How Much Is it Going to Cost for Brotman Law to Defend Me on My Multistate Tax Issue?

You know, well that's a broad question. It obviously depends on the facts, depends on how much trouble you're in and it depends on how much work we're going to do. So the answer to that is I can't tell you off the bat but what I will tell you is my hourly billing rate is $525 an hour, our junior paralegal bill is at $150 an hour and then the rest of our attorneys and staff are somewhere in between. For most multi-state taxation issues the important part is strategy. So a lot of clients come to us and we'll do a consultation we do a paid consultation. We'll sit down for 60 or 90 minutes and we'll develop a strategy and then in some cases, that client can just go off and execute that strategy and they don't need us any further. Some clients after that strategy session, after we've built the plan, want us to stay and help execute the plan for one reason or another. So in those situations we usually bifurcate the work between our senior attorneys which are anywhere between $350 and $525 an hour and then our paralegals which are anywhere between $150 and $225 an hour. From a cost perspective the most important thing that I like to stress is efficiency. So I certainly don't want to bill anybody any more than I have to. I don't want to bill them any less than what it takes to get the job done but I'm a small business owner myself and trust me, I understand cost. One of the benefits of the way that I look at cost is I'm approaching this from a small business perspective. I want to make sure clients are getting value for the services that we're providing. I want to make sure that

when we're assigning work as a firm that the lowest person on the totem pole so to speak that's capable of doing that work is the one doing that work. The good news is because we handle a lot of multi-state tax issues, we're usually very efficient. So a lot of the times, your staff can execute certain tasks with help from our senior attorneys. There is a certain amount of senior attorney time that goes into a multi-state tax audit. There's a certain amount of planning. We want to make sure we get the planning right. We want to make sure we get the strategy right but once we have that in place, then we can work with you and your company and our team internally to help bifurcate the work and spread out the cost to other people that may be qualified to do it. You certainly don't want us doing your bookkeeping. You certainly don't want us filing your tax returns but we can help in a variety of different ways by kind of quarterbacking the situation and trying to bifurcate your cost with that set when we execute a multi-state tax strategy. I use about a $5,000 number as kind of an average and that average is obviously very very deceptive so I don't want you to take that to fact and say Sam said it's going to cost me $5,000 but I will tell you that it's an average. We have problems on the multi-state side that a lot of people come in thinking are very complicated and they're really not and so it doesn't take us that much work to really get them resolved. We have other matters at the other end of the spectrum that are hugely complex where we'll be engaged in a transaction as a result of a multi-state tax issue or we have a variety of planning work for some of our larger multi-million dollar companies and so obviously that's a skewed number but what I tell you is we take this thing in phases. The first thing is we get a strategy together and then from developing that strategy we figure out what the most appropriate way to execute it is and I think that's the plan. That makes the most sense to the clients, that's the most cost effective for clients and more importantly, provides the most value out of the brain power that you're going to get when you hire our firm.


Sam Brotman, JD, LLM, MBA

Owner and Director of Legal
Brotman Law