You’ve made an appointment to consult with an attorney…now what?

You’ve made an appointment to consult with an attorney…now what?

by | Sep 4, 2019 | Firm News |

  1. Why have a consultation?

At Freedman Fazio, APC, we strive to do two things during an initial consultation.  First, we want you to get to know the attorneys and staff.  We want to make sure that you feel we are a “good fit” for you.  This is one of the reasons we prefer consultations take place in person.  Next, we want to thoroughly understand your situation so that we can develop your legal claims and determine a strategy to achieving resolution.

  1. Bring in copies of all the documents you have that are relevant to your situation.

Bring in all documents related to the matter you will be discussing.  If you retain our firm, be prepared to leave these documents for our file.  Additionally, information like the court case number or the dates in which events happened are very useful for the attorneys during and after your consultation. We are always happy to see a simple, written timeline in list form of the events that have formed your reason for meeting with us.

  1. To retain or not to retain, that is the question.

Meeting with an attorney in an initial consultation at Freedman Fazio, APC, does not mean you are required to hire us to represent you.  The decision is always yours to make at any point in time.  However, you should expect the attorney(s) meeting with you to present a retainer agreement and request a retainer amount/deposit towards fees near the end of your consultation.

At Freedman Fazio, APC, a retainer/deposit towards fees is meant to be an up-front, lump sum of money from which the attorneys and staff members will bill their time at their hourly rates.  Your retainer money is kept in a separate client trust account and only transferred to our operating account when it is earned by our firm doing work on your case.  We do not treat a retainer as money paid to the firm to “reserve our time” that puts you at the top of our to-do list, as it is in other law firms around the nation.  If you will be making a deposit towards fees at the end of your consultation, please know that we do not accept credit cards at Freedman Fazio, APC.

  1. How much is my matter going to cost?

Frankly, we have no idea.  It is impossible to predict, at an initial consultation, how long an issue will take to resolve.  Sometimes matters can be taken care of with a letter; sometimes matters have to be litigated.

It is important to note that the retainer amount/deposit towards fees is not to be confused with an estimation of the total cost of achieving a resolution to your situation. It is very likely that the retainer amount will not cover the total cost of your case.  Of course, if your matter costs less than the retainer amount, your unused money will be returned to you.

  1. Why do you not offer free consultations?

In our experience, attorneys who offer free consultations do so only to decide whether or not to take a case, not to render legal advice.  This is because attorneys have strict duties when it comes to interacting with clients, so many are quite particular about when someone becomes a “client.”  Rendering advice certainly tends to implicate an attorney-client relationship.    Moreover, as Abraham Lincoln noted, “a lawyer’s time and advice are his stock in trade.”

Whether an initial consultation or a long-time client, we will take time to answer your questions and separate myths from facts.  We will provide advice and explanations tailored to your situation that stem from our years of experience, education, and training.  We promise to guide our clients with straight-talk and compassion. You may not hear what you expected, or what you want to hear, but we won’t hide the legal realities of your case from you.