Retainer Agreement


You’ve heard the phrase,
“I have an attorney on retainer.”

What does that actually mean?

  • It means you already have an agreement with an attorney whereby the attorney has agreed to provide “you” (“you” may mean a company or an individual) with legal representation for one or more types of legal matters. It means your attorney is ready, willing, and able to help you — right away — when you need legal services.

What does it mean on this website?

  • It means that I, Carlton C. Casler, have agreed to provide you (and/or your company) with legal representation AND counseling regarding Arizona landlord/tenant law.
  • It means I am ready, willing, and able to help you — right away — with any Arizona landlord/tenant matter.
  • It means that you have the ability to call or email me regarding an Arizona landlord/tenant matter and I will respond within one business day (but normally the same day).
  • It also means that I CANNOT be hired by your tenant or other adverse party because lawyers are prohibited from representing two (or more) parties with adverse interests (e.g., a plaintiff/landlord filing a lawsuit against a defendant/tenant; a defendant/landlord defending a lawsuit filed by a plaintiff/tenant; etc.).

Who is this for?

  • Landlords
  • Property Managers
  • Real Estate Agents/Brokers
  • Attorneys (who are unfamiliar with Arizona landlord/tenant law) – Yes, I regularly get calls from other Arizona attorneys who are not familiar with Arizona landlord/tenant law.
  • Anyone (with some exceptions) with a question about Arizona landlord/tenant law

What are some examples of the questions you can ask?

  • Non-Payment of Rent – What to do first? What to do next? What form(s) to use?
  • Forms – Where to get forms?
  • Deposits – What can be deducted from a tenant’s deposit? What is the deadline to make deductions?
  • Property Damage – How to document property damage? What evidence is admissible in court? What can be charged to the tenant?
  • Notices (5-day, etc.) – When and how to serve it? (I will even send you the form, if you need it)
  • Discrimination – What is “illegal” discrimination? What is “legal” discrimination?
  • Appeals – What to do if a tenant appeals an eviction action? How to appeal if the landlord loses an eviction action?
  • Evictions (Special Detainer and Forcible Detainer lawsuits) – Where to start? What to do? Where to file?
  • Questions about Arizona landlord/tenant law (residential or commercial)

All answers come directly from me, Carlton C. Casler. I am an attorney (first licensed in 1990), a licensed Arizona real estate broker, and the author of the Arizona Landlord’s Deskbook. I am also certified by the Arizona Department of Real Estate as a Real Estate Instructor and certified by the State Bar of Arizona as a Continuing Education Instructor. I will be able to answer your questions. If I can’t, I will research the issue and then get back to you with the answer.


It is not simply a matter of paying me some money and then I represent you. I DO NOT say “yes” to everyone who wants to retain me. For example:

  • I will not enter into a Retainer Agreement with a commercial or residential tenant.
  • I will not enter into a Retainer Agreement with anyone who needs legal counseling and/or representation outside of my area of expertise.
  • I will not enter into a Retainer Agreement with anyone who fails my “client screening process” (see below).
  • I will not represent “unprofessional” and/or “difficult” clients.

Why am I selective about who I agree to represent?

  • You want a “competent” attorney. I am competent in Arizona landlord/tenant law, but not about landlord/tenant law in other states, nor am I competent in some other areas of the law (i.e., bankruptcy, personal injury, criminal defense, etc.). I will only agree to enter into a Retainer Agreement with a client who needs legal representation and/or counseling regarding Arizona landlord/tenant law.
  • I will not represent “unprofessional” and/or “difficult” clients. Life is short. I see no reason to represent clients: who want to file one or more frivolous lawsuits in an attempt to “wear down” an adversary; who are rude to me or the administrative staff in my office; or who perceive me as part of their problems, rather than as part of the solution to their problems.

What do you get when you retain me?

  • 2 Hours at a GREATLY reduced rate — 2 hours for $495 instead of $600 (my Regular Hourly Fee is $300/hour; that is a $100 discount).
    • You have one full year to use the two hours.
    • You can call me one time for two hours, or
    • You can call me twenty times for six minutes each time, or
    • You can send me ten to twenty emails (depending on the length and number of questions therein), or
    • Some variation or combination of the above.
  • Get the answers you need by phone, e-mail, mail, or fax.
  • Quick Response – Get answers right away (if I am available when you call) or within one business day (if I am not available at the time you call, then send me email or a fax).
  • Forms –  If it turns out that the answer to your question requires a specific form that I have, I will send you the form FREE!
  • Your opponent cannot hire me because you will have me on retainer!
  • I keep track of your time.

Note: The Retainer Agreement cannot be used to pay for (or in lieu of) flat fee services (i.e., drafting of leases or other documents, evictions, etc.), to pay a past or current Billing Statement, and/or to pay for legal representation in litigation (including past, present or future litigation), but can be used to answer your questions about past, present or future litigation).

What does it cost?

$495.00 – which gives you 2 hours of consultation to use by phone, email, mail, and/or fax, for one full year. Additional time is available at my Regular Hourly Fee of $300/hour.

What if I don’t use all of my time during the year?

  • That rarely happens, but if you use less than one hour during the year, the fee for the following year is half-price – $300. Just so you know, the reason most people use all their time is because, once people have me on retainer and I answer their first question, they see how fast and convenient it is to use this service. Then they call me WHENEVER they have a landlord/tenant question. Incidentally, it is usually less expensive to call me BEFORE you take action, rather than AFTER you have taken the wrong action.
  • Even if you don’t use all your time, you will have peace of mind all year knowing you have an “attorney on retainer.”



Existing Clients: 
You don’t need to complete the online form.
Call me or send me an mail

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