OPENNESS AND HONESTY
 


   One of the most important duties of your lawyer is a frank and honest discussion of the facts and issues involving your case. This duty of openness and honesty to you involves the following items:

     1. Your attorney will advise you about the positive and negative aspects of your case. You need frank and honest information on the difficulties that may be present in your case as well as the advantages that you have. No purpose is served in your lawyer telling you only the "bright side" of things. This will only lead to unmet expectations and dissatisfaction by the client if the outcome is not exactly as he or she wishes. It is our obligation to be candid and honest with you in evaluating all sides of your case.

     Although we can provide the client with some comfort through an understanding of the laws pertaining to divorce, support and custody, it is important to remember that the lawyer is a legal counselor. If a client feels the need for nonlegal guidance, counseling, therapy or just a shoulder to lean on, he or she should seek that type of help separately. There are many psychologists, psychiatrists and other professionals in this field.

     2. Money and time are important facts for a client to consider. Lawsuits can be complex, time-consuming and quite often very frustrating for all parties, the lawyers or the judge. We believe in discussing with our clients at the initial interview such matters as the hourly rate of firm charges, the amount of the initial fee that you pay to our firm for services to be rendered, the approximate time we expect your case will take, and the possibility of requesting an award of attorney's fees as reimbursement to you. It is our belief that our client will be better informed and more satisfied with our services if we discuss these early and openly.

      You will find in this web site further information about office procedures, specific fees for services, and costs for typical cases. You should realize, of course, that no case is exactly like another. Cases which appear to be simple often turn out to be very complex. No good lawyer in most cases will tell you that your case is "easy" or "no problem." Many cases which will appear to be routine at first glance can later be found to involve problems in areas such as jurisdiction, default, Fifth Amendment privilege, merger and tax liability, as examples.

     Absent a specific agreement otherwise, our clients are entirely responsible for the fee for professional services charged by our firm. After the deposit of funds to the firm's trust account, it is customary to bill the client at regular intervals to inform him or her of work done in the case and to request, if necessary, additional funds to continue work on the case.

     We maintain records of the time we have spent on your case. Our files, including these records, are open to you at any time with reasonable advance notice. A good lawyer should have nothing to hide from a client, and we want our clients to know the time and nature of the work we are doing for them.
 



YOUR CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION
 


   Whatever you wish to reveal with your lawyer is forbidden to be repeated or discussed by your lawyer without your permission. What you say in our office to us remains here unless you allow us to discuss these matters with someone. No judge or court can order a lawyer to disclose the confidential matters you bring to your attorney's office (outside of unusual cases such as the intention to commit a crime in the future or to commit perjury on the witness stand).

   The purpose for this rule is to ensure that you will be frank and candid in your discussion of facts with us. We need to get the full facts directly from you. A lawyer should not have to wonder if his client is telling the whole truth.

   Even if you believe that there is some fact which may be harmful to you, it is better to discuss this openly with the attorney in the first place. It is far better that the attorney be confronted with this fact at an early stage, rather than learn about it for the first time in the courtroom when the other attorney and that lawyer's client have known about it all along. Surprises of this kind can only harm your case.

   With advance knowledge of problems or difficulties, the lawyer can often suggest courses of action which can avoid exploitation of the problem by the other side. You can trust us to keep your confidential information to ourselves and not reveal it, without your permission, to people outside our firm.
 

           
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