All engagements between the Client (“you”) and Kevin J. Perkins, Esq., LL. M. Taxation, President or Perkins Law Firm, APC (“Firm”) are subject to the following terms and conditions:
1) Client’s Duties.
Client agrees to be truthful with Attorney, Employees, Affiliates and Associates.
Client agrees to cooperate, to keep Attorney informed of any information or developments which may come to Client’s attention that may be related to the Scope of Services being provided.
Client agrees to abide by this Agreement, to pay bills on time and to keep Attorney advised of Client’s address, telephone number and whereabouts.
Client will assist Attorney in providing necessary information and documents and will appear, when necessary, at legal proceedings.
2) Scope of services.
Attorney will provide those legal services reasonably required to represent Client as defined by the Client’s Scope of Services. Attorney will take reasonable steps to keep Client informed of progress and to respond to Client’s inquiries. If a Court action is filed, Attorney will represent Client in those matters. Services in any matter not described above will require a separate Agreement.
A signed representation letter and the retainer amount set forth therein must be received by the Firm prior to commencement of services. This retainer is not a minimum or guaranteed fee. All such fee advances are placed in a non-interest-bearing Client Trust Account.
4) Flat rate fee.
All FLAT RATE fee Agreements are nonrefundable and earned when received. No additional service fees will be required as long as the legal services are within the scope of services defined in the engagement letter attached to this document regarding our policies on professional services.
Client agrees to pay Attorney an initial deposit requested on the engagement letter attached. The initial deposit, as well as any future deposit, will be held in an attorney-client trust account. Client authorizes Attorney to use that fund to pay the fees and other charges as they are incurred. Client acknowledges that the deposit is not an estimate of total fees and costs, but merely an advance for security. Whenever the deposit is exhausted, Attorney reserves the right to demand further deposits to replenish the Attorney-Client Trust Fund. Attorney-Client Trust Fund shall not fall below a balance of $1,000. Client agrees to pay all deposits after the initial deposit within five (5) days of Attorney’s demand. Unless otherwise agreed in writing, any unused deposit at the conclusion of Attorney’s services will be refunded to Client.
Subject to the terms of our engagement letter, you will be billed on a monthly or other convenient basis. The monthly statements will normally reflect a balance based on the amount of time expended on your matter (that is, time multiplied by the applicable hourly rate). On occasion, the Firm adjusts the fee upward or downward according to the circumstances of the case. For example, if it appears that there has been some duplication of effort, the Firm may agree to lower the amount. On the other hand, if a particularly efficient job has been done or, if the Firm has been able to employ pertinent research or documents from another matter, the Firm may adjust the amount upward to reflect the fair value of services performed. The Firm reserves the right to automatically transfer funds from the Client Trust Fund to the general account in payment for services rendered. All such transfers will be noted on the next month’s statement. The Firm expects outstanding balances to be promptly paid each month. The Firm reserves the right to revise its hourly rates at any time; rate changes will be reflected on the next month’s invoice. We may terminate our representation of you at any time for non-payment. You are encouraged to promptly raise any questions you may have billing concerns so that they can be resolved immediately.
7) Hourly rates are as follows:
Senior Attorney $650 – Kevin J. Perkins, Esq., LL.M. Taxation
Associate Attorney $450 – To be assigned.
Jr. Attorney $350 – To be assigned
Paralegal/Secretarial $275 – To be assigned.
Other experts Varies – Assigned as needed.
We reserve the right to charge a late fee at an effective annual rate of 10% for any fee not paid in 30 days.
8) Additional Charges.
The Firm adds to each client bill any out-of-pocket costs incurred by the Firm directly related to such client matter. These fees typically include long distance telephone charges, facsimile, photocopying, mail, messenger delivery services, filing and recording fees, corporate service agency fees, out of area travel and similar expenditures related to your case matters. All such expenditures will be itemized on your monthly statement within a reasonable time of the Firm’s receipt of the amount from the third-party provider. On occasion (in particular, where a substantial third-party expense may be necessary), the Firm may request that you pay the out-of-pocket expenses directly, or in advance.
9) Conflicts; Communications.
The Firm performs a conflict check prior to commencing all representation. The Firm expects to be notified of major developments (including litigation) that may arise during the engagement. If a conflict arises, it may become necessary to terminate the engagement. The Firm occasionally discusses details of your situation with third parties, such as your CPAs, financial planners, brokers, and other professionals. In such instances, our fees would be in addition to any fees charged to you by such third parties. By signing the engagement letter, you authorize the Firm to communicate with you via unsecure email. Such communications with third parties, or by e-mail, shall not be construed as a waiver of attorney/client privilege in any way
10) Referral Fees.
This Firm does not accept or offer referral fees.
11) File Retention.
