Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Your time and expertise have value-- don't sell yourself short!

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Your time and expertise have value-- don't sell yourself short!

    I was not sure how to title this thread, so this might not be what you were expecting.

    I probably review 3-5 new med mal cases each year, both defense and plaintiff, and give an occasional deposition (I can remember giving two depos in the last five years).

    I do not charge much, $200-250/hour for defense cases and $300/hour for plaintiff cases, minimum one hour for initial review, research and conversation. I believe that I am under market with may rates and do not have a problem with it because I also view it as a learning experience for me. My (lawyer) wife has often chided me for not raising my hourly rate. One positive/negative consequence of not charging more is that I get a lot of word of mouth referrals on the plaintiff side (LOL).

    Yesterday, I received a phone call from a defense attorney, not known to me previously, who pulled my name from the "Best Docs" list and asked me if I would review a case. I asked some general questions to determine if it was in my expertise (it was) and whether there were any obvious conflicts of interest (there were none). He then asked my rate, and I replied, somewhat reflexively, $200/hour (minimum one hour). He said great, and we started to talk schedules to make a date for a meeting to review the case, in person.

    I hung up the phone, continued working, and later in the day received an email confirming our conversation, requesting my CV, and to give him some dates to meet like we talked about. There was something irritating about all this, and I could not immediately put my finger on it.

    When I returned home from work that evening, it hit me that I had no interest in meeting this guy to go over a case for a net $100 (after taxes), which would be at least an hour of time for driving to the meeting place, going over the case, being presentable and social, driving home, etc., when I typically review these cases at home, on my computer, in my pajamas. It was his idea and preference to meet in person to go over the case. I guess that it is a first world problem or being spoiled or too "rich", but I value my time more than that, and I was starting to think of a conversation to back out of it. Heck, I would gladly pay $100 not to have to do it!

    I discussed this with my wife, and she suggested that I simply email him that the $200/hour rate was the rate for me reviewing the case at home at my convenience, but if you want to meet and go over the case in person, the rate is $400/hour (one hour minimum), which, as an aside, happens to be closer to my depo rate of $500/hour, min 2 hours. Alternatively, if this is too much for the client, you could send me the images, and I will review and get back to you for the $200/hour fee, or we could just walk away from the deal before it gets started.

    I sent the attorney the email, he promptly replied that $400/hour should be fine with the client, and we are moving forward. From now on, my initial rate is $400/hour. Period.

    Lessons:

    1. Don't sign up for underpaid work, unless you really, REALLY need the money.

    2. Don't sell yourself short.

  • #2
    Nicely done, a great lesson for sure.

    Comment


    • #3
      Agree with higher rate and 2 hr minimum.  Rounded up to the half-hour afterwards.

      Consider another stipulation:  If any schedule changes one week prior to testimony, fee is forfeited.

      Comment


      • #4
        The going rate in my view is $1000 an hour- including prep time, travel time, meeting time etc. You want to know why you get so many calls? That's why.
        Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

        Comment


        • #5
          As always, listen to your (lawyer) wife!

          Comment


          • #6
            Agree with G that you should set a 2-hour minimum. I used to have a 1-hour minimum until I decided it just wasn't worth my time and it set initial expectations too low.
            Working to protect good doctors from bad advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

            Comment


            • #7
              Agree with increasing your rate.  I think $400-$600 per hour is definitely a reasonable range.  I would definitely charge for prep time, travel to/from meeting site, debrief either in person or over the phone, depositions...  I charge by the quarter hour.

              Comment


              • #8




                Agree with increasing your rate.  I think $400-$600 per hour is definitely a reasonable range.  I would definitely charge for prep time, travel to/from meeting site, debrief either in person or over the phone, depositions…  I charge by the quarter hour.
                Click to expand...


                I guess that price is okay if you actually want to do the work. Remember the less you charge, the more work you get. If you don't want to do this work or want to do less of it, raise the price. Want more? Charge less.
                Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

                Comment


                • #9
                  Well, I guess you learned your lesson, but I still don't like how you handled it.  Once you agreed to the price, you should have followed through and applied your lesson to future business.  Imagine how you would like it if someone quoted you a price agreed to an appointment and then called you later and increased the fee.

