The FAQs will give guidance as to how our Law Firm is run and will answer some of your questions you may have prior to your consultation.
The FAQs will also help your Initial Consultation be more productive and will save you time.
First hiring an Attorney, Law Firm is a difficult decision. However, our Law Firm does not over charge our clients, nor do we have any hidden costs. We created these FAQs to be up front and honest with you about your retainer, how fees are charged, and to give you answers to some tough questions. Most of these FAQs are also in our "fee agreement" so that there is no confusion. Thank you for taking the time to review the questions and answers below. We will be happy to answer any other questions regarding our Law Firm at your consultation.
How much is the Initial Consultation?
The consultation is $200.00. If you choose to hire our Law Firm this will be credited towards your retainer.
How long is the Initial Consultation?
It is important that you arrive at the office 15 minutes early. If you need more then one consultation prior to you retaining our Law Firm, there is a fee of $400.00 per hour for each meeting. There is a limit of 2 additional consultations prior to retaining our Law Firm. The consultations will only be for discussions regarding your legal issue. The Law Firm will not advise, process or represent you with regard to your legal issue until retained as legal counsel.
How can I get the most out of my Initial Consultation?
Our Family Law Firm is very busy and time is very precious. In preparation for your Initial Consultation write out a list of questions. Even if you think the questions are too simple; write them out. Write out a sequence of events that pertain to your legal issue including: dates, places, asset and debt information. Write down all names, addresses, emails, phone numbers, employment information of other people involved in the case. If you've done research into your legal issue, bring it. Bring any documents pertaining to your issue. This could also include letters, court documents, pictures, video, paper documents. Make copies of ALL documents including your list of questions, written sequence of events and research. Bring both the originals and the copies to your Initial Consultation.
The more work that you do to be prepared the more informed information our Law Firm can give you regarding your case. Pay close attention to the questions your Attorney asks you and offer complete and honest answers. If you are not sure if a piece of information is relevant, ask your Attorney. If your Attorney knows all the facts as early as possible in the case, it will save on time and money.
If you decide to retain the Law Office, Attorney B J Fadem may ask for either the original or the copies of your documents. This will save you time and will speed up the process for the staff to establish your file or if your case requires it, to act immediately on it. Either way, you will also have copies or originals of what you gave to the office for your records.
Review all the FAQ's prior to your Initial Consultation.
How can I save money?
Prepare for all your meetings. Come with all the requested information and papers. Prior to the meeting ask questions to make sure you are providing all that is necessary for the meeting. Think about your legal problem and gather the information your Attorney will need. Write down important events, facts, and questions you would like to bring up at the meeting. Keep copies of all information you provide to your Attorney. The more work that you do to prepare, the less time your Attorney needs to spend for finding the needed information.
Answer your Attorney's questions fully. Your communications to your Attorney are confidential.
Pay close attention to the questions your Attorney asks you and offer complete and honest answers. If you are not sure if a piece of information is relevant, ask your Attorney.
If your Attorney knows all the facts as early as possible in the case, it will save on time (and money) that might be spent later on further investigation or misdirect case development.
If your situation changes, tell your Attorney as soon as possible. You are a primary source of information about your case and your Attorney will act based on the information you provide. If something happens or if you find out new information which may affect your case, give the information to your Attorney quickly. It may change what he or she is doing on your case. It may save the Attorney's time (and your money) or save the Attorney from heading in the wrong direction on your case.
Consolidate your questions or information giving into a single call or email. Pass on information in writing or to other office staff rather than speaking directly with the Attorney unless you have a specific reason to do so.
When do I have to pay my bill?
Upon receipt of your statement. Statements are generated around the 5th of each month.
How can I pay my bill?
By check, by debit card, Master Card, Visa, American Express, Discover Card, cash, paypal, and you may walk in any payment. You may have anyone pay your account for you who may be assisting you financially. However, the responsibility of your account being paid on time is yours.
How am I charged?
The following rates are:
Attorney B J Fadem $400.00 per hour
Associate Attorney Ron Nerio $325.00 per hour
Paralegal, Erinn Tocco $225.00 per hour
Law Clerk Shampelle Byrd $125.00 per hour
Any and all services that Attorney, Associate Attorney, Paralegal, Legal Assistant and Law Clerk perform on behalf of Client is billable time.
Costs will include, but are not limited to, one or all of the following:
[THIS IS A GENERAL LIST]
Court filing fees [these fees are regulated by the Court's requirements]
Service of process [these fees are regulated by the requirements of the Serve
CPA evaluation/tax analysis [Client will be advised in advance]
Subpoenas [these fees are regulated by the requirements of the Serve] Legal Research
Photocopies [3.5% of each statement]
Fax [3.5% of each statement]
Postage/delivery costs [3.5% of each statement]
Service of Process/Deliveries of Depositions
Parking Fees/Bridge Tolls
If you have any disputes regarding your statement you must call the office immediately and speak to our office. We will be able to answer any of your questions regarding your statement. This must be done in writting within 10 days of receipt of that month's statement or you waive your right to any dispute and are responsible for payment of that statement. You must also follow up any concerns in writing within 10 days of receipt of that months statement.
[THIS IS A GENERAL LIST]
What are some common billable services?
Any Court appearance: 1.50 minimum
Attorney Client meetings: 1.00 minimum
Telephone conferences: .20 minimum
review of Client file: .25 hour minimum
All letters from Attorney: .25 minimum
Attorney from & to all email: .20 minimum
Review of incoming faxes or documents .20 minimum
Update Client file for Court Hearing .60 minimum
Court run by staff .60 minimum
All letters from staff .25 minimum
Staff from & to all emails .25 minimum
What are the office hours?
Monday thru Friday: 9:00 am to 5:00pm.
What does Certified in Family Law mean?
Attorney B J Fadem has been a Certified Specialist by the California State Bar since 1999. Its comparable to hiring a general doctor verses hiring a specialist. It requires a lot of training, passing an additional test and other requirements set by the California State Bar. There are not many Attorneys who are Specialists in Family Law in California due to the fact that the requirements are very strict.
There are many factors and many parties that effect the process of your case. Our Law Firm only has control over what we do. We do not have control over the other parties and or their counsel or the Courts. We understand that you may want this situation over and done with but circumstances that we have no control over may keep this from happening.
Depending on your legal issues many situations can complicate the issue. For example in a Divorce: The numerous factors may include:
- Custody & Visitation
- Child Support
- Spousal Support
- Property Division & Characterization
- Domestic Violence
- Restraining Orders
- International Jurisdiction
- Discovery (getting) formal information from the other side
- Judges' calendar
- if Custody is contested and needs to be pursued through an assessment or Custody Evaluation
- Numerous 'Motions' necessary to be filed on your behalf because Opposing Party and/or Opposing Attorney refuses to cooperate
- Can take several years. Can 'bifurcate'
These are just a few of the frequently asked questions. This may help you prepare for your Initial Consultation.