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Question Table of Contents
- There are plenty of attorneys. Why should I hire you?
- What are your fees?
- Do you give a free consultation?
- How much of my time will my legal matter require?
- Will my case go to trial?
- What should I do if I am involved in an accident?
- What should I do if I feel I am being harassed or discriminated against at work?
- What can I do to prevent harassment and discrimination among my employees?
- Should I form a corporation or an LLC?
1. There are plenty of attorneys. Why should I hire you?
I will keep you fully informed about every aspect of your case. You will never have to worry about your phone calls not being returned because I will most likely be calling you first. This is how I give you peace of mind. If you know what is going on with your case, what will happen next, and when it will happen, you can concentrate on other business.
I don’t give up. I’ll get things done when you need them done. I will work tirelessly to achieve the best results possible and exceed your expectations. I understand you can get legal services anywhere. So I treat every client as if he or she was my only client.
I use technology to level the playing field. I don’t need a law library or an army of associates. I have the internet. If a helpful case or document is out there, I’ll find it. I also use technology to keep in touch with you. I take my laptop and cell phone everywhere, even on vacation. My wife doesn’t like it, but if you have a problem, I’ll be there when you need me.
2. What are your fees?
Fees vary depending on the type of case:
- Personal Injury:
Fees for personal injury cases are contingent and generally are 25% of a recovery for minors and 33.3% to 40% of a recovery for injured adults. The law firm’s expenses are also reimbursed from the recovery. The initial consultation is always free.
- Employment Law:
Fees for employment law cases may be contingent, usually 40% of a recovery, or billed hourly. In most cases, the client is responsible for expenses at the time they are incurred. Non-litigation matters, such as drafting employment contracts or severance agreements, are billed at the law firm’s regular rate of *$290.00 per hour. Initial consultations for employment law are *$270.00. Hourly rates for companies with fifteen or more employees are higher.
- Business Law:
Most business law matters are billed hourly. However, some common transactions, like formation of corporations and LLCs, are billed at a set fee (presently $1,250 for LLCs and $1,350 for corporations). Initial consultations for business law are $290.00. Hourly rates for companies with fifteen or more employees are higher.
- Other Flat Fees:
- Municipal Court:
- $750 for claims under $3,000
- $1,000 or a 1/3 contingency for claims greater than $3,000
- Municipal Court:
- In some cases, I can estimate the time and quote a fee at the initial consultation. Because I believe my fees are reasonable and very competitive with other area attorneys, I welcome clients to compare fees and services.
3. Do you give a free consultation?
Generally, a free office consultation is provided only in personal injury cases. However, it is my practice to take some time on the telephone with anyone who calls the office. I will ask several questions about your legal problem and determine whether further discussion in the office may be helpful. If I can’t help you, I’ll tell you.
4. How much of my time will my legal matter require?
Again, it varies depending on your case. A business formation takes no more of your time than the initial consultation and the final review and signing of your documents. In litigation, some claims may be settled before a lawsuit is filed and involve very little of the client’s time. If a lawsuit is filed, you can expect, depending on the complexity of the case, a few hours for answering written discovery questions, a few more hours for a deposition, and a half-day to a day for appearance at an arbitration or mediation. If a case has to go to trial, obviously more of your time will be required to attend the trial.
5. Will my case go to trial?
Most cases settle. A very small percentage actually go to trial. So chances are very good you won’t have to. However, I treat every case as if it was going to trial. Pretrial preparation is critical to success at trial. Effective pretrial preparation exposing the strengths and weaknesses of each party’s case often has the effect of producing a fair settlement. I will recommend a settlement if I believe it is in your best interests. Yet, I will not shy away from going to trial if it is necessary to achieve a fair outcome for you.
6. What should I do if I am involved in an accident?
- First, seek medical assistance for yourself or anyone in need. Call 9-1-1 following an automobile accident.
- Second, in an automobile accident, take down as much information as you can about the other driver, witnesses, and the accident location. It is always a good idea to keep a note pad and pen in your glove compartment. Call your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident.
- If you have a fall, ask the person in charge on the premises to take an incident report.
- Third, photograph the accident location, vehicles and any other objects involved in the accident as soon as possible after the accident. A picture is truly worth more than even 10,000 words at trial. If you are unable, ask a friend to take the photographs or contact us and we’ll have it done for you.
- Fourth, do not speak with anyone other than the police and your own insurance company. Do not be tempted by an early call from an insurance company offering you money to settle. It will usually be significantly less that what your claim may be worth.
- Contact our office and we’ll take care of the hassle of dealing with insurance companies and claim forms. If you are injured, we want you to focus on healing.
7. What should I do if I feel I am being harassed or discriminated against at work?
Call me. A phone consultation is free and I can usually tell in that time whether your rights may have been violated. I also recommend to any employee in a difficult employment situation to keep a diary (at home, not in the office) noting any incidents or remarks, meetings with supervisors or HR, oral warnings, etc. Employment cases usually develop over a period of time. If you have a diary rather than relying on your memory, I will be able to better evaluate the merits of your case.
8. What can I do to prevent harassment and discrimination among my employees?
I recommend to all my employer clients with at least fifteen employees that they develop a written employee handbook and provide training at least to supervisory employees once a year. Investigate every allegation of harassment or discrimination. Effective procedures can provide a shield against liability for the company.
9. Should I form a corporation or an LLC?
Either one will provide you with protection from liability attaching to your personal assets. The considerations are principally flexibility and tax savings. The LLC has become the form of choice for most new small businesses. However, each new business is as different as its owner and a corporation may be a better choice in some cases. Understand how your business will be impacted by the different forms before you create it.
*Subject to change.