California "Compassionate" Divorce Attorney David Holcomb Introduces A Novel Reduced Fee Program For His San Francisco Bay Area Clients Who Pay Their Bills Promptly
on: April 13, 2010, 12:06 am
David J. Holcomb
People facing a decision to end a marriage are often daunted
at the prospect of paying the notoriously very high hourly fees charged
by experienced Family Law attorneys. A complicated case can require
hundreds of hours of attorney time, and therefore tens of thousands of
dollars in expense. Even a simple case requires a significant
expenditure to complete financial disclosures, negotiate a complete
settlement and prepare and execute the numerous required documents.
Especially in the current economy of depressed home values and decimated investment
accounts, paying even a very good professional for services at a typical rate of
$350 to $450 per hour, and more, just does not make sense to most potential clients.
When asked why their rates are so high, Divorce attorneys routinely justify the high
rates by pointing out that their clients often do not pay their bills in full,
leaving the attorney with uncollectible accounts receivable. This low rate of
collection therefore justifies charging everyone a higher rate, or so they say.
In response to the current economy, and realizing that the many honest clients who
do honor their financial obligations should not be charged extra to cover the unpaid
bills of complete strangers, Berkeley attorney David Holcomb has been offering
clients a novel reduced hourly fee arrangement. He realized that expecting some
clients to not pay, and then overcharging good clients to make up for the others,
was itself the problem. So he has turned this around. Mr. Holcomb explains: "If
my clients are willing to make a real commitment to paying for my services, then I
commit to an hourly rate that is $50 to $150 per hour less than most other
experienced attorneys are charging."
Mr. Holcomb's attorney/client fee agreement literally puts a line through his
standard hourly rate, and instead offers a reduced rate for every minute of services
he provides, so long as the client either posts advance payment for services, or
pays within 10 days of invoicing. If the client falls behind, they are assessed the
This has been a true "win/win" that works for both clients and for this "Compassionate Divorce" attorney. "We start out on a foundation of mutual
trust, and mutual responsibility, with mutual rewards. In the 8 months since
initiating this new policy, I have never had to assert the "standard" rate,
because my client's are very appreciative of the fair value of my services, and
make an extra effort to stay ahead of their bills."
Mr. Holcomb acknowledges that a good lawyer's service on a divorce are never cheap,
but he estimates his comparatively low hourly rate saves each client $5,000 on
average, or about a 20% savings.
"My clients are happy to pay less, and I am happy to get paid for my work", he
says. "Too many of my colleagues complain about clients who demand services but
refuse to pay for what they have already received, much less for future work. My
clients are treated fairly from the outset, and so they treat me fairly. That is
our contract from the beginning. We are all much happier."
Mr. Holcomb is a trained Collaborative Divorce professional, offering "out of
court" divorce services. He has 24 years experience as a divorce and civil
litigator in all the Northern California courts. He is available for mediation,
litigation and pre-marital and post-marital planning.
Mr. Holcomb offers a fixed fee initial consultation at either his main South
Berkeley or Walnut Creek office.
Contact Details: 2832 College Avenue (at Russell, near Ashby in the Elmwood
District), Berkeley, CA, 94705
Call Mr. Holcomb at: 510-868-8897
More information on Collaborative Divorce at: