1. DEPOSIT. Client agrees to pay Attorney an initial deposit to secure Attorney’s Services under the Attorney-Client Agreement. The deposit is due before the start of services. The deposit and any initial payment must be submitted by credit or debit card or E-check bank account, unless otherwise agreed to by Attorney. Client also agrees to provide Attorney with a valid debit or credit card or E-check bank account as a security.
A. The initial deposit, as well as any future deposit, will be held in a trust account. Whenever the deposit falls below the initial deposit amount, Attorney reserves the right to demand further deposits of a reasonable amount. Client agrees to promptly pay all deposits after the initial deposit upon receipt of Attorney’s demand.
B. Attorney may stop work if Client does not promptly respond to deposit or payment demands. Attorney may also stop work if any card or bank account charge is declined. Attorney will notify Client whenever work is stopped and the deposit amount required to restart.
C. Unless otherwise agreed in writing, any unused deposit at the conclusion of Attorney’s services will be refunded to Client or to the card/account last charged for the deposit if paid by a Third Party Payor.
2. LEGAL FEES. Client agrees to pay by the hour at Attorney’s prevailing rates for all time spent on Client’s matter by Attorney, unless otherwise agreed to in writing. The current hourly rate is $300.
A. Client acknowledges that the deposit is not an estimate of total fees and costs, but merely an advance for security.
B. 48-hour notice is required for all service requests. Requests that must be completed in less than 48 hours will be provided based upon Attorney availability and may be billed at the increased rate of $350 per hour. Services requested outside of business hours, 9am-5pm Monday through Friday, will be provided based upon Attorney availability and may be billed at the increased rate of $350 per hour.
C. Client agrees to pay by the hour for all time spent on Client’s matter by Attorney’s legal personnel, including Attorney’s Licensing Managers, Client Support Specialists, and Client Liaisons. The current hourly rate for work completed by Client Liaisons is $75 per hour. The current hourly rate for work completed by Client Support Specialists is $150 per hour. The current hourly rate for work completed by Licensing Managers is $250 per hour. Unless otherwise agreed to in writing.
D. 24-hour notice is required to cancel any meeting. Cancellations less than 24 hours prior may be charged a $50 fee.
E. Time is generally charged per minute but may be rounded to the standard minimum unit of one tenth (.1) of an hour (6 minutes). The time charged will include, but is not limited to, the time Attorney or Staff spends on telephone calls, e-mails, and other communications relating to Client’s matter including communications with Client and other parties and attorneys. Attorney and Staff may charge for waiting time. Attorney’s staff assigned to Client’s matter may confer among themselves about the matter, as required and appropriate. When they do confer, Client will not be double-billed or charged for each included personnel. The billing rate will be the highest applicable for the personnel involved. If more than one personnel attends a meeting or other proceeding with Client, Attorney will charge for the time expended by each personnel, unless otherwise agreed to in writing.
F. The rates in this Agreement are subject to change on 30 days written notice to Client. If Client declines to pay increased rates, Attorney will have the right to withdraw as attorney for Client if permitted under the Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of California and/or applicable law.
G. It is improper for attorneys to accept any payment or money from clients that they know or should know is derived from illegal sources. Client affirms and attests that all money paid to Attorney comes from a legal source.
3. BILLING PRACTICES. Client agrees to pay for Attorney’s services under the Attorney-Client Agreement as follows:
A. The fees and costs for services will be billed against Client’s deposit and/or card or bank account.
1. If the Attorney-Client Agreement requires a minimum monthly account fee, the fee will be separately billed to Client’s card or bank account on the first day of each month. The payment will be credited to billing for actual legal services rendered that billing month up to the full amount.
2. When Client’s deposit reaches a minimum of $500, the invoice balance will no longer be billed against the deposit. Instead, the invoice balance will be charged to Client’s card or bank account on file. The $500 will remain as a security deposit. If any charge is declined and the balance not paid by the next billing invoice, the balance will be deducted from Client’s security deposit. If the deposit is insufficient to cover the amount due, Attorney may stop work until the balance due is paid and security deposit replenished with a valid card or bank account.
3. If Client’s deposit falls below $500, Attorney will notify Client an additional deposit is due. If Client does not submit the deposit by the next billing invoice, Attorney will include the replenishment amount in the invoice and charge the invoice balance to Client’s card or bank account on file. If the charge is declined, Attorney may stop work until the balance due is paid and security deposit replenished with a valid card or bank account.
4. Client will receive an invoice and 14 days notice before their card or bank account is charged. Client authorizes Attorney to use their card or bank account to charge the invoice balance for legal fees and other costs.
5. Attorney will notify Client whenever work is stopped and the payment amount required to restart.
B. Attorney will email Client periodic statements for legal fees, other fees, and costs incurred. Client may request a statement at intervals of no less than 30 days. If Client requests, Attorney will provide one within 15 days. The statements shall include the amount, rate, and basis of calculation or other method of determination of the fees and costs, which costs will be clearly identified by item and amount.
Client may object to any costs and fees charged by Attorney. Client must submit written line item objections to Attorney explaining the amount and reasons for the objection. Attorney requests that any questions be asked no later than sixty (60) days after receipt of the invoice objected to.
D. If any card or bank account charge is declined, Client authorizes Attorney to retry the charge without notice indefinitely until the charge is approved and balance paid in full. Attorney may stop work until the balance is paid.
If the balance is not paid within 30 days after Attorney sends notice, Attorney may charge a $50 late fee per each billing month the balance goes unpaid. Attorney may also revoke any prior discounts provided to Client.
In addition, interest may be charged on the principal balance (consisting of any unpaid fees, costs, and/or expenses) shown on the invoice. Interest will be calculated by multiplying the unpaid balance by the periodic rate of .833% per month (10% Per Annum). The unpaid balance will bear interest until paid. Attorney will reserve interest for the most egregious cases of failure to pay.
4. OTHER FEES, COSTS, AND CHARGES. Client is responsible for paying all state and local government fees including Secretary of State filing fees, state cannabis business license application fees, local cannabis business license application fees, local inspection and review fees, and any other fees charged by the federal, state, or local governments necessary to complete Client’s services under this Agreement.
A. In general, Attorney will incur various costs and expenses in performing legal services under this Agreement. Client agrees to pay for all costs, disbursements, and expenses in addition to the hourly fees. The costs and expenses commonly include fees fixed by law or assessed by public agencies, expediting fees, messenger and other delivery fees, excessive postage, excessive photocopying and other reproduction costs, and other similar items. All costs and expenses will be charged to Client at Attorney’s cost including credit card processing fees.
B. Out-of-town travel. Client will be charged $150 per hour for the time Attorney spends traveling out of town unless otherwise agreed to in writing. Client will be charged $75 per hour for the time Staff spends traveling out of town unless otherwise agreed to in writing. Out-of-town travel is any travel 70 miles or more from 101 Broadway, Oakland, CA. Client agrees to pay for approved overnight out-of-town travel costs. Out-of-town travel must be agreed to or requested by Client.
C. Consultants and Investigators. To aid in the representation in Client’s matter, it may become necessary to hire expert consultants or investigators. Attorney will inform Client when such a need arises. Attorney will select any consultants or investigators to be hired and will inform Client of the persons chosen and any fees and charges. Client agrees to pay such fees and charges.