I AM NOT IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA; CAN I STILL UTILIZE YOUR ATTORNEY SERVICES WHERE I AM? Most of the time, YES. If you are doing a business or real estate deal, need contract or lease review or preparation, want a letter written or analyzed, or such things not involving court appearances, I can do the job from California. Even if a matter is already in a court at your location outside of California, I can attempt to negotiate a resolution without becoming the attorney of record.
WHAT ARE YOUR FEE ARRANGEMENTS? Whenever possible, I try to do legal services on a FIXED PRICE basis. That way, there are no surprises as to how much your costs will be. Of course, many times the amount of time needed to accomplish legal services is unknown, and my hourly rate is $280 per hour. All retainers are taken with a written fee agreement so that the client clearly understands our relationship and the services he or she should expect. I occasionally work on a contingent fee basis; this is particularly the case with Social Security disability appeals where the government imposes a 25% contingency arrangement against retroactive benefits owed to the claimant. In some matters, my fee arrangement is some combination of reduced hourly fee combined with retaining rights to a portion of the recovery.
WHAT IS YOUR APPROACH TO CONFRONTATIONAL CLAIMS AND ISSUES? My initial approach in virtually every legal confrontation is that perhaps it can be resolved outside of the courthouse. From that point of view, I attempt to communicate with the opposing party before bringing or responding to a lawsuit in the hope that an AMICABLE RESOLUTION OR SETTLEMENT of the conflict can be achieved. Conflicts faced by my clients therefore often end well before lawsuits are filed or court appearances are necessary, usually saving clients substantial legal fees and permitting them to go on with their business in the absence of irritating lawsuits and the turmoil and stress they usually bring.
IF LITIGATION BECOMES NECESSARY, WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM YOU? I will first sit down with you and have a candid and frank discussion of what lies ahead in the lawsuit, the probable costs of prosecuting or defending a case, the time schedule, and the likely chances of success in your claims or defenses. Lawsuit tend to be more expensive than most people imagine, and all clients deserve to know up front what inevitably flows with a lawsuit. If I am hired to be the attorney of record on a lawsuit, you can expect diligent and focused effort on my part, that you will be kept abreast of the status of the case respecting both major and minor undertakings, and that you will have an open line of communication with me to discuss the case and its proceedings.
WHAT CATEGORIES OF LEGAL WORK CAN YOU PURSUE ON MY BEHALF? I routinely pursue what I refer to as "OPPORTUNITY LAW", those things which create and facilitate new business ventures and corporation start-ups, stimulate fresh areas of business in existing companies, or express business agreements to assure and protect expectations and performance (including contract drafting and negotiation). My engineering, corporate and entrepreneurial background qualifies me to do this work for small and large businesses and in high-tech and Internet arenas. I draft real estate deals, assist buyers and sellers in escrow arrangements, review documents, loans and deeds, and resolve disputes. I frequently represent clients before administrative government agencies in seeking certain claims or permits. And, if confrontation cannot be amicably settled, I can litigate cases in both state and federal courthouses.
IF I JUST NEED A "LAWYER LETTER", HOW MUCH WILL IT COST? Of course the answer to this question depends on the length of the letter, how much research or fact gathering I need to do before I begin writing it, and how well you can express to me the objectives you seek in the letter. Simple letters, of two pages or less, usually cost approximately $400, and reasonably complicated letters citing specific statutory or case law usually run over $500. The more concise information you provide to me, the less the "lawyer letter" tends to cost.
DO YOU DO CONSULTATIONS, AND CAN YOU ASSIST ME "BEHIND THE SCENES"? Once I hear the basic elements of a client's legal issues on the phone, a one hour, face-to-face consultation is usually necessary to strategize an approach and lay out a legal roadmap to follow. I charge a fixed price of $280 for this initial consultation even if the time to accomplish it runs over an hour. If you just need a little assistance to make legal assertions and resolve issues on your own, in the course of the consultation I will direct you towards references and research tools so that you can accomplish your own representation in hearings, lawsuits, or other matters you might be facing. Any additional assistance you might seek from me (e.g., review of your pleadings, interpretation of law, demand letters, etc.) will be at my hourly rate or a fixed price if practicable.
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