Law Offices of
Paul Kleven

(510) 528-7347

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Payment for services at both the appellate and the trial level can be handled on either an hourly or a flat fee basis, with specific terms set forth in a written fee agreement.  The office does not handle cases on a straight contingency basis, though on rare occasions a case may be handled on a hybrid basis that combines a reduced hourly rate with a contingency agreement.


If the case is to be handled on an hourly basis, the standard rate for services at both the appellate and trial levels is currently $250 - $350 per hour.  All time rendered will be itemized and billed monthly, and paid by the client monthly. In addition, all costs and necessary disbursements incurred in the case will be billed to and paid by the client each month. A deposit will be required at the time the fee agreement is executed.

Flat Fee

     If the case is to be handled on a flat fee basis, the size of the fee will naturally depend on the nature and extent of the anticipated services.

     Matters that are in litigation at the trial level are rarely handled on a flat fee basis due to the difficulty of predicting the extent of the services that will be required. In defamation cases, there may be two separate fee agreements, with an initial flat fee covering demands for correction and preliminary negotiations, and a separate agreement if the matter leads to actual litigation. 

       Appeals are more predictable, and can often be handled on a flat fee basis. The fee for a simple appeal involving a limited record and fairly straightforward issues will be in the $7,000 - $10,000 range, while the fee for an appeal following a lengthy trial that raises a variety of complicated issues will be significantly higher. Typically, the total fee will be divided into three parts, with the first payment due on execution of the fee agreement, the second upon filing of the Appellant with the first payment due on execution of the fee agreement, the second upon filing of the Appellant’s Opening Brief or Respondent’s Brief, and the third upon the filing of the Appellant’s Reply Brief. 

        In civil cases, the total amount of the fee may be altered if the parties elect to conduct mediation, which can either increase the scope of the required services or, if successful, significantly reduce the amount of time involved.  In criminal cases, the total may be increased if it appears that a petition for habeas corpus should be filed in addition to the appeal.

In civil and criminal appeals, there will be a separate fee agreement if the case proceeds to the California or United States Supreme Court.


   For your convenience, the payment of fees and costs can be made using Visa or MasterCard. Questions regarding billing issues should be directed to the office manager, Kathy Yam.