What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?
It's simple. You pay a flat fee for everything that happens up until trial. If a trial is necessary, that price is negotiated separately. This is because very few cases get to trial because very few people are willing to roll the dice on what a jury might decide. So you don't pay for a trial until you go to trial.
What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
I ask questions and listen and start figuring out the case. The key is understanding what the battlegrounds are going to be. I then tell the potential client what they can expect with their case and how I intend to approach it.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
Law school, of course, but that's not all. I also attend training and seminars given by experts. This year I was in Sacramento for a Voir Dire seminar and last year in Newport Beach for a DUI seminar. Being a Law School Evidence professor keeps my trial skills honed, since it's all about the evidence.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
As a type A personality control freak who wants to be right all the time and for everyone to be silent when he's talking, it was a no-brainer.
What types of customers have you worked with?
I have helped all ages, races, and cultures, some who don't even speak English. I've helped business people and professionals with licenses to protect and many who have had other attorneys that didn't fight for them. A lot of my customers are family members of the actual clients who are in jail. No matter, everyone gets an aggressive defense.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
This was another case a colleague had given up on. An Iraq war veteran with psychological issues was caught in Orange County stealing from a department store. He's now back living with his mother in Arkansas and can't get a job because of this case which was never resolved. The other attorney called to see if there was anything I could do because the DA was requiring him to give a DNA sample as part of the offer. After talking to the DA I was able to get the DNA requirement dropped. Case dismissed, no conviction.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Pay attention to how the lawyer is talking to you because that's how that lawyer is going to be talking to the judge and prosecutor. Lawyers don't have secret personalities they use in court.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
You can only get the help you need by being up front with your lawyer. I always tell clients, you get the same defense whether you are guilty or innocent. A lawyer is there to help, not judge, so don't try to make yourself look good. Get the facts out, good and bad. Let the lawyer figure out how best to help you.