What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?
I do not have a complicated pricing system. My fees/quotes are based upon the amount of time I think a case will take, whether it will go to trial, the issues in the case and the amount of responsibility I am taking on, the desires of the client, and, sometimes, the ability of the client to pay. I usually accept payments, but I require at least half of an agreed upon quote to be paid up front. The rest is made in payments and must be paid regardless of when the case concludes.
What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
I sit down with them and go over the situation they have gotten themselves into (usually). I discuss the facts and get their side of the story. There are always three sides to a story, the state's, the client's, and the one we present to the judge or jury. I discuss what their expectations are and what outcome they expect. I try to tell them what reasonable outcome to expect. I discuss the things we will have to do to get the desired outcome. I discuss their ability to pay and how the fee is to be paid. I let them know how to contact me. Most of all, I try to get them to relax and trust me to take care of the case.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I went to college and to law school. I take at least 30 hours of continuing legal education (CLE) courses every year. I attend a DUI seminar at least once yearly. I attend trial practice seminars regularly. I also interact with and discuss cases and issues with my colleagues across the state daily through professional forums.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
When I was a child I watched lawyers work and knew I wanted to be one. As I got older, I realized how much power the government has over us and I realized people need lawyers to stand up for their rights. I determined I would be one of these lawyers. It took me a while, but here I am, ready and willing to defend you.
What types of customers have you worked with?
I have worked with all types of clients throughout Florida. I have worked with people accused of murder, manslaughter, capital sex crimes, juvenile sex crimes, theft, fraud, DUI?BUI, and just about every type of criminal case there is in State courts. I have worked with both juvenile and adult clients, residents and people from other states and countries, and many tourists.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
Last summer (2015), I represented 9 clients who had all been charged with grand theft in a sting set up by the Osceola County Sheriff's office. I filed a motion alleging they were entrapped. All but one had never been in trouble before. They were all hard workers. In the end, all their charges were dropped.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Hire someone you trust. Hire someone who is upfront with you from the beginning. Ask all the questions you want answered. Don't just hire the cheapest lawyer, but do hire one you can afford or who has the best chances of getting the results you desire. It is also usually better to hire an attorney who regularly practices in the county from which the case arises.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
They should consider the complexities of the case themselves, how much they are willing to pay for an attorney, and how they will pay for the attorney.