Setting up an Initial Consultation
Please call our office at (812) 339-6055 to set an appointment. We generally schedule consultations for an hour, but sometimes a consultation may go as long as two hours. Consultations are a flat fee of $100, payable at the time of the consultation via cash, check, MasterCard, VISA, or Discover.
Many people wonder whether they should talk to an attorney, and at what stage. We suggest that talking to an attorney as early in the process as possible is a good idea. Coming in for a consultation incurs no obligation to hire an attorney and is a way to gather information that may help you plan ahead whether you are considering adoption or divorce or some other type of legal action.
You are welcome to bring a list of questions. You are also welcome to bring a friend if you wish. Of course, even that you have a consultation is confidential. However, if a third party is present during any conversation between the attorney and a client, the 'attorney-client' privilege will likely not be present. That means, in the very unlikely situation that the attorney would be subpoenaed to reveal confidential information, that a Judge could force the attorney to reveal the substance of communication. Those situations rarely arise in family law cases. And even if the attorney-client privilege is absent, the overall duty of confidentiality still applies.
Below are some thoughts for you to consider as you select an attorney---whether that ends up being an attorney at our office or someone else.
Interviewing an Attorney
- How long before you could get in for an appointment?
- Did the office and attorney seem friendly and professional?
- Was the style casual or formal? And which do you prefer?
- Did you feel comfortable with the attorney?
- How much experience does the attorney have with your type of situation?
- Is the fee structure clear and up front?
- Does the attorney have malpractice insurance?
- Does the attorney seem to have time to devote to your case?
- Is the office in a convenient location for you?
Know the fee structure
- Ensure that you have a document that says how the attorney/client relationship will work, what the attorney fees are, and how they are calculated. These matters should be covered in an initial meeting.
- Ensure you know when you will be billed, and how detailed the statement will be.
- Review your monthly statements carefully.
- It is always your right to know what your case is costing you and why. Never feel awkward about asking. You are spending money and you have every right to know how it is being spent.
Be straightforward about your goals and your concerns
- Don't worry about what your attorney will think of you.
- Nothing is silly, nothing is selfish, nothing is off limits for a question.
- Often, your questions and concerns can help focus the attorney's efforts, leading to lower attorney fees overall and a far better outcome for you.
- You are your own best advocate.
- You are the one who knows your situation best.
- If something seems off to you, ask about it.
- The more you are a full partner in your case, the lower your attorney fees will be and the better your outcome will be.
- Your attorney's job is to advise you on the legal strategy and actions necessary to accomplish your goals, to give the best AND worst case scenarios.
- Your job is to pick the course of action that best suits your goals once you have all the information necessary to make that decision.
- Of course, if you want to do something illegal or unethical, the attorney must advise against it. If you wish to continue that action, the attorney may have to withdraw and depending on the circumstances, may have to report the plans to the proper authorities.