The first question to ask any attorney is their degree of experience. Have they had a lot of experience in handling family law cases? Family law cases are complex. They have a lot of moving parts, so you want to find out how much experience that individual has in handling family law cases. I have been handling family law cases exclusively since 2010. I have a lot of experience in this area. I’ve been a practicing attorney since 1988, and during my career I have handled family law cases along with a lot of other different types of cases. That diversity gives me knowledge regarding factors and issues that may come up in your
The second thing to ask is what do you charge? What are your hourly rates? What are your policies regarding billing and payment? Our hourly rates are determined by … My hourly rate is $285 an hour. Ms. Cochrane, my paralegal, is $155 an hour. Support staff is $50 an hour. Our retainers range between $3-$5,000, depending on the complexity of your case. That’s the factor that people are most interested in, is how much is it going to cost me?
The third factor to ask is that attorney’s approach to handling divorce cases. Our approach here at Lewis & Matthews is to first try and settle your case on an amicable basis, and try and keep the conflict down. We’ve determined that, and studies have supported the observation that people do better when they’re able to reach their own agreements as opposed to having an agreement forced down their throat by a court. We try to mediate resolutions of your case.
However, the fourth factor to think about is is your case is a very high conflict situation where mediation is not going to work, how comfortable is that attorney in going to court and representing you in court? I’m very comfortable in going to court. I’ve gone to court many times over the last month and many times over the last year. It’s something that we do on a regular basis, so I have no problem doing that.
Then the fifth factor to ask yourself and ask an attorney is what is the follow through in terms of support staff? My support staff is very experienced and can step in and assist you when I happen to be out of the office or assisting another client.