Whatever Happened to the Alternative Fee Arrangement?


“Gunfighter’s aren’t paid by the bullet.” – Anonymous Criminal Defense Attorney.

When you think about it, the billable hour doesn’t make much sense. In almost every other profession, fees are based on the client’s problem and the value that the client places on a solution to that problem. This very notion of price based on the value to the consumer is at the heart of a free market society. The current disconnect between fees and value for legal services has been reported many times before and, with the recent recession, an even greater emphasis has been placed on Alternative Fee Arrangements (“AFAs”) as the solution to controlling legal costs. So why are AFAs still considered…”alternative”? As always, the answer is more complex than it would seem on its face.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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