                  Comment


                  • #10




                    Well, I guess you learned your lesson, but I still don’t like how you handled it.  Once you agreed to the price, you should have followed through and applied your lesson to future business.  Imagine how you would like it if someone quoted you a price agreed to an appointment and then called you later and increased the fee.
                    Click to expand...


                    Thats just business. If they had a signed contract thats a different story. You dont get paid for handling things in some proposed honorable manner. Its a fiction, and not even the lawyer cares at all, he was happy with the first price and happy with the final one. No need to over project values onto things that dont require them.

                    If you misquote someone, you just let them know of the error, apologize and give the correct price. All transactions have some of this, we're people not perfect. Besides, his earlier quote was based on habit, even though the situation was not the type befitting that price, and when it was realized it was fixed.

                    IMO this is exactly the sentiment the post addressed under selling yourself for any myriad of reasons, and a false sense of honor is a good one.

                    Comment


                    • #11







                      Well, I guess you learned your lesson, but I still don’t like how you handled it.  Once you agreed to the price, you should have followed through and applied your lesson to future business.  Imagine how you would like it if someone quoted you a price agreed to an appointment and then called you later and increased the fee.
                      Click to expand…


                      Thats just business. If they had a signed contract thats a different story. You dont get paid for handling things in some proposed honorable manner. Its a fiction, and not even the lawyer cares at all, he was happy with the first price and happy with the final one. No need to over project values onto things that dont require them.

                      If you misquote someone, you just let them know of the error, apologize and give the correct price. All transactions have some of this, we’re people not perfect. Besides, his earlier quote was based on habit, even though the situation was not the type befitting that price, and when it was realized it was fixed.

                      IMO this is exactly the sentiment the post addressed under selling yourself for any myriad of reasons, and a false sense of honor is a good one.
                      Click to expand...


                      This wasn't a simple mistake like he misspoke or some assistant quoted the wrong price.  He just went home, decided he wanted more and then called the guy and increased the rate above what was agreed upon.  It doesn't make a difference if the attorney ultimately agreed with the higher price or if they didn't have a contract.  They had an agreement and he changed the terms.  I still find it to be a little bit dishonorable.

                      You're right that it's just business and you don't get paid for being honorable.  While those are true statements, it doesn't really justify the action.

                      The lesson of don't sell yourself short should have been, "I really need to charge more in the future".  In my opinion, it should not have been, "I need to charge more in the future and increase the price for this person with whom I already have an agreement"

                      Imagine if I posted the following:

                      "So I called a fee-only financial planner and told him I needed some retirement planning advice.  We talked about my needs on the phone and he said that he would charge me $200/hr to come to my office, look at my records and give some preliminary advice.  So we set an appointment.  Then he calls me the next day and says, actually $200/hr is my rate if you just email me your info.  If you actually want to meet, then it's $400/hr. "

                      What would you think of this financial planner?

                       

                       

                      Comment


                      • #12










                        Well, I guess you learned your lesson, but I still don’t like how you handled it.  Once you agreed to the price, you should have followed through and applied your lesson to future business.  Imagine how you would like it if someone quoted you a price agreed to an appointment and then called you later and increased the fee.
                        Click to expand…


                        Thats just business. If they had a signed contract thats a different story. You dont get paid for handling things in some proposed honorable manner. Its a fiction, and not even the lawyer cares at all, he was happy with the first price and happy with the final one. No need to over project values onto things that dont require them.

                        If you misquote someone, you just let them know of the error, apologize and give the correct price. All transactions have some of this, we’re people not perfect. Besides, his earlier quote was based on habit, even though the situation was not the type befitting that price, and when it was realized it was fixed.

