Many people have questions and concerns when first meeting with an attorney. Oftentimes the unfamiliarity may lead to some misconceptions, as well. Your initial consultation will not only be an opportunity to get some basic information about your case, it will also give you a chance to meet us and help you determine if we are the right firm for your needs. We want you to feel relaxed and informed when you arrive. To help you better understand our consultations we have addressed some typical question areas.
Will there be a fee charged for an initial consultation? In most cases there will be a consultation fee but it will be a reduced fee from our normal hourly billing rate. When you set your appointment our staff will discuss the fee with you in more depth.
Can I bring a friend or family member with me? Some of our clients choose to have a trusted friend or family member with them for help or support. The information you provide to any attorney in most instances is confidential, but only when it is provided in confidence. You are not speaking in confidence if you have a friend or family member in the meeting with your attorney. In many instances that may not have a practical impact, but it is something you should understand.
Should I arrive early? It would be very beneficial for you to arrive early in order to allow you time to provide the necessary information on our client intake forms. You may also download them and complete them in advance, saving you time in our office.
What documents should I bring with me? For the most part the bulk of the document production will come after the initial consultation. However, if you have been in court previously in a matter related to the topic of your consultation, you should bring copies of the court rulings from those prior hearings. Any documents sent to you by the court would be helpful to our conversation.
What information should I expect to provide? Our initial client intake forms can be found on our Important Forms Page. You can print these forms in advance of your initial visit and save some time in our office.
What are the office hours for consultations? Our office is open from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Office appointments are set during those hours.
Why does the firm check for conflicts of interest? In most cases, law firms are not able to represent a potential client if the firm has previously represented another person who is involved in the same litigation. It does not matter if it was a different attorney in the firm. The conflict of one of our attorney’s is a conflict for all of our attorneys. For this reason, we have to check when you set your appointment to make sure we are not creating a conflict of interest. If a conflict of interest appears after you have become our client, then the firm must discontinue your representation.
After our initial consultation are you now my attorney? Simply consulting with the law firm does not create an ongoing attorney – client relationship. In order for us to represent you in any matter, you must retain the firm financially and sign our client fee agreement. That may occur at the time of the initial consultation if you are satisfied that we are the firm to represent you in your case. Rest assured, though. Our duty of confidentiality regarding the discussions during your initial consultation is not affected by whether you ultimately retain the firm.
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