Family Law Standard Retainer Contract

Below is Patrick Slaughter's Standard Engagement Agreement


  1. I, _____________________ hereby agree and contract to retain Patrick Slaughter to represent me regarding the below listed Matters or Issue:
    I am retaining Mr. Slaughter and the law firm of LaFevor & Slaughter to represent me in my.
  2. Liability Prior to This Agreement. I fully understand that Patrick Slaughter and LaFevor & Slaughter, accept no responsibility or liability of any nature for the acts or failure to act of any prior counsel engaged by me nor for any matters related to this cause which precede the date of this Agreement, including the acts or decisions attributable to me. I fully understand that my rights, the rights of children, and possible property division may be been seriously prejudiced by the actions taken by myself or those actions of previously retained counsel.
  3. NO GUARANTEE OF SUCCESSFUL OUTCOME.  I understand that neither Patrick Slaughter, LaFevor & Slaughter, nor anyone else has made any guarantee about the successful outcome of my case.
    On occasion, I may ask the opinion as to the outcome of my case. If Mr. Slaughter chooses to opine as to the possible outcome, I understand that Mr. Slaughter can never know for sure what the outcome will be in any case, but may (from experience with the particular judge, prosecutor, or type of case) be able to give an educated opinion as to a range of possible outcomes. However, I understand that Mr. Slaughter cannot and will not promise or guarantee that any predicted outcome will occur.
  4. Confidentiality. I understand that confidential conversations between Mr. Slaughter and myself are protected by law and by the disciplinary rules to which attorneys are subject. The reason for this confidentiality protection is that the interest of the client is best served when the client’s attorney is fully informed of all facts well in advance of any possible contest. I understand that my candor will assist Mr. Slaughter tremendously in representing me; it is doubly protected by law and the disciplinary rules and is very much encouraged. You can rely on Mr. Slaughter to be candid with you as well.
    All communications between myself and Patrick Slaughter are to be considered “privileged,” and will be kept strictly confidential, pursuant to various provisions of the Tennessee Code Annotated, as amended, and with the other applicable rues of court and any other Tennessee Supreme Court general ethical requirements.
    I understand that if I elect to have a third party present at attorney/client conferences, thepresence of a third party, destroys the attorney-client privilege, and conversations are nolonger considered confidential.
  5. Persons To Whom I Authorizes Mr. Slaughter To Disclose Information. I understand that Patrick Slaughter would only like to communicate the fundamentals of my case with myself. However if I would like for Mr. Slaughter or any other personnel at LaFevor & Slaughter to speak with someone other than myself about my case, I understand and agree that I will send a written communication either by correspondence or by email authorizing Mr. Slaughter and/or LaFevor & Slaughter to speak with this person; describe what subject matter may be discussed; and provide the person’s contact information so that they can be contacted.
  6. Client’s responsibilitiesI realize that my cooperation is essential to the outcome of my case, therefore I understand and agree that is my responsibility to:
  1. Work with Mr. Slaughter, other attorneys and staff employed by LaFevor & Slaughter in a respectful and polite manner. I understand that yelling, shouting, disparaging or any other rude or offensive behavior directed at Mr. Slaughter or any other staff member at LaFevor & Slaughter WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. I understand that should I engage in such behavior Mr. Slaughter and LaFevor & Slaughter will immediately seek to withdraw from my case.
  2. Be honest and truthful regarding all facts, and issues involving my case.
  3. Appear on time for all office appointments and court appearances. I understand and agree that should I cancel an office appointment with less than 24 hours notice, or fail to show up for an appointment, I will be billed for one (1) hour at the standard hourly rate for the person with whom I had the appointment.
  4. Fully cooperate with Mr. Slaughter and his staff by promptly responding to inquiries and complying with requests made by Mr. Slaughter and his staff in the preparation and presentation of my case. I will complete and deliver to Mr. Slaughter all requests quickly and thoroughly as requested by the attorney or staff.
  5. Thoroughly read and review each and every document provided by Mr. Slaughter, as it is received or as soon as possible thereafter.
  6. Retain all copies of documents given to me by Mr. Slaughter; take action indicated by said documents; and to communicate with Mr. Slaughter with questions in the time frame outlined in said document, or to call and request additional time to respond when needed.
