Q: What do you mean when you say you’re dedicated to “open communication”?
A: It’s simple, clients should be fully informed about their own case. This means I forward communication with the other side to the client. I give the client a copy of every form and pleading filed. And I take the time to make sure the client knows the status of their case and possible directions their matter could go.
My job, the reason my clients meet with me, is to advocate for their interests. How can I advocate for those interests if the client is uninformed on the status of their case? This office revolves around the idea of open and frequent communication, at all stages of the process.
In line with this philosophy, I maintain a blog I update regularly. Check it out.
Q: Can you promise me I’ll win?
A: NO. A lawyer can never promise a particular outcome in litigation. If any lawyer does they are lying to you. However, I can and will give you my honest take on your chances. I’ll discuss the pros and cons of each decision. And I will fight hard for your interests.
Q: What is your fee structure?
A: Depending on the case, I will charge hourly or flat fees. I tend towards flat fees because clients seem to prefer knowing more precisely how much their case will cost. The exact amount can change on the complexity of the case and what the client wants to accomplish.
Q: Do you have an office I can visit?
A: Sure do, we are located at 4500 9th Ave NE, third floor, office #7. Please call ahead before your visit as I’m regularly in court. More information about our address and contact info is here.
Q: Do you do pro bono work?
A: Sure. I’m registered with the King County Bar Association for a couple of their volunteer programs. I sometimes volunteer at the King County Bar Association’s Walk-In Clinic. I also like to work with students in the Future of the Law Institute and judge the occasional mock trial competition.
Q: Will you do my case for free?
A: Probably not. I believe in service to the community but I spend volunteer hours at the organizations above.
Q: Why should I hire a private attorney? Why shouldn’t I go with a public defender?
A: As a former public defender, I will say our state’s public defense services are top notch. Public defense attorneys are some of the most passionate and dedicated attorneys you will ever meet. The problem is simply they are overworked. A very common complaint from the indigent clients they serve is that the clients feel they didn’t get enough attorney time, and generally felt lost in the status of their case. This is no knock against the public defenders, but just the reality of offices that are generally overworked and understaffed. See, e.g., this 2011 article from the Seattle Times. That being said, the choice of an attorney is a personal one. Washington public defense resources can be found here.
Q: How does the court system in Washington work?
A: Check out my blog post on the subject.
Q: I’ve just been sued/just been arrested. What should I do?
A: The most important thing to do is be involved. Do not throw away the notice and hope the whole thing blows over. You have a lot of rights in these situations, but you need to invoke them. Call a local attorney as soon as possible who works in the appropriate practice area.
Q: I’ve just been arrested by the police. What should I do?
A: I’m surprised they let you surf the internet in custody. If you want some info before the police come a’calling, check out my blog post.
Q: What kinds of cases do you work with?
A: You can see my common practice areas. If you’re not sure whether I can help you with your case, give me a call. If it turns out I can’t help, I’ll give you the information of someone who can.
Q: What can I expect at my initial client meeting?
A: When we meet I’ll have you fill out a short intake form with your contact information and the nature of your case. This is mostly for my records so I don’t have to hunt around for pertinent info.
The primary goal of our meeting is to get a sense of your case. What can we realistically accomplish? Do you have a valid defense against the debt collectors hounding you? Should we file a lawsuit, or open up negotiations? What are the next steps?
Ideally, at the meeting we’ll go over your documentation, discuss your options, and make an action plan for the next phase. From your end it’s important you bring all your documents to the initial meeting to keep the process moving as efficiently as possible.
Q: You represent criminals. How can you sleep at night?
A: No, I represent people charged with crimes. That’s a big difference. Furthermore, everyone deserves zealous representation and the presumption of innocence. A very big part of my job is to make sure that presumption gets met. I don’t want to live in a world where someone can just point a finger at a person and they get hauled off to jail. Most people seem to feel the same way. It’s an honor to represent someone at all, even if they’re accused of something. My job is to make sure they get a fair shake, and I take that job very seriously.