Communicating With Us
Our attorneys work in teams with each other and our support staff. Please utilize the contact information on our correspondence or the website to connect with anyone on the RKG team.
If you have questions about your case, please call or email. If your primary contact is unavailable, please feel confident speaking with any of our team members. Often questions or information can be passed on that way without waiting for a return call. For us to effectively represent you, it is also necessary for you to communicate with us to provide information and authority to make decisions. We can speak with you either in person, by phone or via videoconference, although some of those conversations may need to be scheduled in advance, depending on the method of communication.
We may ask that you provide us with a retainer that will be held in our firm’s trust account in accordance with the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct that govern all attorneys in the state. In determining the appropriateness of a retainer, we consider the complexity of the legal matter, the time and skill required in the legal service, and time limitations imposed by the circumstances. We may require such a retainer before providing further services in connection with your legal matter. Any unused portion of the retainer will be returned to you when our work is done. This retainer is not an estimate or guarantee that the retainer will be the final cost of your legal matter. You may be asked to replenish your retainer from time to time.
You will receive periodic invoices, usually on a monthly basis, for our services. Invoices are sent via mail or email based on your preference. Please contact us at any time if you would like to change how you receive our invoices. On our invoices, “services” means work by our attorneys and staff for your matter, including our advice, attendance at meetings or events, legal research, review or preparation of documents, emails, and correspondence, phone calls with you or other parties, and other similar work.
We utilize a time-based billing system to determine the amount of our invoices. Hourly rates vary and you will be given a range of our current hourly rates. We may change our rates during your matter. Changes commonly occur at the beginning of the year. While time will be the most significant factor in your bill, we also make adjustments (up or down) based on the novelty and difficulty of the matter, any time limitations imposed by you, the amount involved, and the results obtained. We may also adjust these fees, up or down, based on the time involved.
In addition to fees for our services, you are responsible for payment of all costs associated with your legal matter. Those costs include filing fees, service fees, court reporters, expert witnesses, appraisers, copying fees, and computerized legal research charges. You may be asked to deposit filing fees or costs before we begin work on your legal matter. Alternatively, if we pay these costs on your behalf, we will include them as disbursements on your next invoice and ask that you reimburse us. Instead of advancing expenses, some invoices from third parties may be forwarded directly to you and we will ask that you pay them directly.
Our invoices are due within 10 days of the invoice date. If you have questions about an invoice, please reach out to your primary contact, our accounting assistant (Lynn Good), or our firm administrator (Rose Krause), as soon as possible. If an invoice is not paid within 30 days, we will add a finance charge of 1.5% per month (18% per year) to the unpaid balance. This unpaid balance will continue to accrue finance charges and will appear on each subsequent invoice until paid. If we incur any costs to collect an unpaid balance, we will add attorney’s fees and costs of collection to the balance owed.
You may ask us to provide you with an estimate of what our work will cost. But unless we have stated above under “services” that we are limiting our fee to a certain amount, these estimates are not a limit on what your matter may cost. Your matter may cost more or less depending upon the circumstances. It is impossible to determine in advance the time that will be needed to complete a client’s case. While we do our best to provide estimates and welcome your questions about what to expect, we believe it is important to be clear that estimates are not guarantees.
Ending Our Relationship
While we would hate to see you go, you may end our relationship at any time. We also reserve the right to decline to work with you on a new matter or to end our relationship for any reason. Common reasons for us to end a relationship would be because of a conflict of interest (meaning we cannot effectively serve you and another current or former client), if you fail to communicate with us, or if you fail to pay our invoices when due.
File Destruction (After Your Matter is Over)
During the course of a matter, we will collect a variety of documents and other materials. At the end of your matter, original documents are generally returned to you. We do, however, keep some original records unless you specifically request their return.
Before the closing of your file, the firm will attempt to return to you, at your last recorded address with our firm, any original documents in the file. Please keep your contact information up-to-date even after a file is no longer active. Documents that are returned often include documents or photographs you have given to us during your matter.
Other than the originals that we preserve indefinitely, after any originals are returned to you, we destroy paper copies of closed client files and retain a scanned digital image of these documents for six (6) years after the end of a matter. At any time after this six-year period, we may also destroy the scanned digital images. No other notice will be provided before the destruction of the file.
We look forward to providing the legal services you require in a manner that will be of the greatest assistance to you. If you have questions regarding our representation, please contact us.
We suggest that you retain this information for your reference. Please call us at (717) 293-9293 if you have any additional questions.