  7. Contact Mr. Slaughter or his staff with any questions and concerns relating to my case.
  8. Not to participate in any communication or negotiations which pertain to the case, except with Mr. Slaughter’s knowledge and consent.
  9. Take reasonable efforts to preserve any and all documents, electronically stored evidence and all other matters that are potentially subject to discovery in my case(s).
  10. Inform Mr. Slaughter of any and all address, email, facsimile number, mobile phone number, and other telephone number changes.
  1. WITHDRAWAL. I fully understand that Patrick Slaughter, and LaFevor & Slaughter, may cease work on my case, matter, or issue and withdraw from the same and/or terminate this agreement in the event I:
  1. Fail to follow Mr. Slaughter’s or LaFevor & Slaughter’s instructions; misrepresent or fail to disclose material facts; or fail to follow a court order.
  2. Insists upon representing a claim or defense not warranted under existing law and which cannot be supported by a good faith argument for extension or reversal of such law.
  3. Personally seek to pursue an illegal course of conduct.
  4. Requests Mr. Slaughter to pursue a course of conduct which is prohibited under attorney disciplinary rules.
  5. By other conduct render it unreasonably difficult to carry out
    the agreed upon representation of me or my case.
  6. Insists upon Mr. Slaughter engaging in conduct that is contrary to his judgment or advice.
  7. Disregard an agreement with Mr. Slaughter as to fees or services, costs or expenses rendered.
  8. Fail to furnish any required additional retainer, within 10 days of request by Mr. Slaughter.
  1. No advice is given regarding tax, social security, bankruptcy, or securities and exchange issues. Neither Patrick Slaughter, nor any other personnel at LaFevor & Slaughter practice tax law, or give overall tax advice. For specific tax questions that may arise, you should consult a tax advisor or CPA. Also, Patrick Slaughter is not an expert in ERISA laws which govern retirement plans; bankruptcy; or securities and exchange law. If the situation arises, we may suggest that you consult with an attorney who specializes in this area of the law. I agree to seek advice regarding tax; social security; bankruptcy; and securities and exchange issues elsewhere, and to hold Patrick Slaughter harmless thereof.
  2. Divorce Matters
  1. Agreed divorce. I agree/understand that I have retained Patrick Slaughter, and LaFevor & Slaughter to represent me in an Agreed Divorce. Therefore, the scope of my representations is as follow: LaFevor & Slaughter shall draft a Complaint, Initial Temporary Injunctions, Marital Dissolution Agreement, Waiver of Venue, Waiver of Service of Process, Affidavit of Non-Representation for the other party and a Permanent Parenting Plan should any of the above apply.
  2. I understand that, in addition to the fees paid to Patrick Slaughter and LaFevor & Slaughter, I will be responsible for paying the court cost necessary to file my divorce action directly to the court in which my lawsuit is filed.
  3. Patrick Slaughter WILL NOT negotiate with my spouse or any attorney retained by my spouse. Neither will he contact, or arrange for the other party to execute the documents necessary to file my Irreconcilable Differences Divorce as that is my responsibility. If my spouse will not sign the prepared documents or disputes any of the terms of the above-mentioned documents, absent clerical error, the Agreed Divorce representation is complete and will then be considered “Contested” and Patrick Slaughter, and LaFevor & Slaughter shall have my permission to withdraw immediately, even though no filing has been made with the Court. Should I desire Patrick Slaughter to represent me in the contested matter, then I will complete a new representation agreement.
    I understand and agree that the Non-Refundable Agreed Divorce Retainer shall be forfeited to Patrick Slaughter, and LaFevor & Slaughter, should, in Patrick Slaughter’s sole discretion, my matter becomes contested. I understand that no work will begin on my case until the non-refundable, flat fee retainer is paid in full. Time is of the essence.
    I understand and agree that once all the required documents have been submitted to me, I shall have those documents completed; executed by my spouse; and returned to Patrick Slaughter and LaFevor & Slaughter within sixty (60) days. If these completed and executed documents are not returned within sixty (60) days, my file will be closed and Patrick Slaughter and LaFevor & Slaughter shall be permitted to immediately withdraw from my case despite the divorce lawsuit not having been filed with the Court.
    If a hearing is set and is rescheduled with less than seventy-two (72) hours notice, or does not proceed as scheduled due to some action of either party to the divorce, there will be an additional fee of for rescheduling the hearing of not less than $500.00.
    I understand and agree that no agreed divorce shall be filed unless ALL herein mentioned items are completed and signed by all interested parties and Patrick Slaughter has approved the same.
