The purpose of an initial consultation is to allow you, a prospective client, to identify yourself and share your needs or concerns; and for the attorney to advise you what, if anything, can be done to help you, and whether we are the proper resource for addressing your matter. It also allows us to discuss important practical matters including fees, timing, potential conflicts, and so forth. The initial consultation is usually not to render a final or definitive legal opinion, or to resolve your matter. Occasionally, the discussion of your matter and the legal remedies or resolutions available, if any, will be the end of the matter.
More often, additional investigation or research will be required, or we’ll need more time to meet with you and to gather the information or documents necessary to move forward. Time is allotted for an initial consultation in an attempt to strike a balance between obtaining enough information to make an informed decision about what to do next, and the need to manage time and scheduling. An initial consultation will usually result in one of four outcomes:
- You and the attorney mutually agree to the terms of representation and the scope of your matter, or
- The attorney declines representation, based on a conflict of interest or other factor that prevents us from handling your matter, or
- The attorney refers you to another resource, such as an accountant or another attorney, whose specialization is more appropriate for resolving your matter, or
- You decide not to use the services of the attorney, for whatever personal reasons you may consider important
- If we arrive at a mutual agreement for the terms of representation, we will then schedule a time and date for moving forward on your matter. You will normally receive a letter shortly after our meeting confirming what we discussed and what steps are next, to ensure that we have a clear understanding and a record of our agreement.
If we arrive at a mutual agreement for the terms of representation, we will then schedule a time and date for moving forward on your matter. You will normally receive a letter shortly after our meeting confirming what we discussed and what steps are next, to ensure that we have a clear understanding and a record of our agreement.
You will be asked to complete a simple form that requests general information about your identity and the nature of the matter that brings you to the office. The information collected here will allow us to create your initial file, to establish reliable contact with you, and to check for possible conflicts with existing clients. The answers you provide are confidential. Please ask for help if any of the questions are unclear. You may:
- Complete the form at the office (please allow time before your scheduled appointment), or
- Download an Initial Consultation Form to complete and bring with you (or fax ahead for a phone consultation).
Completing and/or submitting this on-line form DOES NOT create an Attorney-Client relationship, and acceptance of this form DOES NOT constitute a commitment to represent you in this, or any, legal matter. The information you provide on this form will not be reviewed until you meet an attorney in person or speak with an attorney by phone.
Attorneys vary on whether they charge a fee for an initial consultation. I charge a modest, flat fee for an initial 30-minute consultation.
To schedule an initial consultation, either in person or by phone, please call.
I reserve the right to extend the time allowed for the initial consultation at my sole discretion, or to waive the initial fee for any reason I deem appropriate.