Controlling Your Costs

TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR COSTS

Thank you for allowing me to represent you. We strive to provide quality legal work, offer clients the most up-to-date, sound legal advice, and provide a pleasant atmosphere. Often going through this difficult period in your life can be emotionally and financially draining. Therefore, here are a few suggestions that will help you control some of the fees and costs associated with your action:

Make Your Own Copies
We need two sets of all discovery documents (i.e., typically financial records). One set is for our office and one set is provided to the opposing party pursuant to the requirements of law. When you make your own copies at an office supply store, such as Staples or Office Depot, there can be a significant savings. Additionally, the time we would spend making copies could be better spent focusing on more important aspects of your case.

Organize Your Copies
We will give you instructions for documents that are mandatory for you to provide. These should help you organize your documents. By following the instructions and attaching the requested document(s) to the corresponding instructions, you will be much more familiar with your documents, which will help in preparing for the different phases of your case. Again, it will be more cost effective if the documents are organized upon delivery, so that the cost of arranging the documents will not be necessary.

Provide Complete Copies
We are required to provide complete documentation. A great deal of time can be spent in looking through incomplete documents and having to follow-up to complete those items. For example, complete bank statements are often required. If the statement has three pages, all three must be provided. If complete documents are not provided, there can be repetitive requests and additional billing to complete these documents. Additionally, it is beneficial to provide all documents/statements for each month of each year requested. Again, if not provided, it can result in additional billing to respond properly to the request.

Neatness Counts
As you have already become aware, there are many documents to be prepared and forms to be completed in your case. Although no one has perfect penmanship, writing that is difficult to read will take more time to decipher. Certain forms, if completed in a neat manner, will not need to be retyped, and that would be a cost savings to you.

Handling Procedural Questions
My Legal Assistant is available for procedural questions, to provide you with case status information, scheduling information, and to assist you in completing paperwork. She is highly experienced in Family Law cases. However, she cannot provide you legal advice or answer your legal questions. If your questions are of a legal nature, these will be referred to the Attorney.

Handling Legal Questions
The Attorney wants to be available to answer any legal questions you may have. To receive answers in the most economical manner, it may be best to group any non-emergency questions and schedule a telephone conference. Often the Attorney may not be able to immediately return a phone call due to being in a trial, mediation, deposition, or with another scheduled client. A scheduled telephone appointment would avoid the frustration of "phone tag." It would also allow the Attorney to give your questions her undivided attention.

Schedule All Office Visits
We ask that all clients call ahead prior to picking up or dropping off documents, or coming by with questions. This will assure that the Legal Assistant working with you on your case will be available. When clients drop by unannounced, it diverts the Legal Assistant's attention and stops her work flow. Keep in mind .she may be working on your case. Unexpected interruptions can prevent the work product from going out in a timely manner.

Continue to Provide Current Address and Telephone Information
We want to keep you informed about your case at all times. If mail is returned due to an incorrect address, time is lost. Often many requests for information are time-sensitive and it is important for you to receive as much notice as possible. If you are still in the same location with your spouse, or if your current circumstances require you to move repeatedly, we would strongly suggest that you obtain a post office box, so that you can stay informed. Please notify our office of any changes of your current telephone numbers. If you change jobs, it is important that you give us a current work number. If we cannot reach you at a home or work telephone, all questions have to be handled by mail.