  4. No Valuation of Marital Assets Provided. I understand that Patrick Slaughter, and LaFevor & Slaughter, are not being retained to value the marital assets nor does he/they claim to have expertise in this area. I understand that I must determine, based upon the information obtained through the proceeding, which assets I would like to receive, the value of those assets, and economic ramifications concerning all property. Mr. Slaughter, and LaFevor & Slaughter may advise me to retain appropriate experts, such as accountants, financial advisors, or real estate or business appraisers, to assist with this regard. Mr. Slaughter does not automatically search titles, determine the validity of income and expense figures supplied by your spouse or other opposing party, or attempt to verify other underlying data provided as part of the dissolution proceeding. If I have questions concerning any of these issues, I will discuss them with Mr. Slaughter and authorize him to retain appropriate experts to provide assistance on your behalf. The fees and costs for such experts are my responsibility and are not paid from the trust deposits made with Mr. Slaughter or LaFevor & Slaughter.
  5. Deeds. Any deeds for dividing real property will be charged $200.00 plus the registration fee if the legal property description and history of the real property are provided by myself. I understand that if I do not provide a legal description or history of the real property, there will be an additional fee of $500 to obtain the legal description and history as well as draft the deed.
  6. Division of Retirement Benefits. If retirement benefits are being divided on divorce in your case, a separate order must be submitted to the Court. For most retirement benefits this order is known as a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). Preparing and monitoring the qualification of such an order is a complex procedure and in most cases it is more cost effective to engage the services of an expert in the area of preparing and qualifying QDRO’s rather than utilize the services of LaFevor & Slaughter. I authorize Patrick Slaughter, and LaFevor & Slaughter to retain the services of an expert in this field for the limited purpose of preparing and qualifying QDRO’s, provided such services do not exceed $1500.00. I agree that payment shall be made by me directly to such expert upon Mr. Slaughter or LaFevor & Slaughter’s request.
  1. Authorization. I hereby authorize and direct Patrick Slaughter, and LaFevor & Slaughter to take all actions on my behalf as he/they deems advisable. I understand that I will be promptly notified of important events relating to my case that are within the scope of this representation agreement. While Patrick Slaughter, retained under this agreement, has now been granted such authorization by me, it is expressly stated herein he will NOT be able to accept any potential settlement offer (extended to me by any party) upon my behalf until he explains the terms of any offer to me, and has received my consent. Conversely, I understand that Mr. Slaughter is ethically obligated to present any and every settlement offer made by the opposing party to me for my consideration. While Mr. Slaughter or attorneys working for the firm may offer me their opinion about whether or not I should accept a settlement offer, the decision to accept any settlement proposal is entirely my decision.
  2. Teamwork Approach to Case Management. I understand and agree that Patrick Slaughter may use other attorneys, paralegals and legal assistants to assist me in my case. I understand and agree that these other professionals will assist me at Mr. Slaughter’s direction to move my case forward in a timely fashion. I understand that Mr. Slaughter will not personally perform every task involved in my representation, but will manage the litigation of my case personally.
  3. Authorization to Consult and Divide Legal Fees with Other Attorneys. I understand, and agree that the consultation with, or participation of any other attorney or law firm and Patrick Slaughter is hereby consented to by me and is reasonable. Additionally, I have been advised as to the requirements of Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 8, 1.5(a)(1-3). I agree and understand that the division of any fee is reasonable and in proportion to the services that have been and will be performed and I consent thereto.
  4. Rescheduling of Mediations, Depositions, Hearings, and Trials. I understand that events may arise, or conflicts come into being that necessitate certain events in my case to be rescheduled. I understand and agree that Mr. Slaughter and LaFevor & Slaughter reserve the right to reschedule any event in my case at their discretion.
