The Champion

December 2003 , Page 46 

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The ten commandments of setting and collecting attorneys fees in criminal cases: redux (part 1)

By John Wesley Hall Jr.

Twenty years ago, the venerable, now retired from practicing law, Lionel Barrett published an article in The Champion entitled “The Ten Commandments of Setting and Collecting Attorneys’ Fees in Criminal Cases.”1 This article takes Barrett’s “Ten Commandments,” of which there were actually thirteen, and updates them with comments. For the 2003-04 version, I have broken the rules into two parts, setting fees this month and collecting fees in the next issue (January/February 2004), and I have elaborated somewhat on Barrett’s rules, which still generally hold true today.  

We are members of an honorable profession, but private practitioners are also maintaining a business that has to ethically cover overhead and make a profit to exist. This is the business of practicing law, something a lot of us do not want to worry about. In setting and collecting fees, we have to balance the business side of our practice with the ethical side. Moreover, when Barrett wrote his “Ten

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