To protect your firm against potential payment disputes you can add credit card language to your attorney fee agreement. Additionally, you may add an authorization form to your intake paperwork. Below are authorization forms to help you get started.
The first form covers collecting credit card information on an invoice or placing a client on a payment plan.
The second form is intended for friends and family who are making payments on behalf of your clients.
CAVEAT on definition of "Retainer"- Lawyers are advised to review their local and state rules on how "retainer" is defined. While many states define "Retainer" to include the advance payment of fees and costs to be held in trust subject to future billing, in Florida, Retainers "are not funds against which future services are billed". Retainers are funds paid to guarantee the future availability of the lawyer's legal services and are earned by the lawyer upon receipt. Retainers, being funds of the lawyer, may not be placed in the client's trust account." See Florida Bar Rule 5-1.1- Trust accounts (Commentary).