  1. Advancement of Legal Fees and ExpensesI agree to deposit with Patrick Slaughter, and LaFevor & Slaughter, the sum of $5000.00 on account for payment of Legal Fees and/or Expenses that I will be incurring. Mr. Slaughter will hold this advancement of Legal Fees and/or Expenses in trust until such Fees or Expenses are incurred, at which time the advancement of legal fees will be used to pay the Legal Fees and/or Expenses I have incurred. If the balance in my trust account falls below $2000.00, I understand and agree that I must deposit sufficient funds into my trust account to raise my balance to $2000.00. Mr. Slaughter reserves the right to require payment of an additional retainer at any later time as a condition to his continuing to represent me.
  1. Hourly Rates.  I will pay Patrick Slaughter $400 per hour for his time; $325 per hour for any senior associate attorney working on my case; $275 per hour for any junior associate attorney working on my case; and $175.00 per hour for the time of his paralegals and staff working on my case. 
  2. Method for billing Legal Fees. I understand that I will be billed in 1/10 hour (six (6) minute) increments for all time devoted by Mr. Slaughter or his staff to my case, including without limitation time spent in office and telephone conferences, time spent in interviews with witnesses and parties, legal research time, time spent preparing or revising correspondence (including email) and legal instruments, time spent preparing for court appearances, time spent reviewing correspondence (including email) and documents, time spent in negotiations with opposing parties or attorneys, and time spent in court (whether at trial or at attendance of ancillary hearings or motions, including time spent driving to and waiting for hearings, mediations, or the like.) I understand that all of the services describe in this paragraph will be billed at the hourly rate described above.
  3. Monthly Bills. I understand that LaFevor & Slaughter will send me an invoice on a monthly basis explaining the time spent on my case, and other expenses incurred to prosecute my case. The bill will be sent via email to the address that I have provided to LaFevor & Slaughter.
  4. Payable Upon Receipt. I understand that all of the invoices that I receive are due and payable immediately upon receipt.
  5. Credit Card Processing Fee. A 3% processing fee will be charged on all credit card transactions.
  6. Trust Letters. I understand that if I do not remit payment for any past due balance and/or replenish my trust account balance to the required minimum balance described below within five (5) days of receiving my monthly invoice, I will receive a trust letter informing me of my obligation to make the necessary payment for which I will be billed .1 hours. If I have not remitted the necessary payment as described above ten (10) days after the receipt of my monthly invoice, I will receive another trust letter for which I will be billed .1 hours; Mr. Slaughter, and LaFevor & Slaughter will cease working on my case; and immediately seek to withdraw.
  7. Requirement to Maintain Minimum Balance. I will replenish my trust account so that the balance of my account will be at $2000.00 within ten (10) days receipt of my monthly invoice. Additionally, should my case be scheduled for mediation, deposition, hearing, or trial, I may be required to pay an additional deposit sufficient to cover the legal fees that I am expected to incur due to the upcoming mediation, deposition, hearing, or trial at least 14 days prior to the scheduled event. I understand and agree that should I not make the payment of the additional deposit, Mr. Slaughter and the law firm of LaFevor & Slaughter will seek to either reschedule the upcoming event until payment is made or seek to withdraw from my case.
  8. Case Review. I understand that Mr. Slaughter personally reviews my case file on a weekly basis. During this review process, Mr. Slaughter evaluates what has transpired in my case and what actions need to be taken to advance my case. He then assigns the work required to accomplish these tasks to the appropriate personnel. As a result of this process I am provided with a weekly case update through the Case Status app on my mobile telephone so that I am always aware of what is happening with my case. I understand and agree that I will be charged .3 hours each month by Mr. Slaughter for these case review services.
  9. Telephone CallsIn order to insure that the attorney to whom you speak is prepared to fully answer your questions and focus on your conversation, neither Mr. Slaughter nor any other attorney at LaFevor & Slaughter accept any unscheduled telephone calls unless an emergency situation has arisen. Emergency situations typically include law enforcement involvement or medical treatment.
    I understand and agree that should I wish to speak with Mr. Slaughter or any other attorney at LaFevor & Slaughter by telephone, I will need to send an email to the firm’s office manager at zena@lafevorslaughter.com to schedule the call. The office manager will schedule a time for me to call in for my telephone appointment as soon as is practicable and usually within the same week. Once the call is scheduled I will send an email to the office manager at the above address outlining the reason for my call and any subject matter I would like to discuss.
