You don’t have to. You may represent yourself as a pro se individual. Some people are articulate enough and can learn enough to adequately represent themselves, but this is not advisable. You have significantly less resources than a lawyer, not to mention the skills, the relationships in the courthouse and experience. There is a saying, “A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client.” Personally, I would never represent myself.
You call and make an appointment. For most cases, a brief initial phone consultation is required to see if I am the right attorney to help. If a follow up appointment is needed in person or via teleconference, that can be arranged.
For a traffic or criminal case, I would need all charging documents (basically anything the jail gave you when you were released from the jail).
For a Personal Injury case, we’ll need to know more personal information about you, how the accident happened, your own insurance and coverage, the other party's (at fault party) insurance and contact information, and any reports (police reports, hospital records, treatment records, etc). However, we can obtain most of those items along the way during the course of representation.
For a bankruptcy case, I need to know which type of chapter 7 bankruptcy you are seeking. For example, is it a personal or business filing? Is it a joint or single filing? Then, we would have an initial consultation where I would send a questionnaire to see if you’re eligible for the relief you want. I’ll do a credit report check and go over all your assets. Other items we’ll need on a case by case basis.
If we do not have a connection or I feel you will not be a good client, I will decline representation.
With regard to personal injury cases, I only handle cases where liability is already established. This means, you have a winning case and all that depends on now is how much of a settlement I can obtain for you.
I am licensed in Virginia and admitted to practice in all federal and state county jurisdictions. I am most familiar with counties in Northern Virginia such as Fairfax, Prince William, Alexandria, Arlington, Loudoun, Faquier and Stafford.
We largely communicate by email, unless there is something that requires a quicker response. Generally, we update the client on anything relevant to their case in advance or as soon as we know so that they can prepare as well.
Unless there are any updates or anything that is time-sensitive, we won’t reach out,. If the client has any questions or concerns along the way, they are always welcome to contact me.
Yes it matters for personal injury cases because of the 2 year statute of limitations. If that time passes, you lose your right to sue and your case isn’t worth anything.
No. Most cases are settled because the facts are not in our favor and the risks are far greater than the possible reward. It is my job to help my client understand those risks and advise accordingly.
Winning isn’t always quantifiable. The saying, “A bird in the hand is worth more than two in the bush” is very true for any case where you are suing for money. If you lose, you get nothing.
I am available by phone during normal business hours and I check my email throughout the day. If a voice message is left after hours or on the weekend, I will return your call the same day.
Under normal circumstances, yes. I encourage that we meet in person so that we can see if a connection exists. Even though you want to hire me, I may not want you as a client if I feel you are not going to cooperate with me.
Currently due to COVID-19, for the safety of myself and my staff, consultations are only by phone or by video camera.
I have 10 years of experience. My partner who is of counsel has over 37 years of experience in the same areas of practice.
I have handled over 2,000 cases during my career.
Payment plans are not generally offered for flat fee cases such as traffic & criminal cases or bankruptcy cases. However, we understand that you may not be able to pay the entire fee at once, so we offer certain discounts to military, first responders, teachers and students. But, if a client wishes to hire and cannot pay in full, generally half the payment is required to be retained and their court date to be held or for work to begin on a bankruptcy case.
My analysis of their case, diligence in case preparation, my counsel in what to do, and a result based on the facts and client’s ability to produce information or complete tasks as assigned.
In a flat fee case, other costs are usually mentioned upfront, but if there are additional costs, they are not paid to the attorney but for special needs that the client’s case may require. Examples includ a drug screening, or need for a court reporter or any unforeseen motions due to a complication in the case.
If a case goes to trial and needs to be litigated, in a flat fee case, that is accounted for and there would not be an additional fee. Pocket costs could include client’s parking in a garage at the courthouse or tolls along the way. Also, the need for copies of a prior case or report to be procured for trial.