Our Promise to You:
We will pursue your legal interests aggressively limited only by the law and our profession’s rules of conduct.
We will earnestly attempt to keep you informed about your case. Fortunately, we are
a thriving law firm with many clients with various needs. Unfortunately, we are not always at the office to take your call or respond to your correspondence immediately. We must prioritize our various clients’ needs so that all cases may be attended to. This means that you may not always get a call back or confirmation of a correspondence from us immediately. However, you have every right to expect a response from someone at our office within a reasonable amount of time. On occasion you may receive a response from someone working at our direction and under our supervision. We do this because we want you to receive a response even if we are currently engaged in another matter. Although you will certainly be involved in your case, much of the work being done is being accomp0lished without your direct involvement. After all that is what you hired us for.
You have our loyalty. We will be faithful advocates for you. This does not mean that you are always going to hear what you want from us. It does not mean that we will not disagree with one another. The legal system is adversarial in nature and a lot is usually on the line; therefore, often times discussions can become heated or emotional. However, we are here for you and must direct you in a manner consistent with the law and not necessarily common sense. We understand and have been in this situation before and will be in the future.
You will receive our best effort. We will apply our intellect, passion, and experience to your cause.
We are not perfect but we are sincere in our desire to do all that we can to help.
We will not pursue causes that will not reasonably benefit or assist your case.
Experience has taught us that filing or arguing positions not supported by the facts or law diminishes the persuasiveness of your more valid positions. We have no desire to impress you by “looking busy.” By the same token will pursue positions that we feel are important to your case regardless if others perceive them as antagonistic or petty.
We will seek independent review of issues on occasion. At times we may not have the answer to every question or issue that may arise. Sometimes we simply like to bounce an idea off of another professional to assist us in analyzing your case. We do this to better assist you. Of course we are mindful of your privacy and our obligation of confidentiality to you.
Although we will not assume unreasonable financial risk to the firm just because you are unwilling to pay for recommended expenses, we will try to be creative in doing what we can to get as much bang for your buck as possible. In fact, we pride ourselves on some of the creative ways we have been able to present a client’s case.
If your case goes to trial, our trial team will try your case. Having an experienced trial lawyer at hand is like having insurance: You hope you do not need it but if you do it is nice to have it available. Our firm has adopted the philosophy of “aces in their places.” We pride ourselves in having a passionate lead trial lawyer and having experienced lawyers in a number of concentrated areas of law. If your case goes to trial, you will have an experienced trial lawyer try the case. If your case is of a nature beyond the trial lawyer’s concentrated area of practice an additional lawyer who concentrates his practice in that area will assist in the presentation of your case.
We will sincerely attempt to keep you reasonably informed.
A point of contention for most clients is that the lawyer does not communicate enough with them about their case. This concern arises for a number of reasons. First, the case is very important to the client and often is the most pressing issue in their lives at the time. Often times it is a unique experience that the client may never experience again. Understandably, the client is thinking about the case continuously. A client may become anxious because he or she has not received an immediate response. A client may feel neglected because he or she does not feel that the lawyer is not keeping them up to date. A client may feel that he or she has told the lawyer a point several times and it does not appear to be getting through to the lawyer.
In contrast, the lawyer has many similar cases and has experienced litigation often. In fact, you most likely want an experienced lawyer working on your case. Throughout the day or during the week, the lawyer is communicating with clients, opposing counsel, courts, clerks, witnesses, care providers, etc. In addition, he must attend court appearances and appointments. Some appearances such as a trial will consume the entire day with the evenings being dedicated to preparation for the next day or other emergencies that may arise. This results in a delayed response or a response from another individual at the firm. After all we pay our staff to assist usin working on your case and to answer your calls. Keep in mind that each client feels as you do and the lawyer must prioritize the level of attention that must be applied to each particular case at any particular time. This means sometimes your case is receiving the exclusive attention of the lawyer at a particular time; however, at other times your case is awaiting a response from another party or additional
documentation and for a lack of a better word is sitting idle. Calling frequently when the status of the case has not changed does not benefit you or other clients. Specifically, since we will make every attempt to communicate with you, continuously responding to issues that have already been addressed or have already been identified takes valuable time from your case and the cases of other clients.
We will sincerely make every effort to communicate with you. You hired us. We want
you to be happy. At your request and after having been fully advised of the consequences of
sharing information with others, we will communicate to others about your case; however, having multiple people calling about your case further limits our ability to effectively communicate with clients.
IF WE DID NOT GET BACK TO YOU WITHIN A DAY OR TWO, CALL AGAIN. We want you to be informed.
Communicating with you does not mean that we tell you what you want to hear. An honest assessment of the situation is the most valuable benefit you will receive from hiring us. We are not interested in being “yes men.” We are very interested in assisting you in your cause. Sometimes that results in varying opinions. You are paying for our advice. You are not required to follow it but we think you should.