    Scheduling calls in this matter allows attorneys to be prepared to fully answer my questions and provide me with the advice that I require because they have been given advance notice of the subject matter of the call and time to prepare for the same. Additionally, because the call is scheduled, the attorney will be able to focus entirely on my call and my case because there are no other competing tasks or events during the time the call is scheduled.
    I understand that the process of making phone calls requires more than simply dialing a number, but also includes, for instance, the need for my attorney to consider and/or review my file and the statements he or she will make on the phone, thus even when they simply leave a message for another party, they are justified in charging me for the time spent.
    I understand and agree that Mr. Slaughter and LaFevor & Slaughter reserve the right to bill me at twice the standard hourly rate for telephone calls made before 9:00 a.m., or after 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday unless they determine at their sole discretion, that my call constituted an emergency situation.
    I understand and agree that Mr. Slaughter and LaFevor & Slaughter reserve the right to bill me at three times the standard hourly rate for telephone calls made on Saturdays, Sundays, and/or holidays unless they determine, at their sole discretion, that my call constituted an emergency situation.
  10. Child care/babysitting services. Mr. Slaughter refuses to discuss family law matters in the presence of children unless the issue necessitates communication with the child. Therefore, I understand and agree that should I bring my child/children with me for an appointment with Mr. Slaughter, I will be billed at the standard hourly rate for someone to supervise my child during my appointment if my child is unable to be left unattended.
  11. Objections to Amount or Services Billed. I understand and agree that should I object to any charge on my monthly invoice, I will do so in writing either by correspondence or by email to the firm’s office manager at zena@lafevorslaughter.com My objection will specifically describe what charge I am objecting to and the reason for my objection. Any statements or bills will be deemed to be accepted and affirmed unless objected to in writing within ten (10) days of the date of the statement or bill. I will keep a copy of any such objection for later reference.
  12. Interest Accrues on Unpaid Invoices. Unpaid Account balances are charged 12 percent annual interest compounded monthly.
  13. Return of Excess Advancement of Fees Balance. Any fees deposited in trust and not expended will be refunded to client at the close of the case, less all fees and expenses owing Mr. Slaughter.
  14. Annual fee increase. I understand and agree that Mr. Slaughter and LaFevor & Slaughter may increase the hourly fees that I am charged by up to 10% on the first day of January of each year following the signing of this agreement and I agree to pay those increased hourly rates.
  1. Trial DepositI understand that no less that the 1ST day of the month prior to the month in which a trial of this matter is set, unless other arrangements are specifically made in writing, I will be required to pay a trial deposit. This trial deposit will be in the amount of any past due or unpaid fees and all expenses either incurred or expected to be incurred. Additionally, I will be required to also pay an amount not less than the amount determined by multiplying 8 hours per day by Mr. Slaughter’s hourly rate as provided herein for the number of trial days estimated by Mr. Slaughter.
  2. Award of Attorney feesI understand that award of attorney’s fees are within the discretion of the Court, thus are totally unpredictable. Any attorney’s fees obtained in the case by Patrick Slaughter from another party shall be credited to me. If a fee is agreed upon or awarded which is larger than the amount paid and owed, then, after all reimbursements to me, the remainder shall go to Patrick Slaughter as part of his reasonable attorney’s fee. However, I am responsible for paying any attorney’s fees and expenses owed to Patrick Slaughter, even if there is a judgment outstanding against me or my spouse. I understand that I will be required to pay for Mr. Slaughter’s services without regard to any court order for attorney’s fees.
  3. Additional Fees and ExpensesI understand and agree that attorney fees do not include filing fees, litigation taxes, court costs, and other expenses incurred incidental to the preparation of this case; settlement; or litigation of my legal matter. These expenses include, but are not limited to service of process fees, process server fees, filing costs, court costs, court reporter fees, facsimile charges ($1.00 per page), runner expense, expert witnesses, investigators, copies (.25 per page), subpoena service, and all other out of pocket expenses.
    I authorize Patrick Slaughter to incur such expenses as he deems necessary, and at his discretion, to postpone action on my case until I have deposited sufficient funds to cover those expenses or complete payment of the non-refundable retainer.
