Frequently Asked Questions
General Office Questions
Q: What forms of payment do you accept?
A: We accept or can arrange to accept most forms of payment. Generally, most of our clients pay with checks, debit, or credit cards, but we do receive an occasional payment by cash, or by electronic online payments.
Q: What are your hours?
A: Our office is generally open from 9-5 M-F except for holidays. However, due to the needs of court appearances, mediations, meetings, negotiations, and other matters, our office is open by appointment only. We can then arrange for times outside of our normal hours, but also may sometimes need to be closed during our regular hours.
Q: Should I make an appointment?
A: If you are stopping by, please make an appointment or if you only need to drop something off, please at least call to make sure we will be available.
General Legal Questions
Q: When should I hire an attorney?
A: The earlier you bring an attorney in on your case, the more effective that attorney can be. If you are unsure you need an attorney, you can schedule a brief consultation to discuss the matter and be advised of your options. Most attorneys charge for this but often reduce the hourly fee. This allows the attorney to limit consultations to those who are serious about finding legal assistance but also allows the potential client to feel the attorney out for a small fee. This is much like a service call fee that an A/C or plumbing contractor might charge. At the Deal Law Firm, our standard consultation fee is $100 and will be applied to the initial retainer if you become a client.
Q: Should I discuss my case with my friends and family?
A: Confidentiality is critical when facing a legal matter. Unlike your attorney, friends, family members, and even most other professionals are not protected by attorney-client confidentiality rules. Anything you say can and often will be used against you. An attorney can advise you on what information you should and should not share to protect you. This is why hiring an attorney or even scheduling a consultation early is usually the best course of action.
Q: Why are attorneys so expensive?
A: Law is a complicated process, and requires years of study at an expensive law school as well as a four-year undergraduate degree. Attorneys have several expenses, such as rent, furniture, contractors, utilities, legal research software, marketing, bar dues, and other expenses. Law is an expensive field of practice.
Family Law Questions – Divorce
Q: If my spouse and I are in complete agreement, do we both need to hire an attorney?
A: It is possible to do an uncontested divorce where one side hires an attorney to draw up the papers when both sides agree to the terms of the divorce. This is often a good choice for couples who have low assets and no children but may also work for children in certain circumstances. For a childless couple looking for a divorce, we have a $2,000 flat rate that may fit their needs. See our post for more details.
Q: If I am thinking about a divorce, what should I do first?
A: Your first step should be to consult with an attorney to figure out your options. Divorce can be brutal and complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. You should seek guidance as soon as possible as it can save you a lot of trouble later. A consultation is cheap and can help you evaluate your potential attorney before hiring them to handle one of the most important matters of your life.
Criminal Law Questions
Q: I am innocent, should I talk to the police to get out of trouble?
A: If you are under investigation as a possible suspect, never talk to the police without consulting an attorney. Police do not generally talk to suspects to give them a chance to explain their innocence, they talk to suspects to gather evidence. You may be innocent of the crime they are investigating, but if you say anything contradictory, act nervous, or even just catch the officer on a bad day, you make simply make your situation worse. Perfectly innocent people have gone to prison for perjury or obstruction of justice simply for talking to investigators about a crime they didn’t commit and giving inconsistent answers. Hiring an attorney puts a level of protection between you and law enforcement as your attorney speaks on your behalf, preventing unintentional misstatements or ambiguous answers from having unintended consequences.
Q: I am guilty of what they say, should I just talk to the police and get it over with?
A: Regardless of your guilt, do not speak with the police without contacting an attorney. Even if you are guilty, guilt has a degree of severity. It is the prosecutor’s duty to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you committed the crime as defined by law. The same act can often be interpreted to be multiple crimes, depending on the interpretation of the law and ultimately of what a jury is willing to believe. An attorney can negotiate a guilty plea or even perhaps find the facts to support acquittal regardless if you acted as you are accused.