Sextortion is a form of online blackmail that is, unfortunately, on the rise. If you are considering hiring Minc Law for help fighting back against such online attacks, it is crucial to understand how we charge for sextortion matters and what our services entail.
At Minc Law, we prioritize transparency and communication to ensure that potential clients understand exactly where their money is going and how it is being used. For urgent and specialized matters like sextortion, we use a simple fee structure called a minimum fee agreement.
A minimum fee agreement is a non-refundable, advanced payment that is used primarily for hourly matters. It enables our team to start work on your case immediately. If the attorney’s time spent exceeds this fee amount, you will owe additional funds/be invoiced on a monthly schedule.
Our experienced team understands that while sextortion is deeply upsetting and you want to resolve your matter quickly, the cost of legal representation is also a major concern. By understanding our fee policies at Minc Law, you can determine if we are the right fit for your case and ensure a straightforward and successful relationship with your attorney.
This article explains the types of fees we use at Minc Law and how we charge for sextortion matters. Then, we explain why we usually request a minimum fee agreement and what that fee structure looks like in practice.
Types of Fees We Utilize at Minc Law
Minc Law uses three primary payment types:
- Minimum fee agreements,
- Hourly (or standard) retainers, and
- Evergreen retainers.
However, minimum fee agreements and hourly retainers are the most common fee structures for sextortion matters. We explain both common payment structures in greater detail below.
What is a Minimum Fee Agreement?
In a minimum fee agreement (MFA) structure, the client must pay a starting fee as an advanced cost for the work needed.
These payments are considered “earned upon receipt,” meaning that it is nonrefundable, no matter how many hours or how much work is completed. In other words, once you pay the minimum fee, the attorney is free to use it to begin work on your case. A client may owe additional funds if the attorney’s time spent on that particular case exceeds the minimum payment.
Minimum fee agreements are most common for urgent matters that require specialized skills and experience—such as sextortion matters. A simple advanced payment allows our team to begin work on your sextortion issue right away.
While it can be helpful to think of a minimum fee agreement as a retainer, it is technically not a retainer fee. MFAs may start with an advance payment, but unlike other types of retainers, MFAs are not held in trust and are not refundable if there is any remaining balance at the end of the matter.
What is an Hourly Retainer?
An hourly retainer agreement begins with a fee that acts as a deposit to secure an attorney’s time and services. This fee can vary based on the scope and complexity of the work. Once you pay the retainer fee, the funds are placed in a trust or IOLTA account. The attorney then begins work and charges their hourly rate against the retainer.
Every month, our firm sends invoices to all retainer clients detailing their remaining balance and the work done on their matter. If there is a remaining balance once the matter is resolved, you may receive a refund.
For further reading, please see our comprehensive guides explaining the different types of retainers at Minc Law and our firm’s attorney consultation policy.
How We Charge For Sextortion Matters
Unfortunately, sextortion is a common and increasing digital crime in the U.S. and around the world. Due to the urgent and potentially catastrophic nature of such scams, it is important to handle these attacks quickly and efficiently.
What Fees Do We Use for Sextortion Matters?
Because sextortion cases are urgent and require specialized skills and experience, we use the minimum fee agreement for most sextortion matters at Minc Law. The baseline payment of an MFA enables our team to start work immediately.
The fee will remain valid for additional services if it is not fully depleted after the first month. This structure differs from other types of retainers, which act as a deposit that will be refunded if there is any remaining balance.
It is important to note that an MFA is not a flat fee. Depending on how complex your case is—and how much time our attorneys must devote to resolving the matter—your legal fees may surpass the initial retainer amount. If this happens, you will be responsible for paying the additional cost.
Why We Use a Minimum Fee Retainer Agreement For Sextortion
At Minc Law, we use minimum fee retainer agreements for sextortion and similar cases due to their urgency, expertise requirements, and practicality concerns. Think of this as a three-layered cake.
The first “layer” is that sextortion matters are urgent and highly time-sensitive. When you hire Minc Law for a sextortion matter, our team must launch into action right away. The longer it takes to respond to a sextortion attack, the more potential for reputational harm and emotional distress. Since there is no time to waste, an MFA best enables us to prioritize your case and begin work immediately.
