. Consultation at any jail or prison outside of Jacksonville is billed at standard hourly rates for the time required to be away from the office plus the actual out-of-pocket expense of travel related costs to and from the facility. Before it is possible to quote a fee on appeals and post-conviction relief matters, it may first be necessary to conduct a review and appraisal of the case.
Fees are determined on a case by case basis depending upon the particular circumstances of the case.
OUT OF POCKET COSTS IN ADDITION TO ATTORNEYS FEE
"Costs" - In addition to the fee, the client is responsible for "costs." Costs
Transcripts - in many cases the court will agree that even though the client has retained counsel for the appeal he or she is nevertheless personally indigent and therefore the costs of the transcript and appeal filing fees will be paid by the court. If not, however, then the client must arrange to pay for the transcripts, which run about $4 per page and about 30-40 pages per hour of court time.
Appeal Filing Fees - some proceedings have a filing fee. The federal appeal filing fee is currently $505, and the Florida filing fee $305. As noted above about the costs of transcripts, if the client himself or herself is personally financially unable to pay costs due to incarceration, courts often will find the client indigent for purposes of the cost of the filing fees and transcripts. All other costs, however, must be paid by the person paying the attorney's fee.
Binding and Copying Briefs - Generally we copy and bind our own briefs and do not charge the client. However, in some cases involving larger briefs and appendices, we use FedEx Kinko's copy service to bind and copy the final version of the briefs (and record excerpts or appendix) for filing with the court and serving on opposing counsel. If that is done, the cost is passed through to the client.
Fed Ex and Courier - sometimes due to time constraints it is necessary to use Fed Ex or a courier to deliver and file documents. These costs, which we seek to avoid, are passed on to the client if incurred.
Other Costs may include, for example, private investigation (typically $45-105 per hour), copy and postage costs for larger packages (but not the costs of copying routine correspondence and mailings), expert witness fees, witness and subpoena costs, travel and lodging for out of Jacksonville travel (at the federal government per diem rate for the city involved), etc. In most cases we will bill for costs expended on a monthly basis.
Federal regulations require that cash transactions of $10,000 or more or aggregating $10,000 or more be reported to the United States Treasury using a Currency Transaction Report (CTR) form. This form requires that the identity of the person paying the fee be reported to the government. Rather than have any doubt about the legitimacy of the source of money for fees, Mr. Kent will not accept payment in cash for any fee excess of $10,000.
Mr. Kent prefers to not receive payment in cash for any fee, even those less than $10,000. Payment should instead be made by check or wire transfer.
In most cases, payment should be made on a flat fee basis, payable in full in advance, on a non-refundable basis. Fees are generally estimated on the basis of an hourly rate of $400 per hour.
Payment of Fees and Costs
Fees and costs are required to be paid in advance. Fees should preferably be paid by check made payable to William Mallory Kent or by wire transfer to our business bank account at Wells Fargo Bank. Generally flat rate fees are non-refundable.
Cases Outside Jacksonville
The Law Office of William Mallory Kent can represent you in any federal court. In state court, practice is limited to Florida. Fees for cases outside Jacksonville are higher based upon the travel time required and the estimated time away from the office that the case will require. In some cases in federal court outside the Middle District of Florida, "local counsel" may have to be associated on the case, and their fee is extra.
Source of Fees
If your case is potentially subject to government seizure or forfeiture efforts, payment of your attorney's fee must come from assets that are not subject to any government claim. This may require you, in such a case, to demonstrate or document that the assets used for payment of attorney's fees are free from any criminal proceeds taint. It may also require that counsel disclose to the government the source of the payment in order to obtain from the government a promise or representation that the government will not seek to forfeit the attorney's fee or otherwise go after assets of the attorney.
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