What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?
In all cases in Missouri, attorneys are required to bill by the hour and for expenses associated with litigation. So, the price varies based upon the number of hours invested and the expenses.
In personal injury and workers compensation cases, attorneys are required to keep track of their hours, but represent clients on a contingent fee basis. Under this arrangement, the attorney does not receive a fee unless they are successful.
Contingent fee arrangements are not allowed in family law cases.
Fixed price services are also not allowed. However, for very small matters, e.g., traffic tickets and minor criminal matters, an attorney usually charges one price because they know that the matter will take a modest, set amount of time.
What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
We meet on the telephone. We then meet in the office and complete a thorough intake form, complete mandatory documents and launch the client's case.
I deal with out of town clients by way of email, cellphone and text messaging. I attach forms that I need completed to emails and send them to the client to complete, sign, scan and return to me by email.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I have required continuing legal education.
I also learned that I really need to learn things over and over again. There is really too much law to have a complete mastery of it at all times. I know where to find answers, and I have maintained a curiosity and interest in what I doing. I was told a long time ago that legal research was fun. It is. Being thoroughly prepared with the facts and the law, allows me to do things in court for clients that I am very personally proud of.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
I went to law school because I wanted to help people in a meaningful way.
What types of customers have you worked with?
I do primarily family law cases at this time: divorces, child custody, paternity, modification of decrees and other family law actions. I have significant experience in personal injury, workers compensation and litigation. I am a trained trial lawyer. I try cases to judges and juries.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
I was able to help a country music singer to resume his career in Nashville, while maintaining a meaningful relationship with his daughter in St. Louis. Eight Months.
I was able to help a software engineer and his family improve their life. Four months.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
The choice of an attorney is an important decision and should be based on more than advertisements.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
Clients should know that legal remedies are available; they must only reach out and ask.