The Initial Consultation
What should I expect during the initial consultation?
The initial consultation is an opportunity for us to get to know each other and to determine if you would be a good fit for the firm. My firm is different than other law firms and no law firm is the right fit for every client. In order to ensure that I meet or exceed my personal expectation of exceptional client satisfaction, it is important that we ensure that our personalities will match and that you are comfortable with how my firm bills and works. Furthermore, I believe the old adage that a “jack of all trades is a master of none.” I do not try to be all things for all people, but rather try to be the right law firm for certain matters and clients. All I do is real estate and construction law and this allows me to do it well. Furthermore, just because a matter involves real estate or construction law does not mean that I am automatically the right attorney for your matter. During the initial consultation, we will discuss your situation and determine if it is something that I have the skills, experience, and knowledge to handle your matter at the highest level.
The basic outline for the initial consultation is that we usually begin with some very basic information about the structure of the consultation. From there, I will allow you to tell me about the situation you are facing and what specific questions you have that I can answer. To the extent that it can be done based on the information provided during the consultation, I will provide answers to your questions and outline some of the options you have for going forward. During the final ten minutes of the call or meeting, I will provide information about what it would be like to work with the firm, the firm’s policies and billing methods, and the next steps for getting started.
How much does it cost and how can I schedule a consultation?
There is a charge for the consultation, which is based on the consultation you select. A twenty-minute phone consultation is $125 and thirty-minute phone consultation with the review of documents before the call is $175. A one-hour office consultation is $300. You can schedule an initial consultation by giving us a call at (913) 283-8300 or by clicking here to schedule your appointment online.
Please be advised that payment via debit or credit card is required at the time of scheduling; however, your card will not be charged if you retain the firm following the consultation. Moreover, consultations that are canceled at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance (or within thirty minutes of scheduling if scheduled on the same day as the appointment) will not be charged. If an appointment is missed or if the appointment is canceled less than twenty-four (24) hours before the scheduled time for the consultation, the person who scheduled the appointment will be provided one opportunity to schedule a new appointment at no additional charge. If the re-scheduled appointment is missed or canceled, the amount paid is non-refundable and a new fee would need to be paid in order to schedule another appointment.
Why don’t I offer free initial consultations?
The best way to answer this question is to compare your first conversation with my firm to that of your first visit to the doctor’s office. When you visit a doctor for the first time, the doctor will ask questions to learn about your medical history and will provide feedback and recommendations related to your health during that initial meeting. He or she does not ask you to come back later for treatment unless necessary nor would you expect the doctor to provide a prescription for your sore throat without you paying the doctor of the examination. I view the initial consultation similarly. During your initial consultation, I will take the time to listen to your situation and to provide substantive and practical advice regarding your options for moving forward. The goal of the initial consultation is to provide you with options, not to sell you on retaining the firm. In some instances, legal representation is important and valuable for ensuring your rights are fully protected. In other instances, the consultation may resolve your questions and keep you from having to retain an attorney to move forward. By charging for the initial consultation, I can provide honest and detailed advise without worrying about pressuring you to retain the firm for additional paid legal services.
How can you prepare for the initial consultation?
It is not required that you do anything prior to the meeting. With that being said, there are a few things you can do that helps to ensure the meeting is productive and that you get the most value out of the initial consultation. The things you can do are as follows:
- Provide us a copy of any relevant documents by uploading them at www.rickdavislegal.com/docs. Any documents uploaded through this website will be stored securely in the firm’s cloud storage and available only to my firm. Furthermore, by using the above link, I can ensure the documents are properly associated with your consultation.
- Prior to your consultation, you will be receiving an email that contains a link you can use to complete the firm’s intake form for your matter. This form is designed to be completed in approximately ten minutes and will keep us from having to spend time during the consultation discussing the basic details of your matter.
- Finally, it is particularly useful if you take a few moments to outline some of the questions that you want to be answered during the consultation. Our time during the consultation is limited and it is easy to forget questions that you want to have answered. Therefore, it is helpful to have a list of the most important questions that you want to be answered during the consultation.
What happens following the initial consultation?
The next steps will depend on what options are discussed during the consultation and the nature of the legal matter you are reaching out to my firm about. If you are simply looking for legal advice or answers to questions, the consultation may be all that takes place and I will close the file in my office following the consultation. If it is determined that you would be a good fit for the firm and you are interested in moving forward, I will send you an email following the consultation that sets forth the firm policies, the matter I would be handling, and the billing rates and retainer necessary for me to start working on your matter. The email will also contain a link you can use to acknowledge these terms and to submit your retainer payment using a credit or debit card. Once I have received your retainer agreement and payment, the file will be opened in my office and I will send you information about how to begin sharing documents and information with my office. Generally, within a week of receiving this information, we begin working on your file so as to achieve the objectives discussed during the consultation.
What if the initial consultation is completed, but now I have additional questions?
If it was determined that the timing was not right to retain the firm following the initial consultation and you now have additional questions, you can reach out to schedule a second consultation. Second consultations are charged at the same rate as initial consultations and follow the same rules regarding charges, refunds, etc. Follow up consultations can be scheduled anytime by giving us a call (913) 283-8300 or by clicking here to schedule your appointment online.
Please note that although I offer the opportunity to schedule additional consultations, an attorney-client relationship is not formed unless you retain the firm by signing the retainer agreement and submitting your initial payment. As such, any additional consultations are “limited scope representations” wherein we are retained only for the purpose of answering the questions posed during the consultation. We will not be appearing in court, drafting documents, speaking with other parties, or doing any work outside of the consultation when you schedule a second consultation.
What if you can’t represent me or answer my questions during the initial consultation?
Prior to the initial consultation, I will ask you to provide us with the names of all other parties involved in this matter. The reason for this is that the attorney ethics rules are strict on when a lawyer can speak to or represent parties who may be adverse to a firm client or former client. If it is determined that a conflict of interest exists, you will not be charged for the consultation.