Consultation & Billing
Personal Attention On Every Case
Initial Consultation by Phone or Email
I offer a free initial consultation through a brief telephone conference or email exchange so that we can determine whether I can be of assistance to you. I will provide you with information about my billing practices, and what my estimate of the costs of your matter could be. Please be aware that it is difficult to predict a reliable estimate, particularly for litigation, and I will not give you a firm cost unless we agreed to a fixed fee. I will explain what you can expect from me and how I would handle your case, should you choose to retain me to provide legal services. It is important to understand that no attorney-client relationship will be created unless we mutually agree that you are retaining me as your attorney. I cannot provide you with any legal advice until you become a client.
In lieu of a telephone or email initial consultation, I also offer a free half-hour in-person initial appointment at my office. If you decide to retain me during this meeting, I will provide you with an engagement letter and my billing policies for your signature, and in most cases, I will require that you provide an advanced fee or retainer, which will be deposited into my trust account and drawn against as the work is billed. After the engagement letter is executed and the advanced fee is paid, we will be in an attorney-client relationship, and I will be able to review your issues and to provide you with legal advice.
I bill hourly for most legal services at rates depending on the complexity of the matter. I will usually require an advanced fee for most services, particularly for litigation. I participate in the California Lawyers for the Arts referral panel and occasionally provide pro bono or lower cost services through that organization.
If you fail to pay your bill within 60 days, I may unilaterally terminate our engagement for legal services.
I may agree to enter into a flat-fee billing arrangement for some legal services, such as forming a corporate entity, or other specific task where I can accurately estimate my time. Any flat-fee arrangement will be specified in the engagement letter. If I agree to a flat-fee, I will require a 50% deposit with the balance due upon my completion of the task.
In rare instance, usually limited to personal injury actions, I may agree to represent a client on a contingency basis, where you will not pay for my legal services unless the claim or litigation is resolved in your favor and a settlement or award is received on your behalf. If I agree to take your case on contingency, I may still require you to pay for the costs involved in the litigation, such as filing fees and court reporter charges.
I provide my clients with a monthly itemized invoice, usually by the first of the first full month of legal services. The invoice will provide a brief description of all work performed during that period, and the balance due, along with credits for payments and the balance remaining in the clients' trust account. If the trust account retainer is depleted, I will request a replenishment to be deposited within ten days of the invoice. If there are any questions regarding my invoices, please contact me and I will be happy to review and discuss them with you.
At this time, I only accept personal checks, bank or money orders or cash. I may accept credit cards in the future.