    I also understand and agree all additional expenses, including, but not limited to, investigator fees, fees for obtaining copies of E-911 tapes and/or audio or video tapes from law enforcement agencies, and expungement fees, if applicable shall be timely paid by me (to either Mr. Slaughter who may have advanced said expenses upon my behalf, or to the appropriate court clerk, agency, or to a third-party vendor), In addition to the above mentioned up-front fees.
    Should the non-payment of these additional fees and/or expenses result in an unusual or extensive delay, my attorney may be compelled to withdraw or non-suit my case.
  4. Sanctions. In the event of loss of the case or misconduct a Court may order a party be liable for the opposing party’s fees and costs. A suit brought on false facts or only to harass may give rise to a suit for malicious prosecution or abuse of process. Failure to respond both timely and adequately to formal discovery requests might result in the Court ordering the offending party to pay the opposing party’s attorney fees resulting from the misconduct. I warrant that all information given to my attorney and his team was obtained legally and I have the right to share this information.
  5. Services Not Included in Fee. I understand and agree that the fees set forth in the paragraphs above are not intended to include, and do not include the following:
  1. Any appellate proceedings, either before or after pronouncement of judgment;
  2. Any legal services to be rendered in the filling of extraordinary writs in either
    state appellate courts or federal courts, either before or after trial; nor
  3. Any retrial of my matter.
  1. ACCEPTANCE OF FEE AGREEMENT AND ITS TERMS. I hereby affirm that the fee arrangement agreed to above has been explained to me, and I agree to make payment as stated above. In the event a suit shall be required to collect any unpaid fees or costs for services rendered, I agree to pay the reasonable attorney’s fees incurred by Mr. Slaughter and/or LaFevor & Slaughter in their efforts to collect unpaid fees and costs of said collection.
  2. Execution of Lien To Secure Fees and Expenses. I grant to Patrick Slaughter and LaFevor & Slaughter a lien on all property, money, assets, alimony or things of value which are recovered, obtained, preserved, or protected for me in this lawsuit, and any amount I owe shall be payable from them. I will execute all documents needed for said lien. I authorize Patrick Slaughter and LaFevor and Slaughter to file, document, and take any steps necessary to perfect such a lien at any time during or after his representation of me as he shall choose including setting out said lien in an Order to the Court. This security is subject to the appropriate provisions of applicable laws, regulations, etc., and is deemed modified to comply with those as necessary including the incorporation of legal description in documents that may be attached to this contract.
  3. Events and/or Actions Considered to be a Default of This Agreement. Should I fail to follow Patrick Slaughter’s instructions, misrepresent or fail to disclose material facts, fail to pay my account in full within ten (10) days of billing, or fail to provide the requested non refundable retainer payment or security when requested, those will be considered events of default and Patrick Slaughter is authorized to withdraw as my counsel, to file suit against me, and to take such other steps as he deems appropriate to collect the balance of fees. IF any of the events of default occur and Patrick Slaughter chooses not to act upon them, Mr. Slaughter is not waiving his right to act upon any future event of default and that the initial default shall be continuing. I will execute any documents necessary to allow Patrick Slaughter to withdraw at any point upon my default. After Patrick Slaughter withdraws or is discharged, he shall still have the authority to pursue collection against me or my spouse for any fees or expenses due him. Should Patrick Slaughter be called upon to collect said fees and expenses or defend his representation of me, I will pay for the time, fees, attorney fees and expenses involved in such collection or defense. In consideration for Patrick Slaughter taking me as a client, I agree that any outstanding fees are non-dischargeable in a bankruptcy proceeding.
  4. Termination of This Agreement By Me. I understand that I may discharge Patrick Slaughter, and LaFevor & Slaughter, at any time, provided that he shall be entitled to payment for all work performed prior to the discharge, and shall further be entitled to reimbursement of any expenses, charges or costs that he may have advanced or incurred on my behalf during the course of the representation.
  5. Complaints. I understand that Mr. Slaughter and LaFevor & Slaughter wants me to be satisfied with the services he/they provide. If at any time I become dissatisfied with any aspect of the legal services rendered by Mr. Slaughter and LaFevor & Slaughter, I agree to promptly notify Mr. Slaughter, and LaFevor & Slaughter in writing of such dissatisfaction in order to afford him/them an opportunity to resolve the complaint to my satisfaction.
