Initial Consultation, Initial Conference Policy

A HIGH VOLUME OF INQUIRIES FROM POTENTIAL CLIENTS IS THE NATURE OF MY FAMILY LAW PRACTICE

On a typical day, my office receives several calls from potential clients who want me to represent them. Issues related to divorce, child custody and relocation, child and spousal support, equitable distribution issues, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, school and summer camp choice issues, inter-state jurisdiction issues, Protection from Abuse matters, and family law appeals, just to name a few. Each matter is unique. Each matter is important. The issues are often complicated.

Jonathan C. Noble, Esq.

WHY I CHARGE FOR AN IN-DEPTH CONFERENCE IN FAMILY LAW CASES

Family law cases are fact specific. It is difficult if not impossible to get a full understanding of the facts and personalities in each case without taking the time to conference with potential clients. In-depth initial conferences in family law matters can take significant time. Beware of “free initial consultations” in family law matters. These “free initial consultations” are often very limited in scope. They are often of little overall value to either a potential client, or the attorney. I will sometimes use a free initial telephone call to screen out cases that are not a good fit for me, my practice model, or my caseload at the time. Sometimes I will not take a certain family law case, for any number of reasons, but I will refer the case to another practitioner, or a legal aid agency (if appropriate). Sometimes an initial telephone call will lead to an in-depth, in-person conference. Since the demand for my time is extremely high, I nearly always charge a new client for an initial, in-depth meeting. If you are going to choose an attorney to negotiate or litigate your family law matter based on a free initial consultation, I wish you much luck in achieving your desired result.

IN-DEPTH, IN-PERSON INITIAL CONFERENCES OFTEN LAST FOR HOURS. THIS IS WHY I NORMALLY CHARGE A FEE FOR A CONSULTATION

In order to fully grasp the important facts of your case, provide meaningful feedback, explain the relevant law, and determine if we should work together, our initial consultation will last as long as it takes. Since attorneys are not permitted to take family law cases on a contingency fee basis, I normally charge a fee for an in-depth, initial consultation for most family law matters. (There are very limited exceptions to this policy). Potential clients almost always leave our initial in-depth consultation with options they never knew existed, and a clear understanding of how and when to proceed. My in-depth consultations also help the client and me decide if we can forge a good working relationship that will likely lead to the desired outcome. Nearly all in-depth consultations end with the client engaging my services, or wanting to do so.

YOU MEET WITH ME. YOU WORK WITH ME. 

I do not work with associate attorneys in my firm. Once you sign a Letter of Engagement and pay my fee, I am your lawyer. Period. You deal directly with me as your legal counsel. We work as a team. You will not be telling your story two (or three) times to a junior associate lawyer, recent law school graduate, a paralegal, and/or a legal secretary, and be billed again, when they try to explain everything to me. When you search for legal counsel, make sure you know exactly who will be handling your case. Is that the person in your initial consultation? Not getting a clear answer as to who is handling your matter? That is a red flag.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IF YOU MET WITH ANOTHER LAWYER, BUT ARE NOT 100% SURE IF YOU WANT TO HIRE HIM OR HER, AND STILL WANT TO MEET WITH ME BEFORE DECIDING WHO TO RETAIN 

Just call me at 610 256 4843, and explain your situation. If it makes sense, I will make time to meet with you. Even if I need to make time to meet you for a coffee, near the courthouse, after a court appearance. The counsel you initially choose is one of the most important decisions you will make in any family law matter. It can be difficult, frustrating, and expensive to change counsel in the middle of a family law matter. Try extremely hard to avoid the need to change family law counsel during the course of your case. Do your homework. You will be glad that you did.

SEARCH VIGOROUSLY, SELECT WISELY

There are very few things that can impact the outcome in your family law matter more than selecting the best legal counsel right from the start. The problem most people face is that they have no idea if their chosen lawyer is capable of objectively evaluating their case, and then achieving the best possible outcome. Speaking to more than one attorney can help you narrow your choices, and help you make a wise initial decision regarding your choice of legal counsel.

If you had a serious medical issue, you would likely consult more than one medical professional to help guide, inform, and treat you. I suggest that you search for a family law attorney with the same degree of diligence. Your future may depend on it.