The Firm generally does not retain any documents or files (electronically or otherwise) following the completion of work on any applicable matter. If the Firm does retain original documents or PDF files of signed documents, Client agrees not to hold Firm or any of its Employees, Associates or Affiliates liable for custodial care of the client documents. Our firm’s billing records shall not constitute part of the client file. If you would like a copy of your file at the conclusion of any matter, or at any other time, please send the Firm a written request, and a copy will be provided to you at your expense. Your copy will include any original documents given to the Firm, but will not include billing records or electronically generated documents. If no request is made at the end of a matter, all documents and records, electronic or otherwise will be destroyed.
Any controversy, claim or dispute (“Dispute”) arising before, during, or after the establishment of an attorney-client relationship or arising out of, in connection with, or relating to the Firm’s services, including the determination of the scope or applicability of this arbitration provision, shall be first mediated in Orange County, California. “Disputes” shall include, without limitation, those involving fees, costs, billing, claims of professional negligence, malpractice, contract claims, fraud or negligence claims, and breach of ethical or fiduciary duties. The mediation shall be administered by JAMS in Orange County, pursuant to its rules. The mediator shall recommend an allocation of all of the costs of the dispute (and the mediation, if applicable), including the fees of the mediator and the reasonable attorneys’ fees of the prevailing party, against the party who does not prevail. The results of the mediation shall remain confidential. This provision is not intended to abrogate your right to require a non-binding fee arbitration pursuant to California Business & Professions Code Sections 6200-06. You have the right to request such a non-binding fee arbitration at any time, even after other arbitration or litigation has commenced. If you demand the arbitration of a fee dispute pursuant to these provisions, either party may seek to consolidate that arbitration with any other arbitration pending between the parties.
13) Limitations on Representation.
As a policy, our Firm does not advise on any matter which might constitute tax evasion, fraud, including bankruptcy fraud (in particular on asset protection matters), or provide advice to violate the law in any way. If, during the course of our representation of you, we received information that suggests any illegal activity, we will terminate our engagement immediately and return your file to you, along with our final invoice for services.
Client hereby grants Attorney a lien on any and all claims or causes of action that are the subject of the representation under this Agreement. The lien will be for any sums owing to Attorney at the conclusion of services performed. The lien will attach to any recovery client may obtain, whether by arbitration award, judgment, settlement or otherwise.
15) Termination of Agreement:
Either of us shall have the right to terminate this agreement at any time upon notification in writing to the other. When attorney’s services conclude, all unpaid charges will immediately become due and payable.
16) Disclaimer of Guarantee and Estimates:
Nothing in this Agreement and nothing in Attorney’s statements to Client will be construed as a promise or guarantee about the outcome of the matter. Attorney makes no such promises or guarantees. Attorney’s comments about the outcome of the matter are expressions of opinion only. Any estimate of fees given by Attorney shall not be a guarantee. Actual fees may vary from estimates given.
17) Entire Agreement:
This Agreement contains the entire Agreement of the parties with respect to this legal matter.
18) Dual Representation:
In order to protect the attorney-client privilege of confidentiality and your privacy, the Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of California require us to inform you in writing of the following potential conflicts of interest:
People often have conflicting interests concerning their property. If, as you request, I act as the attorney for both of you for your estate planning and your commercial transaction, I must try to balance all factors and cannot, therefore, act as an advocate for either of you. This balancing could end up favoring one of you to the detriment of the other.
To complete your estate planning, I must necessarily obtain confidential information from each of you privately and individually, which will be protected by the attorney-client privilege of confidentiality. However, with respect to your commercial real estate trusts and associated transactions, I cannot keep that information confidential since I am representing both of you. Of course, anything either of you discuss with me is privileged from disclosure to third parties (other than people operating under my license and supervision and bound by the attorney-client privilege of confidentiality) without your consent.
You are each, of course, welcome to have your own counsel for any part or all of the matters in which we would call be acting; in addition, either of you may, at any time, forbid us from being involved in any way on behalf of the other.
This agreement, and the terms of our representation, shall be governed under California law, irrespective of where services are performed, where a trust drafted by our office is situated, or where a business entity formed by our office was formed or operates, and irrespective of where you are located. In the event of litigation, the parties agree the sole venue shall be the applicable Orange County, California courts. The Firm may assign this contract upon written notice to you, and the rights herein shall automatically inure to the benefit of the Firm’s assignee. You may not assign any portion of this contract. No provision of this Agreement is intended, nor will be interpreted, to provide or to create any third-party beneficiary rights or any other rights of any kind in any beneficiary, heir, vendor, customer, affiliate, shareholder, employee, partner of yours. Our engagement shall be limited to the services referenced on page one of the engagement letter. Our Firm shall not have a duty to advise you of Federal or State law changes, even if these changes would result in material changes to your planning. If anyone in our Firm is subpoenaed to testify or appear for any reason relating to the engagement, the Firm will bill its normal, hourly rates to the party who issued the subpoena, or will bill the client (or, in the case of a deceased client, the client’s estate), at the Firm’s choice.