                        IMO this is exactly the sentiment the post addressed under selling yourself for any myriad of reasons, and a false sense of honor is a good one.
                        Click to expand…


                        This wasn’t a simple mistake like he misspoke or some assistant quoted the wrong price.  He just went home, decided he wanted more and then called the guy and increased the rate above what was agreed upon.  It doesn’t make a difference if the attorney ultimately agreed with the higher price or if they didn’t have a contract.  They had an agreement and he changed the terms.  I still find it to be a little bit dishonorable.

                        You’re right that it’s just business and you don’t get paid for being honorable.  While those are true statements, it doesn’t really justify the action.

                        The lesson of don’t sell yourself short should have been, “I really need to charge more in the future”.  In my opinion, it should not have been, “I need to charge more in the future and increase the price for this person with whom I already have an agreement”

                        Imagine if I posted the following:

                        “So I called a fee-only financial planner and told him I needed some retirement planning advice.  We talked about my needs on the phone and he said that he would charge me $200/hr to come to my office, look at my records and give some preliminary advice.  So we set an appointment.  Then he calls me the next day and says, actually $200/hr is my rate if you just email me your info.  If you actually want to meet, then it’s $400/hr. ”

                        What would you think of this financial planner?

                         

                         
                        Click to expand...


                        I also disagree. I agreed to the rate before the terms were set (face meeting) and would not have agreed to the $200 rate, otherwise. Additionally, I gave the attorney three options:

                        $200 on my terms

                        $400 on his terms

                        Or let's just walk away

                        I thought it was very reasonable and don't give a ************************ if you don't!

                         

                         

                        Comment


                        • #13










                          Well, I guess you learned your lesson, but I still don’t like how you handled it.  Once you agreed to the price, you should have followed through and applied your lesson to future business.  Imagine how you would like it if someone quoted you a price agreed to an appointment and then called you later and increased the fee.
                          Click to expand…


                          Thats just business. If they had a signed contract thats a different story. You dont get paid for handling things in some proposed honorable manner. Its a fiction, and not even the lawyer cares at all, he was happy with the first price and happy with the final one. No need to over project values onto things that dont require them.

                          If you misquote someone, you just let them know of the error, apologize and give the correct price. All transactions have some of this, we’re people not perfect. Besides, his earlier quote was based on habit, even though the situation was not the type befitting that price, and when it was realized it was fixed.

                          IMO this is exactly the sentiment the post addressed under selling yourself for any myriad of reasons, and a false sense of honor is a good one.
                          Click to expand…


                          This wasn’t a simple mistake like he misspoke or some assistant quoted the wrong price.  He just went home, decided he wanted more and then called the guy and increased the rate above what was agreed upon.  It doesn’t make a difference if the attorney ultimately agreed with the higher price or if they didn’t have a contract.  They had an agreement and he changed the terms.  I still find it to be a little bit dishonorable.

                          You’re right that it’s just business and you don’t get paid for being honorable.  While those are true statements, it doesn’t really justify the action.

                          The lesson of don’t sell yourself short should have been, “I really need to charge more in the future”.  In my opinion, it should not have been, “I need to charge more in the future and increase the price for this person with whom I already have an agreement”

                          Imagine if I posted the following:

                          “So I called a fee-only financial planner and told him I needed some retirement planning advice.  We talked about my needs on the phone and he said that he would charge me $200/hr to come to my office, look at my records and give some preliminary advice.  So we set an appointment.  Then he calls me the next day and says, actually $200/hr is my rate if you just email me your info.  If you actually want to meet, then it’s $400/hr. ”

                          What would you think of this financial planner?

                           

                           
                          Click to expand...