“I charge a fee so that I can practice law. I do not practice law so that I can charge a fee.” Ron Yarwood Although initially this may appear to be a play on words, it sums up the unpleasant business aspect of the practice of law. Unfortunately, this is not an expensive hobby but rather a passionate calling. It took years of education and real life experience in and out of the courtroom to gain the insight that the lawyers at this firm have gained. We have dedicated much of our adult life to the pursuit of obtaining a law degree and eventually practicing law. We have made significant sacrifices and taken significant risks in learning our profession and championing the causes of our clients. There is incredible expense in maintaining a law practice and honing the skills of our craft. The last thing you need is a lawyer chasing a buck. With that in mind, we must charge an adequate fee to remove lingering concerns of money. In other words, we want the luxury of focusing on law and trial work and not money. You deserve to know this up front.
Our office charges a fee in three ways depending on the type of case involved:
(1)Flat Fee (2)Hourly Fee (3)Contingency Fee
Flat Fee Structure:
In most criminal cases our flat fee is an up front fee that is earned upon receipt. A flat fee may also be charged in other matters. In its simplest terms a flat fee means a one time fee that is paid to represent you to the “conclusion” of your case. If the firm does not complete the representation for any reason, you may be entitled to a refund of all or part of the fee. “Conclusion” for purposes of our representation means either a trial or an acceptable plea offer. Our fee does not include filing of an appeal, post conviction relief, probation or community control sanction violation hearings. A flat fee does not include case expenses such as filing fees and costs for investigators or experts. You are responsible for case expenses in addition to the flat fee paid for our legal services.
The flat fee arrangement is beneficial to you and us for the following reasons:
(a) It provides you with the peace of mind that once paid you have representation to the “conclusion” of your matter. We will not require any additional legal fee during your case regardless of the amount of time expended or the complexity of the issues.
(b) It provides us with the certainty that we are fully compensated and removes the uncomfortable situation of approaching you about payment during the course of the representation. In other words, we are focusing on representing you and your case and not meeting with you about getting paid or worrying about the business aspect of the practice of law.
(c) The benefit in hiring our firm is the name, reputation, and experience of the members of the firm. In some
cases you may receive the benefit of countless hours and progressive arguments for a set fee. In other
cases, we may be able to satisfactorily resolve your case based on our experience and reputation without
much fanfare. The fee is to obtain our representation.
(d) If the firm does not complete the representation for any reason, you may be entitled to a refund of all or part of the fee.
Hourly Fee Structure:
An hourly fee is a fee that is charged strictly based on the time involved in your case and is charged at
a set rate per hour. It is not unusual for an initial deposit to be required prior to accepting employment to
ensure payment as work is completed. In some instances additional deposits may be required during the
course of the representation. For your convenience and in order to accurately reflect the time spent on your
case we track our time in tenths of an hour. For example, if we only spend hour on the telephone discussing
your case, we only bill you for 5/10 tenths of an hour. Under an hourly fee agreement you will be charged for
all the time on your case regardless of how simple or complex the task. This includes, but is not limited to, travel, telephone calls, research, conferences, interviews, court appearances, document preparation, file preparation, and trial preparation. You
are also responsible for the expenses of your case not associated with our legal fee. You will receive
statements from us tracking the time we have spent on your case. Our hourly fee is currently $200.00 per hour.
Contingency Fee Structure:
Under the rules of professional conduct for lawyers in the State of Ohio, a separate written fee
agreement is required in cases that involve contingency fees. You will receive a detailed fee agreement in all cases that our firm takes on a contingent basis. We typically charge a contingent fee of 33.33% of the gross amount of any settlement or verdict obtained.
The fee does not include litigation expenses or an appeal.
HOW OUR FEE WAS DETERMINED:
We base our fee on the many factors including the following:
(1) The time and labor required, the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved, and the skill requisite to perform the legal service;
(2) The likelihood that the acceptance of your particular case will preclude other employment for us;
(3) The fee customarily charged in this area for similar issues;
(4) What is at stake and the results obtained;
(5) The urgency or time limitations imposed by you or by the circumstances; (6) The nature and length of our professional relationship with you;
(7) Our experience, reputation, and abilities in a particular area of law;
(8) Whether our fee is fixed or contingent;
In some instances we may be more affordable than other lawyers. In other situations
we may be more costly. We do not match other lawyers’ fee schedules. Prior to retaining us, you should consult other law firms if you deem our manner of fee or amount of the fee to be expensive for your needs. You have the right to negotiate the manner of fee with us prior to us taking the case. However, we are not obligated to take your case under your suggested terms. For example, you may wish to pay us on an hourly fee basis for a civil matter rather than on a contingency fee basis. However, we are not obligated to accept your terms and may refuse representation. Once employment is accepted under agreed terms, we are not interested in changing the terms at a later date. This policy is a significant benefit to you and to us. We will not change the terms at a later date to a fee structure more lucrative for us after the fact. Nor will we accept any attempt by you to do the same. Hiring us for one case does not mean we represent you on other matters. We are more than happy to consider representing you on other matters but only after we have discussed the matter and come to an agreement.
We look forward to representing you.