Minimum fee agreements also allow you to invest in the second layer, our team’s expertise and years of hard-earned knowledge handling sextortion matters. This is similar to hiring a professional blacksmith instead of an amateur metal worker to carry out substantive repairs – the quality of the work is incomparable.
Finally, the third layer of sextortion cases is that they require significant work and an upfront investment of time on our team’s end. If sextortion cases were billed on an hourly basis, the total amount often ends up around the same cost. The minimum fee we charge is not random, but an estimate based on how much hourly work has been involved in previous sextortion cases.
Minc Law’s Sextortion Fee
For the average sextortion matter at Minc Law, our firm charges $3500 as a minimum fee.
Because we prioritize sextortion matters with urgent consultations, sextortion victims who call Minc Law pay a $500 consultation fee to speak to an attorney that same day. This $500 consultation fee will be applied to the retainer fee, but only if the client signs a retainer agreement within two business days of the consultation. In that case, the fee owed at signing is $3000.
For clients who sign an agreement after two business days, the retainer fee is the full $3500.
What an MFA Applied to a Sextortion Matter Looks Like
Imagine hiring a plumber to fix a leaky pipe. You would not pay them per drop of water they stop, would you? Instead, you would agree on an estimated fee for the job. If the work takes longer or is more complex than expected, you pay for the additional work hours as needed.
This scenario is similar to how our minimum fee agreements work.
Sextortion Matter MFA Hypothetical
Say you hire Minc Law for a sextortion matter, and we agree on a starting minimum fee of $3500. This amount covers our team’s initial time investment to understand and formulate a strategy for your case and, in most cases, resolve the issue.
However, each sextortion case is unique, and some may require more work than others. For example, we may need to file multiple content or account takedown requests, engage in negotiations, or even file suit. The time spent on your case could exceed the initial minimum fee retainer.
If circumstances require more work than usual, we will then bill using the attorney’s hourly rate for completed work.
To find a list of our attorneys and their hourly rates, please see our Pricing Page.
Hourly Retainers For Additional Sextortion Work
Like the plumber who stays overtime to fix the leaky pipe, we bill you for the extra hours we work on your case to resolve the problem fully. This billing is done monthly on a ‘pay as you go’ basis.
However, most of our sextortion clients do not pay more than the minimum fee. In most of our sextortion cases at Minc Law, the minimum fee retainer amount is enough to cover all needed work on the case. Our team is committed to resolving your case effectively and efficiently without any surprise costs.
It is important to note that for more nuanced sextortion and blackmail matters, we may request a higher fee in the $5,000 range. These types of matters include:
- Sugar baby and escort scams,
- Situations where the victim met the perpetrator in real life, and
- Domestic scams where the perpetrator is likely in the U.S.
The reason for the higher retainer in these situations is that there is usually more attorney involvement. In some cases, your attorney may need to negotiate a settlement payment or communicate extensively with the perpetrator and/or law enforcement. The higher retainer allows us to do everything possible to resolve your case, even if we must spend a great deal of time handling the matter right away.
Reach Out & Put an End to Sextortion Today
At Minc Law, we help victims navigate this difficult time by providing objective and actionable advice on how best to proceed, stepping in to take over communications with the perpetrator, protecting your online accounts, and removing intimate content (should the sextortionist follow through).
“Michele Simonelli recently helped me with an sextortion case. Due to the escalating nature of the situation, she promptly moved a previously scheduled meeting forward, and took immediate action to help mitigate the threat. As anyone facing these type situations knows, it’s extraordinarily agonizing, and one cannot even think logically. Michele was reassuring, and extremely responsive to my texts and phone calls, and also appeared non-judgemental. There’s no way to know the outcome had I not used her services, however, the backing of her and the firm gave me enough confidence/hope to get through the situation, with what appears to be a successful outcome. Thank you, Michele, for your professionalism, responsiveness and kindness! I highly recommend this firm and particularly Michele.”
August 19, 2022
If you are the victim of sextortion and want to explore your legal options to put an end to the harassment, or a sextortionist has followed through on their threats and published your intimate content online, reach out to schedule your initial consultation by calling us at (216) 373-7706, speaking with a Chat representative, or filling out our online contact form.
If you are a good fit for your sextortion services, we offer paid emergency consultations with one of our dedicated sextortion attorneys for $500.