When you first contact our firm, you will be scheduled for an initial consultation. Often that consultation is with one of our partners, Brian Walters or Jake Gilbreath, or one of our senior associates, Robert Tsai or Slav Talavera. The initial consultation may be a phone call, a Zoom or FaceTime meeting—especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, or an in-person meeting. At the initial consultation, we will go over:
- Background information about the firm and our experience;
- Your background (i.e., where you work, how many children you have, employment history, etc.);
- Recommendations on strategy for your case;
- Information regarding how the firm handles cases similar to yours;
- The employment contract between you and the firm;
- Hourly rates, retainers and fees for the firm’s services; and
- Questions that you have regarding the process.
Let’s be straightforward; the initial consultation is nerve-wracking (sometimes for the lawyer too!). You’ve never met this person you’re talking to before, and now you’re supposed to talk about problems in your marriage and your family life? That seems like a big challenge—and it is.
Here’s the deal—we get it. This isn’t fun for our clients; we know that. But we do our best to make our clients comfortable and encourage them regarding the most important thing in a consultation—Being Honest!!
Why is it Important to be Honest?
As experienced trial lawyers, we strongly believe that preparation wins the day outside and inside the courtroom. We work tirelessly to make sure we understand our clients' situation and know all the relevant facts so we can advocate for our clients in their cases. But this approach has a limitation—honesty!
Understandably so, we notice that sometimes clients want to hold back or minimize in an initial consultation. We get it. That is perfectly natural. Who wants to talk about their personal life in an initial meeting? But it is important. We have to know everything about your case and your life to be able to strategize with you and represent you to the best of your ability.
Do you want to know something interesting? What you may think is shocking probably does not shock us. Here’s the deal, we represent people in some of the worst times in their lives. Maybe you’ve done something you’re not proud of. Maybe your spouse has done something you’re not proud of. Maybe your children are in a bind that you never meant to expose them to, oftentimes at no fault of your own!
We get it. Many of our lawyers have been there personally, and we’ve all represented clients in your situation. We understand that things may look awful for you from your perspective. Here’s what we have to say about that: We get it, and we’re here to help.
There’s no judgment in our firm—just advocacy. We want our clients to be open and honest with us so we can go out there and fight for their interests and their families. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
Take a Deep Breath
We know it’s hard. We know it’s not fun. But, if you’re at the point that you need to talk to a lawyer, take a deep breath, schedule a consultation, and tell us completely and fully what is going on. We’re here to help.