Initial consultations are not free and must be paid for in advance. Our consultation fee allows us to get compensated for our time and advice. It also reflects the creation of an attorney-client relationship with corresponding privileges and confidentialities. We will never get our time or advice back, and they are the only things that we “sell” as attorneys. We protect our time the way a restaurant protects its prepared dishes or architect protects his/her designs.
Apart from lost time, meeting with you for any period of time in our professional capacity triggers the following: (1) Professional responsibilities / liabilities and potential claims arising therefrom, even if not true; and (2) Conflict of interest that would prevent your spouse or adverse party from retaining us. That brief discussion with you that you want, could disqualify us from your spouse’s retainer deposit and subsequent hourly billing. Always keep in mind that your spouse has the right to retain or change counsel too.
You may want to speak briefly to make your evaluation of whether to retain our law office. However, the hour consultation is intended to permit us both to evaluate whether we should work together. A prospective client invests $200 +/- and we invest the balance of $300 +/- for that hour (not to mention the loss of counsel availability to your spouse or partner and triggering professional liabilities).
Thank you for your interest and continued support.
Joseph & Smargiassi, LLC