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Attorneys generally charge their clients in one of three ways: (1) an agreed hourly rate, times the number of hours the attorney spends on the matter; (2) a contingent fee, in which the attorney receives a percentage of the amount recovered or received by the client in the matter; or (3) a fixed-fee in which the attorney charges an agreed amount (often with some or all of the fee paid before work begins). If the attorney is charging on an hourly basis, he may require a fee deposit (sometimes called a retainer) to secure payment of the hourly fees. The client may be required to replenish this fee deposit. The attorney must hold the unearned fee deposit in her trust account until she does the work and is entitled to some or all of the payment.

In Texas, attorneys typically charge clients using one of three fee structures: hourly rates, contingent fees, or fixed fees. An hourly rate is a pre-agreed amount that the attorney charges for each hour spent working on the client's case. A contingent fee arrangement means the attorney receives a predetermined percentage of the client's recovery or settlement; this is common in personal injury cases and other litigation matters. A fixed fee is a set amount for legal services, which is agreed upon before the work begins and is often paid in part or in full upfront. When an attorney charges by the hour, they may require a fee deposit, also known as a retainer, to ensure payment for future services. This retainer must be replenished by the client if it runs low. Importantly, any unearned portion of the fee deposit must be kept in the attorney's trust account until the attorney has performed the corresponding legal work and is entitled to payment.

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