The Law Offices of Ronald P. St. Clair is the sole owner of the information collected on this Web site. We only gather information we need to serve you better and will not - without your consent, - sell, share, or rent this information to others in ways different from what is disclosed in this statement except in cases where in good faith we believe that the law requires us to do so, it is necessary to protect Law Offices of Ronald P. St. Clair's rights and/or property, or if circumstances necessitate acting to protect the personal safety of staff or of the public.
Use of Website
The content of this site is for general information purposes only. It does not constitute professional advice (legal or otherwise) nor should it be used as such. We cannot accept responsibility for actions based on the material contained in this site.
No part of this site may be copied, transmitted or stored on another website or on any form of electronic system without prior permission.
Unless otherwise agreed, our fees are generally based on hourly rates (which will be disclosed to you) and the number of recorded hours spent on each element of our work for you. The rates are reviewed from time to time and our fees will take account of the rates applicable at the time the work is done.
Any other charges in addition to our fees will generally be itemized. Typically they include “disbursements” (money paid by us to third parties on your behalf, for example court fees and costs of expert witnesses), charges for photocopying, tolls, and travel.
Estimates and Quotations
If you would like an estimate of the likely fees and charges, we will happily provide this. (An estimate, however, is simply an indication of the costs you are likely to incur.) If you would like a fixed quotation, we will provide this as requested whenever it is practical, and will be bound by it, subject to our confirmation in writing. You can also set an upper limit on the costs, in which case we would only exceed this with your prior agreement. Any agreement for retention is required to be in writing.
We will normally invoice you at monthly intervals. The exceptions to this are if a transaction, or a major part of a transaction, has been completed, or where the time spent is, or is likely to be, considerable. In either of these cases, or if it suits you better, we may invoice you in a shorter timescale upon request.
Payments on Account
We may ask you for a retainer (deposit) on account of the costs, disbursements or work to be undertaken. All of these payments will be recorded when we invoice.
Court Ordered Fees
You will find that if a Court orders the other party to pay your legal fees, the award made by the Court may be less than the fees you actually incurred. We will make every effort to recover the fees awarded on your behalf, but the liability for payment of invoices incurred during or at the end of litigation remains with you.
Payment is due within 30 days of the date of the invoice. If invoices remain unpaid after that time, we may charge interest until the payment is received. Interest is set as the legal rate of interest under the California Constitution, which is currently 10%.
If You Want to End Our Retention
Once we have accepted instructions from you, we would expect to continue to act for you until the matter is completed. You or we may, however, end the instructions/retention at any time. (It is highly unlikely we would do this unless a conflict of interest arises, or for some other good reason we come to believe it would not be in your best interests for us to continue to represent you.) If so, a final invoice for fees and payments made or committed to up to the date the instructions were ended will be payable, together with any fees or payments necessary to transfer the matter to another lawyer chosen by you.
Your Documents and Papers
Once the matter on which we are advising you is completed, we will return all the relevant documents either lent or owned by you if requested. You will need to request this. Otherwise, we will retain the file for as long as we think sensible-typically five years- after which we reserve the right to destroy them without further reference to you.
Any information that you provide to us in confidence will remain confidential. If, however, we are working for you in conjunction with your other advisors we will assume, unless you tell us otherwise, that we may disclose all information to them and discuss it with them if necessary.
Email Communications and the Internet
We make full use of electronic communications where clients wish. If you ask us to communicate with you electronically via the internet, please note that the internet is neither private nor secure and that we cannot guarantee correct message routing or promptness of delivery. Where security or reliability is important, we recommend that you do not use the internet for sending to us or receiving from us messages or documents. If you do choose to communicate with us via the internet, we will assume that you wish communications between yourselves and ourselves to be conducted via the internet notwithstanding these security and reliability issues.
If there is more than one client instructing us, we assume that we may act on the instructions of any one of you and, unless otherwise agreed, correspond directly with that client.
All information on this Web site is copyright 2009 by Law Offices of Ronald P. St. Clair.