Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Firm's Free 5 Minute Screening Consultation & Paid Office Consultation


The Firm offers five minute screening consultations at no charge to provide general information and to determine the need for a paid 30-90 minute office consultation.  Approximately 60-75% of the time, the callers wants one or two questions answered or want to be guided on issues like failure to repair, renewal/nonrenewal notice rights, and security deposit disputes.  In those instances, 5 minutes may be all that is required.  However, if additional services are needed, a paid consultation must be scheduled. 

During the phone consultation, expect numerous interruptions as I try to obtain relevant information.  Although you may want to tell your full story during the call, it's not the best use of your time. 

For landlord-tenant cases, the first questions I will ask are the following:

(1) the name of the other party (for conflict check purposes)
(2) whether you live in a house or an apartment
(3) the city and county of the rental property

If you have documents that you want me to see, the five minute screening consultation is not the time to read sentences to me.  Lay people often miss important provisions in documents.   Therefore, an office consultation is the best time for me to review the documents to determine your options. 

Although I offer paid phone consultations, I don't review documents e-mailed to me in preparation for the phone conference unless the matter is prepaid.   Any time taken before the call will be included in the charge.  For paid phone consultations, prepayment for the hour through credit card, debit card, or Venmo is required.  Prior to the end of the time, I will advise the caller of the time expiration.  You can choose to continue the call and incur an additional charge.

Keep in mind, litigation is expensive.  You get what you pay for in many cases.  I've been in 100s of court sessions.  I see people who could have benefited from having an attorney with them in court.  Even if they couldn't afford representation during the trial or hearing, at a minimum a 30 minute consultation may have put them on notice on what to expect and the pitfalls to avoid.