How do you charge for your services?

We offer legal services at a variety of different fee rates and structures, depending on the complexity of the matter, the estimated time that will be required, and whether the matter involves novel issues of law or is substantially similar to other cases we have handled.

We generally do not charge for a brief telephone phone consultation of twenty minutes or less, if the primary purpose of the call is to determine whether there are sufficient grounds to proceed with legal action or whether we have appropriate expertise to assist a client. If you are interested in scheduling a more in-depth consultation or wish for us to review and offer opinions on legal documents, we will discuss an appropriate consultation fee with you that will be due at the time of service.

Most real estate-related legal services (including simple landlord-tenant matters) will be billed on a flat fee basis, with payment expected at the time of closing or resolution of the transaction. A fee schedule is available upon request.

We do bill by the hour for drafting of custom real estate documents. In addition, we will almost always bill on an hourly basis for construction and civil litigation matters. We generally require advance payment of a refundable retainer prior to making any type of court appearance. We generally do not charge for a brief telephone phone consultation of twenty minutes or less, if the primary purpose of the call is to determine whether there are sufficient grounds to proceed with legal action or whether we have appropriate expertise to assist a client. If you are interested in scheduling a more in-depth consultation or wish for us to review and offer opinions on legal documents, we will discuss an appropriate consultation fee with you that will be due at the time of service. Most real estate-related legal services (including simple landlord-tenant matters) will be billed on a flat fee basis, with payment expected at the time of closing or resolution of the transaction. A fee schedule is available upon request. We do bill by the hour for drafting of custom real estate documents. In addition, we will almost always bill on an hourly basis for construction and civil litigation matters. We generally require advance payment of a refundable retainer prior to making any type of court appearance.


Do I need an attorney to buy or sell property in North Carolina? What about about to close a loan refinance that is secured by a mortgage (Deed of Trust)?


Do I have a choice about which attorney I use to close my real estate purchase? Is the answer different for a newly-constructed home?


I just received a letter from a contractor I fired threatening to file a lien on my home if I don’t pay him. Can he do that? I don’t owe him the money!

Chapter 44A of the North Carolina General Statutes provides certain rights to file a “mechanic’s lien” to all persons who furnish labor or materials (including equipment) used to make improvements to real property. Generally, any such lien on real property must be filed within 120 days of the last date that the contractor performed work upon the property to be liened.

Liens are usually filed with the Clerk of Court in the county where the improved real property is located. The Clerk’s office merely performs an administrative role in this instance, and does not have the authority to refuse to file a lien that is presented with the appropriate fee by the lien claimant. Bear in mind, however, that a Claim of Lien upon real property automatically expires if a lawsuit to enforce it is not filed within 180 days of the claimant’s date of last furnishing.

North Carolina’s lien laws are complex and at times confusing, particularly to non-lawyers. These laws have been revised numerous times over the years, including major revisions that went into effect in 2013. Whether you are a contractor that is contemplating filing a lien, or an owner whose home or project has been liened, you should not attempt to resolve the situation without the benefit of experienced legal counsel.

For additional information regarding construction law matters, please see our construction law resources page.

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