A blog by Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Brian Tannebaum. Commenting on criminal law issues of local and national interest.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Unhappy Criminal Defense Lawyers Get What They Ask For

This morning, one of our courthouse resident complainers was asking me how I handle clients that don't pay after I get them a great result.

I told him that doesn't happen to me. He chuckled until he realized I wasn't kidding.

He couldn't understand how I get paid up front or within 30 days in "tough times" like these.

I told him I insist, and yes, people walk out the door (probably to his office).

Think about it for a minute my colleagues. What would your practice be like if all fees were payable up front, or in a short period of time? What would you do if you never concerned yourself with deadbeat clients, or waiting desperately for the mail or a visit from a client or two with some money?

I know, you'd have less cases.


I know, "you don't understand my clientele."

Yes I do.

We in the criminal defense bar get what we ask for. If we ask for very little, we get very little.

Isn't it time we concentrate on practicing law, instead of begging for money?

Brian Tannebaum is a criminal defense attorney in Miami, Florida practicing in state and federal court. To learn more about Brian and his firm, Tannebaum Weiss, please visit www.tannebaumweiss.com

1 comment:

  1. I enjoy reading your blog, keep up the good work!

    I agree in principal with your ideas. I have often theorized that maybe a lawyer should charge according to the amount of work and responsibility involved. In a civil case, some lawyers charge by the hour with the hourly rate varying widely according to the experience of the lawyer and complexity of the case. It seems to me, that most criminal defense lawyers are charging a "flat" fee which may or may not be a good thing for the client. Where is there an incentive to "win" the case or to go to a jury trial or to file multiple motions or really work the case when some lawyers quote such a "low flat fee" that it becomes obvious they intend to do the bare minimum amount of work and only plead the person out to the first plea bargain that is offered. Fees that are too low and clients that do not understand how much work is required to win a case are real problems. Realistically, it is like most things in life, the more you pay someone, the harder they will work for you.

    Yours in the Defense of Fellow Human Beings,

    Glen R. Graham, Attorney at Law, Tulsa, Oklahoma