If legal advice and/or representation is requested, an initial consultation will be scheduled. It is helpful for you to prepare and bring with you a chronological history of significant events/issues leading up to the current time, an overview of your financial profile (assets/debts/income for each party, how they are titled and approximately what they are worth – it does not have to be perfected but a big picture helps to be able to provide a good consult and use our time most efficiently), and an outline of your questions, concerns, interests and goals (to include what you would like to get out of the consult). A good intake helps me fully understand your circumstances.
The consultation will include a review of the intake and preparation, a discussion pertaining to the questions, interests, and goals, and an overview of the laws that apply. I also explain options for processes available in helping you reach your goals and help you evaluate the pros and cons of the processes. I believe it is important for each of us to have an overview and understanding about process options before proceeding beyond a consultation.
I allow two hours for the consultation. The length of time needed will depend on the complexity of the situation. Payment shall be rendered (cash or check) at the time of service based on my hourly rate for the time spent in consultation.
There is no assumption that I will be retained to represent you. If it makes sense for you to retain my services to assist you, we would discuss a plan for proceeding and I can then tell you how much your fee advance would be. In every case, I require an advance towards work to be done. This is not a flat fee or representation of what your case will cost, because I work only by the hourly rate. Rather, it is simply an advance which is deposited into my trust account and is drawn upon as I do work for you.
Please note: My practice is focused on assisting clients in reaching a settlement. I often advise a client as they proceed through mediation, or counsel assisted negotiation, and then I work in finalizing the legal paperwork and if needed in representing the client in an uncontested no-fault divorce. I do not represent a client in contested litigation (if the client is unable to reach a settlement through mediation and/or attorney assisted negotiation) and if it came to that point, I would refer you to a litigation attorney to represent you.