                          I would think those options are fine, i have my choices, but those arent exactly the same as the scenario anyway. It was a misunderstanding of the extent of circumstances, and when realized offered the same for what he supposed it was originally and a higher price for the now understood situation. Its not a big deal, and obviously none of the parties thought so either. If the counter party thought they were being jerked around by an unreasonable person Im sure he would have dropped him, even if it meant paying more. I've certainly done so in similar situations, and I've accepted alterations in simple misunderstandings from reasonable people.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Another difference with your financial planner scenario is that presumably the financial planner is looking for more business. I am not. I value my free time far more than a couple hundred bucks. After more thought, I am not at all looking forward to visiting the attorney for $400/hour, this week, on a morning prior to my afternoon/evening shift. I have to dress up, drive downtown, park, find the office, perform, and drive home. It's a hassle. I would rather work out and walk my dogs that morning. Next time I will do what WCI suggests. Quote $1000/hour (and hope that they do not call back).

                            Comment


                            • #15













                              Well, I guess you learned your lesson, but I still don’t like how you handled it.  Once you agreed to the price, you should have followed through and applied your lesson to future business.  Imagine how you would like it if someone quoted you a price agreed to an appointment and then called you later and increased the fee.
                              Click to expand…


                              Thats just business. If they had a signed contract thats a different story. You dont get paid for handling things in some proposed honorable manner. Its a fiction, and not even the lawyer cares at all, he was happy with the first price and happy with the final one. No need to over project values onto things that dont require them.

                              If you misquote someone, you just let them know of the error, apologize and give the correct price. All transactions have some of this, we’re people not perfect. Besides, his earlier quote was based on habit, even though the situation was not the type befitting that price, and when it was realized it was fixed.

                              IMO this is exactly the sentiment the post addressed under selling yourself for any myriad of reasons, and a false sense of honor is a good one.
                              Click to expand…


                              This wasn’t a simple mistake like he misspoke or some assistant quoted the wrong price.  He just went home, decided he wanted more and then called the guy and increased the rate above what was agreed upon.  It doesn’t make a difference if the attorney ultimately agreed with the higher price or if they didn’t have a contract.  They had an agreement and he changed the terms.  I still find it to be a little bit dishonorable.

                              You’re right that it’s just business and you don’t get paid for being honorable.  While those are true statements, it doesn’t really justify the action.

                              The lesson of don’t sell yourself short should have been, “I really need to charge more in the future”.  In my opinion, it should not have been, “I need to charge more in the future and increase the price for this person with whom I already have an agreement”

                              Imagine if I posted the following:

                              “So I called a fee-only financial planner and told him I needed some retirement planning advice.  We talked about my needs on the phone and he said that he would charge me $200/hr to come to my office, look at my records and give some preliminary advice.  So we set an appointment.  Then he calls me the next day and says, actually $200/hr is my rate if you just email me your info.  If you actually want to meet, then it’s $400/hr. ”

                              What would you think of this financial planner?

                               

                               
                              Click to expand…


                              I also disagree. I agreed to the rate before the terms were set (face meeting) and would not have agreed to the $200 rate, otherwise. Additionally, I gave the attorney three options:

                              $200 on my terms

                              $400 on his terms

                              Or let’s just walk away

                              I thought it was very reasonable and don’t give a ************************ if you don’t!

                               

                               
                              Click to expand...


                              I'm sure I'm not going to convince you.  People are great at providing themselves justifications for all sorts awful things they happen to do.  I wouldn't even say what you did here was awful. Just a little bad.

                              You should really go back and read what you wrote.  You quoted him a price.  Then he suggested a meeting in his office. Then you agreed to the meeting.  If you made a simple mistake, then once he brings up meeting, you should say, "Well, the $200 is for me to review at home, if you want me to come to you it's $400".  Even if you called him back rather quickly and said I made a mistake (which is what you would have done it if it were a simple pricing error), that would have been understandable.  But that's not what happened.

                              You, by your own description thought about it more and decided you should have asked for more money.  It apparently required quite a bit of thought because you couldn't even put your finger on what was wrong.   You can call that a mistake, but I think it's very different from someone misquoting a price.

                              Like I said, I know I'm never going to convince and don't really care whether I do or not.   I seriously doubt that you that you would think what that financial planner did in the scenario I posted was totally fine.  Or maybe you do. It doesn't matter.  You're still going to be the person you are no matter what someone posts on WCIs forum.

                               

                               

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X