  6. Termination of This Agreement By Mr. Slaughter. I also understand that Patrick Slaughter, and LaFevor & Slaughter may terminate their representation of me, subject to any rules of court or any other Tennessee Supreme Court general ethical requirements and provisions, including the obligation to provide me with reasonable notice to allow for me to arrange for alternative representation (so as not to prejudice my interests).
  7. Termination Due To Failure to Timely Pay Fees. I agree and understand my failure to timely pay or contest billed fees or the non-refundable retainer is a basis upon which Patrick Slaughter and LaFevor & Slaughter may terminate his/their representation of me. I understand that any unpaid bills or fees may be turned over to a third party collection agency, which could initiate legal proceedings to collect past amounts due, including necessary attorney’s fees, expenses and court costs.
  8. Cost associated with Withdrawal. I understand and agree that should Mr. Slaughter and LaFevor & Slaughter’s representation of me be terminated ether by myself or them, I will be responsible for the costs associated with withdrawal including but not limited to fees associated with the drafting of a motion and corresponding order seeking withdrawal and any hourly fees incurred as a result of having to attend a hearing seeking withdrawal.
  9. Client File. I understand and agree that the entirety of my client case file is composed of electronic pdf documents that are contained in, and continuously available from, my client portal available at rocketmatter.com. I agree that should I request a paper copy of my client file, I will need to make the request for my file in writing; allow up to two (2) weeks for my file to be printed for which I will be charged .25 cents per page; make an appointment to pick up my file; and sign a file release document.
  1. Entire Agreement. This agreement constitutes the only agreement between Patrick Slaughter, LaFevor & Slaughter, and myself regarding the terms of my representation and payment of legal fees. This agreement supersedes any prior understandings or written or oral agreements between the Mr. Slaughter, LaFevor & Slaughter, and myself. This agreement is binding on my heirs, successors, representatives and assigns and may not be amended except in writing executed by Mr. Slaughter and myself. The provisions regarding payment of fees, costs and expenses shall survive termination of the contract.
  2. Choice of Law and Venue. This contract shall be construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Tennessee. Venue for any action involving or arising out of this contract shall be in Knox County Tennessee.
  3. Retention, Delivery and Destruction of Files. I understand and agree that Patrick Slaughter, and LaFevor & Slaughter will scan and store all of the documents associated with my case in electronic PDF format and destroy all hard-copy (paper) files given to or received by Mr. Slaughter and LaFevor & Slaughter after scanning. Patrick Slaughter, and LaFevor & Slaughter will store at their expense all relevant PDF files relating to my case Matter for a period of up to one (1) year following termination of their representation of me and may thereafter destroy same without further notice to me. In addition, Patrick Slaughter, and LaFevor & Slaughter will store all relevant PDF files relating to my property that they have held in trust for a period of five (5) years and may thereafter destroy same without further notice to me. I may request in writing that Patrick Slaughter, and LaFevor & Slaughter make available to me or the my designee any PDF files in Patrick Slaughter, and LaFevor & Slaughter possession. Within seven (7) days of receipt of such request, Lawyer shall make electronic (not hard-copy) files available for pick-up at Lawyer’s office.
  4. Cloud Storage of Documents. I understand and agree that Patrick Slaughter, and LaFevor & Slaughter will store electronic copies of my files using third party online storage services (“the cloud”) that provide appropriate security and encryption services. Patrick Slaughter, and LaFevor & Slaughter will use our best judgment as to levels of encryption or security appropriate for storing my files in the cloud. If you require or desire special treatment of your files, please let us know in writing at the outset of our representation. If you do not communicate any special need to Patrick Slaughter, and LaFevor & Slaughter’s use of the cloud, you will be presumed to have agreed to whatever cloud storage services we deem appropriate.
  5. Commencement of Attorney/Client Relationship. I understand and acknowledge that this attorney client-relationship does not commence, and that legal services and work will not begin, until the minimum fee described above has been paid, and this Agreement has been signed by me and returned to Patrick Slaughter.

