I have never hired an attorney, what am I doing?
At Advanced Legal Resolutions, we are generally the first law firm our clients have ever hired and that's a good thing!
But that means we don't always remember to explain what the process entails when you hire an attorney, because representing clients like you is what what we do all day, every day.
There is so much to know about the legal system, often times clients do not know where to begin.
So Start Here -- Hiring An Attorney
Being represented means you have an attorney in your corner to fight for your rights at all times.
But there are a few strings attached to that. First off, most attorneys are in Court a great deal of the time. Our law firm is dedicated to expert trial preparation. We will not go into battle without being prepared.
So understand that if you do not have a pending trial, you may not get a same-day call back. At the same token, if you have an upcoming court date, you need to contact us right away to make sure we have everything we need to prepare your case.
All clients must sign what is called a retainer agreement. This is a contract between the attorney and the client which details the duties owed between a client and his or her attorney.
A retainer is also known as the "down payment" to your legal representation. Our law firm provides invoices where we deduct our charges for your legal services from your retainer. It is impossible for us to estimate the amount of fees required to litigate every case, but we do our best to keep those fees down.
Our practice is not focused on charging you extra legal fees, we focus on the outcome of your case and resolution of your issues. Also remember, at this time, the law firm has one managing attorney, Sarah Van Cott. While having one attorney on staff enables the firm to move quickly and effectively, it often means that when a solo attorney is in Court, you might have to meet with a paralegal or staff member.
Why do I pay for fees upfront?
A retainer is a good faith "deposit" that both the client and attorney will work together to solve your legal problem. This means that the attorney has a duty to provide accurate billing information and the client has a duty to review the bill and make payments to replenish the retainer if a case should ever go over the retainer amount.
If you are wondering why you haven't heard from your attorney, it could be likely that you received a notice to deposit funds into your account. Part of having an "attorney on retainer" means that you have access to your attorney at all reasonable times, especially in emergency situations. If you have no funds in your retainer, or have a past due balance, then picture your car running without gas in the tank, because that is essentially what is happening in your case.
While we keep our billing as reasonable as possible, we operate a business and must ensure that we are able to provide clients with the best quality of service possible. This can only happen if the client has the resources to hire us. Many times clients just do not have the funds available to continue representation. If you find yourself in that position, our staff can sit down with you and determine best steps are to solve the issues.
That is why every case is different and it is critical that you and your attorney communicate well and clearly. If you are not satisfied with your representation at any time, speak up and let us know immediately because we are dedicated to excellence.
Advanced Legal Resolutions is a mainly paperless office. We e-mail copies of your legal documents and do much of our work online. If you do not know how to text or send an e-mail, you may want to partner with a family member or friend who does when you hire our law firm. We want to become the go-to source of efficiency in your team of experts!
We look forward to meeting with you soon. Currently our consults are $125 and our retainer range from $2500.00 upwards based upon the circumstances of each case.