What sort of law do you practice?
What sort of law don’t you practice?
I do not practice criminal law or tax law. If you need advice in either of these areas, you should contact a practitioner who specializes in these areas. I also do not litigate. If your matter is going to court or already in court, if you’ve received a summons, or complaint on official court forms, I am not the right lawyer for you. Often times people think they need to sue someone to fix a problem. Most, but not all, matters can be solved without litigation, either through negotiations, mediation or arbitration. This saves a lot of your money, too. If we work together and the matter proceeds to litigation, with your approval, my associates will take over.
How do I contact you?
The best ways are by phone and email. I answer my own phone and respond to my email ASAP. Honestly, phone is the best way to get my attention.
How much does it cost to call you?
The first 15 minutes of your first call is free. My goal is to see if there is another way to solve your problem, or help you, without hiring a lawyer. If we decide you need to hire a lawyer and you want to hire me, the regular rates kick in.
How do I hire you?
First, we need to talk to see if you really need a lawyer and if I’m the right lawyer. A lot of problems can be solved without hiring a lawyer. If I can think of another way to solve your problem, I’ll let you know so you can do it yourself. However, if during our conversation, we both agree that you need a lawyer and I am the right person to help you, we will establish an attorney-client relationship by both signing a Retainer Agreement. When you sign, you pay a retainer amount of money. That amount differs from person to person depending on the amount of work you need. When you pay the retainer, it goes into a trust account. After I complete some work, I will bill you. The bill is paid out of the retainer funds in the trust account. If there is more work to do, then you will replenish the retainer in the trust account.
How much do you charge?
My rate is $400/hour. There are some things I do for a fixed amount to make the bookkeeping easier for my clients so they know in advance exactly how much something will cost. For example, I form California LLCs for a fixed price depending on how many partners are involved. Real estate transactions have a fixed price regardless of the sale’s price of the property. For hourly work, I bill in one minute time increments. Quick tasks such as fast text messages, emails and phone calls under 2 minutes are free because it takes me longer to do the bookkeeping than to do the work.
Why don’t all lawyers tell people up front what their rates are?
Good question. I think the legal practice is steeped in traditions that date back to medieval England when polite people and professionals did not talk about money in public. This doesn’t really make sense any more.
How does the money work?
When you sign your retainer agreement, you pay a certain amount of money. That amount differs from person to person, or company to company, depending on the amount of work, and the type of work, that you need. When you pay the retainer, it goes into a trust account (a special bank account with stronger protections). After I complete some or all of the work, I will bill you. The bill is paid out of the retainer funds in the trust account. If there is more work to do, then you will replenish the retainer funds in the trust account. If there is money remaining in the trust account after all the work is completed, it is returned to you.
Do you work with other lawyers and CPAs?
Yes, there are certain matters that require expertise from more than one lawyer. For example, when a matter is headed toward litigation we include a litigator on the team; when it involves a property that is part of an estate where the owner (settlor) has passed away and the beneficiary is selling the property, we work with the estate lawyer; and when it is has complicated tax implications we involve the CPA or tax lawyer the client chooses.