what you should expect
Want some insight into what to expect at Fergus & Tomanka, PLLC during your initial consultation meeting with an attorney? Read below for more information on what to expect, what to bring to the meeting, and more!
Due to the sensitive nature of family law, we know that your information - even your name - can be scary to disclose. We understand that you may be skeptical of providing us with your basic information. We want to ensure you that ANYTHING you say in our office is 100% confidential. All of our attorneys and all staff have agreed and signed Confidentiality Agreements so you are fully protected behind closed doors.
BEFORE THE MEETING
Prior to speaking with an attorney, we must have two things:
(1) Your completed Potential Client Intake Sheet; &
(2) Receipt of of the $100 Consultation Fee.
(1) WHY DO YOU NEED MY INFORMATION?
Due to the sensitive nature of family law, we know that your information - even your name - can be scary to disclose. However, our policy is to not start the initial meeting without certain information regarding yourself as well as the other party's name. This policy is in place to keep both potential client and the attorney safe. We are required to ensure that we have never represented the other party previously before we move forward with our meeting. If you would like more clarification on this policy, an attorney is always ready to answer questions and easy your concerns.
Other Helpful Information to Have Ready:
The Basics. The specific date, time, and location of any incidents or allegations, especially those that have occurred within the last 6 months and 6 weeks.
What happened? This is where you want to provide the attorney with as much information as possible about what happened and/or why you are there to see an attorney. Who hit who; did someone run a red light; did the person brake before hitting you? This type of information will be explored more by the attorney in order to build your case; but to start, the goal is to discover the essence of you and your family, and what happened to you, so that the attorney can gain an understanding of the circumstances to better assist you.
Vital Information. & Materials. Prior Court Orders, Police Reports, and anything out of state that may miss a Texas-based background check's radar.
Questions & Concerns. We hope you bring plenty of questions! Questions are highly encouraged - feel free to write them down so you don't forget! The purpose of the initial consultation is for both attorney and potential client to ask questions and get to know each other and your case better. But, above all we want to ease your concerns and want you to walk out of the meeting with hope and a better understanding of the legal ramifications of your case.
(2) WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY ANYTHING?
The consultation fee came about because we started to see large amounts of people scheduling meetings that definitely had an issue to resolve, but they weren't necessarily ready to involve an attorney. It became apparent that in order to give our existing clients the attention and time they deserve, while also having consultations with those in our community that really need legal advice, but not representation, we needed to charge a nominal fee. We thank you in advance for understanding this policy.
HOW TO PAY: Consultation fees may be made via LAWPAY. State Bar of Texas approved, LawPay is a credit card processing service that complies with Texas state law regarding how client funds are held. Using LawPay is simple too! Simply click on the LAWPAY button at the very top right of this page! If you can't find it, don't worry you can always call for assistance or we can also send you a link via email.
DURING THE MEETING
At the initial meeting, the attorney will ask
you to give a brief overview of your situation
and will probably jump in with questions as
the discussion progresses. This is just the attorney's process of understanding your situation assessing a strategy for your case. We want to provide creative, cost-efficient legal services and the best way to do so is digging into your case and asking hard questions.
Honesty really IS always best! You may be asked what, in your view, would be the best & worst case scenario of the case outcome. This may depend on how honest you are with your attorney in this first meeting. It is VITAL to be stringently honest with your attorney about any past or current indiscretions.
Again, this is confidential and our goal is to have a strategy in place to counteract. Not too infrequently, the attorneys find things out in Court when it's too late for the attorney to develop a strategy and countermeasure because of embarrassment. It never ends well for this person and they always regret not being honest with the attorney. Our law office is a Judgement Free Zone and we do not believe that bad experiences define a person or their character forever.
At the end of the consultation, If you want to move forward with one of our attorney's representation at the end of the meeting, the next step is going over payment terms and signing an Attorney-Client Contract. The Attorney-Client Contract does more than layout payment terms and legal services. It solidifies the Attorney-Client Relationship, which is essential for keeping conversations and certain documents out of the court's purview due to the Attorney-Client privilege's protection. It also gives the attorney authorization to speak and deal on your behalf; (i.e.: child support negotiations with the Attorney Generals Office on your behalf.
AFTER THE MEETING
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