1. How do I know if I need to hire a lawyer?
You probably need to a hire a lawyer if any of the following is true:
- – You’ve been sued or someone has threatened to sue you;
- – You’re a party to a written or oral contract or other agreement, and you or another party has violated the terms of the agreement;
- – You feel that you have suffered an injustice and suspect that the conduct in question may be illegal; or
- – You’re undertaking or leaving a business venture.
2. What areas of law do you practice?
Generally speaking, the Firm focuses on business and real estate litigation and probate, estate, and trust litigation. If we cannot handle your matter, then we would be glad to refer you to another attorney in the area who can.
3. If I’m involved in a contract dispute and the agreement was not reduced to writing, do I still have legal rights?
While reducing business agreements to writing clarifies parties’ intentions regarding a particular transaction, it is not always necessary to preserve the parties’ legal rights. Oral agreements are usually enforceable and can often be proved through (among other things) written communications between the parties and the parties’ course of dealing with each other. If you feel that a party to an oral agreement to which you are a party has been violated, please contact us to see if we might be of assistance to you.
4. How long does it take for a lawsuit to be resolved?
According to William Gladstone, “Justice delayed is justice denied.” We understand and agree with that statement and, consequently, do our best to prosecute matters diligently. Nonetheless, unless there is a genuine emergency, our court system is, unfortunately, simply not designed to operate quickly. Most state court judges preside over a thousand or more cases at the same time. For that reason, virtually every time the parties need to appear before a judge during a case, the parties must schedule the matter days (and, in some cases, weeks) in advance. Most cases prosecuted in a diligent manner should be resolved in approximately months. More complicated cases may take twice that long.
5. Why should I choose to hire your law firm?
We strive to be the best we can be for our clients; have experience, credentials, and recognition from our peers; and pride ourselves on results. Most importantly, however, we place a premium on integrity, which is what sets us apart. For us, integrity means being trustworthy and accountable; doing the right thing no matter what the cost (even when no one is looking); and following the Golden Rule—treating others as we would want or expect to be treated.
6. Do you charge for an initial consultation and, if so, how much?
We a charge a flat of $250.00 for all initial consultations that last up to 30 minutes and $500.00 for all initial consultations that last between 30 and 60 minutes. If you retain us to represent you, then the consultation fee paid is credited against your required initial retainer.
7. Why do you not provide free consultations?
The trend of providing “free” initial consultations was started by attorneys who do not charge for their services until the end of a case—i.e., attorneys who take all of their cases on a contingency fee basis (most typically, personal injury attorneys). The service offering is not well-suited for complex civil litigation matters, such as business litigation matters, which require the evaluation of complicated fact patterns in a period of time that exceeds 10 minutes.
8. What type of fee arrangements does your firm offer?
The Firm bills its clients on either an hourly, contingency, or flat fee basis, depending on the particular type of case that the Firm is handling. Most often, the Firm charges its clients on an hourly fee basis. A contingency fee basis provides that the Firm’s fee will be a percentage of the recovery obtained, if any. This method of billing is usually best suited for matters in which the amount in dispute is large, but where the client, for financial or other reasons, is unable to compensate the Firm on an hourly fee basis. A flat fee may be charged when the fees are more predictable, such as when the Firm reviews a business contract or is handling a single hearing for a client.
9. What is your hourly rate?
Justin Carlin’s current, standard, hourly rate is $525.00 per hour. Associate attorney rates are between $250.00 and $350.00 per hour. Paralegal rates are $125.00 to $175.00 per hour.
10. Can I recover attorney’s fees from the other side?
Under the so-called “American rule,” each party bears its own attorneys’ fees, regardless of who wins the case. But there are numerous exceptions to the rule that may allow a party to recover attorneys’ fees from the opposing party. The most common exception is when a contract provides for an award of attorney’s fees to the prevailing party in litigation over the contract or between the parties. Further, there are numerous state and federal statutes that provide for an award of attorneys’ fees to either a prevailing plaintiff or prevailing party in litigation over certain matters. At the outset of any case that we handle, we determine whether there may be a basis to make a claim for attorneys’ fees and, if so, assert the claim. In virtually any case that we handle for clients, we seek to maximize their financial position within the context of the case.
11. How do I retain your law firm to handle my legal matter?
The process for retaining our Firm is easy: simply call our office and express your interest in retaining our Firm. We will then schedule either an in-person meeting or a telephone conference with you to discuss the possibility of the Firm representing you in your matter.
To schedule a consultation, call (954) 440-0901 or complete the contact information form appearing immediately below. However, please note that an attorney-client relationship is not formed until you have signed a written agreement for the Firm’s representation of you and complied with all of the initial terms and conditions of the agreement.