I have fully and completely read this fee agreement and have kept a copy of it. I understand that I have the right to consult with independent counsel regarding any provision of this Agreement. I fully understand the provisions of this Agreement; I believe it to be fair and reasonable; and I agree to be bound hereby.

I am entering into this contract free of fraud, undue influence, duress, the effects of any drugs or psychological problems that would impair my judgment. I understand that in the event that any portion of this contract is deemed illegal or unenforceable, that portion will be severed from the contract and the remaining portion(s) of the contract will remain enforceable. I realize that there are other attorneys who could represent me and that I have the right to counsel with them on my case and this contract in particular but after reviewing the terms of this agreement, I choose Patrick Slaughter, and LaFevor & Slaughter as my representative on the terms set out herein.




Patrick Slaughter

Managing Principal for LaFevor & SlaughterClient

Date: ________________________Date: ______________________________



Before me, a Notary Public in and for said State and County, duly commissioned and qualified, personally appeared the aboved signed CLIENT to me known to be the person described in and who executed the foregoing instrument, and acknowledged that the above-signed person executed the same as the above signed person’s free act and deed. Witness my hand and Notorial Seal at this office on _____________________________, 20____.

My commission expires:___________________________________



Client Information (information about you)


SS#: _________________________________Home Address:____________________________

City: _______________________________ State: _____ Zip: _________________________

Employer: _____________________________________________________________________

Telephone #: Home: ________________________________ Work:_______________________

Email: __________________________________ Cell _________________________________

Adverse Party Information (information about other party)


SS#: _____________________________________

Home Address:_________________________________________________________________

City: _______________________________ State: _____ Zip: ___________________________

Employer: ____________________________________________________________________

Telephone #: Home: ________________________________ Work:_______________________

Email: ________________________________ Cell #:__________________________________

If You Plan On Using a Credit Card: 

As a convenience to me, I hereby authorize Patrick Slaughter to initiate charges to my credit card account as indicated below:

Credit Card Company Name: ______________________________________________________

Account #: _________________________________________________________________

Security Code:______________________Expiration: ______________________________

Name as it appears on the card: ____________________________________________________

Billing Address: ________________________________________________________________

City: _______________________________ State: _____ Zip: _____________________________

Such charges are to be initiated by Patrick Slaughter beginning ____________________________,

charges shall include a 4% of total due service fee for each use of the card. Charges may include, but are not limited to, the following; non-refundable retainer, Retainer, Legal Fees, Administration Fees, Filing Fees, Court Costs, and Late Fees. Should this Contract be terminated for any reason, charges shall not be made to listed Credit Card except to bring Contract balance to Current and Paid in Full status, time is of the essence. I hereby affirm that the arrangement agreed to, above has been explained to me, and I agree to make payment as stated above. In the event a suit shall be required to collect any unpaid fees or costs for services rendered, I agree to pa reasonable attorney’s fees and cost of collection.

I hereby authorize the credit card company as indicated above to charge my account for all sums which Patrick Slaughter may request said credit card company to charge. I understand and agree that neither the above credit card company, nor any other credit card company shall have any responsibility for the correctness of any such charges, and that any disputes involving the frequency or amount thereof shall be handled by me directly with Patrick Slaughter. This grant of authority is to remain in full force and effect until full payment for all fees or other costs indicated above, has been paid in full.

Date: ____________________________Signature: ___________________________

Amount Paid: _________________________