How we work
While it is not always practical to quote fees in advance of meeting, we will quote fees prior to being engaged to represent you. After having the opportunity to discuss your case, we will provide you with a fee structure specific to your case.
When facing a legal problem, no matter how simple or complex, taking the opportunity to meet with an attorney to discuss your case can be an invaluable experience. An initial consultation gives us the opportunity to review your situation, to determine available courses of action, and to provide an honest assessment of your case. An initial consultation gives you the opportunity to ask questions, to determine where you are and where you need to go, and to know what your legal rights and obligations are. Even if you decide that your case is simple and you ultimately decide that representation by an attorney is unnecessary, an initial consultation with an attorney can provide you with options and opinions that you may not have considered and provide you with guidance in taking actions that will have a positive impact and avoiding actions that may impact you negatively.
When you come into our office you can always expect to be treated with the highest level of respect. To schedule an initial consultation, you may simply call our office at (757) 595-5655 and speak with a member of our staff or you may submit a request through our website. Should you decide to contact us through our website, a member of our staff will promptly respond to your request and will work with you to schedule a consultation on a day and at a time that is convenient for you.
While what you tell us in an initial consultation is privileged and confidential, please keep in mind that an attorney-client relationship is not formed by virtue of an initial consultation. An attorney-client relationship is formed upon being formally retained to represent a potential client in their legal matter and upon execution of a retainer agreement. The lack of such an attorney-client relationship, however, does not make the consultation any less confidential.
There are three basic fee arrangements:
Set Fees: We charge a set fee in transactional-type matters where we are confident with regard to how much work is involved. For example, we charge a set fee for document preparation such as deeds, powers of attorney, wills and trusts. We also charge set fees for no-fault divorces, property settlement agreements where the agreement is not contested, traffic court cases, real estate closings, etc.
Hourly Fees: Under an hourly fee arrangement, we keep track of our time and bill accordingly. Our basic hourly rates for our attorneys range from $225.00 to $300.00 per hour. Depending on the nature of the case, we usually require a retainer (an upfront deposit) against which we will apply our bill for services rendered. This retainer can vary a great deal and is predicated on the estimated amount of work and circumstances, and is quoted on a case-by-case basis. We typically apply this fee structure to situations where the amount of work is uncertain; for example, litigation and extended business or administrative work.
Contingency Fees: This fee is contingent on recovering money from which our fee will be paid. The classic use of the contingency fee is in personal injury or automobile accident cases. In such cases, we, like most attorneys, will claim a fee of one-third of the client's recovery. If no recovery is made, then we are not entitled to claim a fee. Contingency fees are used in situations where a client is unable or unwilling to pay an attorney at an hourly rate, particularly where the potential recovery is of uncertain likelihood and amount. There are some types of cases where lawyers are prohibited by law from having a contingency fee arrangement, however, most notably in the domestic relations or divorce area of law.
• Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
• Closed New Year's Day, Memorial Day, July Fourth, Labor Day, Thanksgiving (Thursday and Friday) and Christmas.
• We also occasionally close the office on lesser holidays if the courts are also closed.