So. You’ve got a problem and you think you need a lawyer.
Maybe you do, maybe you don’t.
It might be that you can solve it yourself with a little legal knowledge and coaching. Or maybe a few stern letters will put things in order.
A lot of times, it’s about blowing off some steam and stopping to think things through because if there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s this: it’s often as expensive to be right as it is to be wrong.
Here’s what I believe.
The law belongs to the people. Courts and systems and justice should be accessible to all. People should be able to go into court and represent themselves in about 80% of the situations they’re going to encounter.
BUT — sometimes you need a lawyer. You especially need one BEFORE you’re in trouble.
Talk to a lawyer before you screw up.
Lawyers are professionally-trained paranoids. We’ve been exposed to a wide range of things that go wrong and we can often see a real danger in a contract, relationship, or situation long before it occurs to you that you’re about to get screwed over.
Getting legal advice is truly one of those situations where you can be penny wise and pound foolish. Get things done correctly the first time and you’ll save a ton of money and wear and tear.
Before you need someone to fight for you.
Above all, before everything else, a lawyer is a fighter. In criminal defense law, we stand beside people who have probably done something wrong and protect them against the full onslaught of everything that the State can bring to bear on them. The vast resources of the government, the interlocking system of prosecutors, jailers, and law enforcement, all of it arrayed against one individual, with only the lawyer there to yell FOUL PLAY. And in that situation, your every day Constitutional rights are litigated, interpreted, and decided.
Your freedoms depend on how well I defend someone who’s done some pretty bad things.
Before you make major business decisions.
On the civil side of the law, we’re the ones who’re looking at what you’re about to do with deep skepticism. You lay out your hopes, your dreams, your ambitions, and we show you where and how things can go wrong. And, more importantly, what you can do ahead of time to protect yourself. How to avoid the most common traps and dangers in business, in personal relationships — and in death.
You emerge stronger, more likely to get where you want to go, because you’ve planned and protected yourself against life in general.
That’s what lawyers do. That’s what I do.
I don’t take cases. I accept clients.
If you’re looking for a stereotypical lawyer, with button-downed shirts and spiffy little suits, you’re in the wrong place. If you’d like me to throw some legal jargon on you, you’re out of luck. Same with expensive carpet, high-rise office, and a staff of thousands. Or if you want to tell me what your cousin’s wife’s brother, who’s been a cop for two years, thinks you ought to do, well…I suggest you retain him. I’m not that kind of lawyer.
My role in life is to use my training and skill to fight problems and work for justice. I am a retired Naval officer (SWO), hold a black belt in Isshinryu karate, and am a licensed attorney in California and Tennessee. Among other things.
My clients have my cell phone number. Most of them know where I live. We work together.
I’ve seen lawyers charge clients $100 to get a federal EIN, an Employer Identification Number, for a new business. Sorry, not me. Not unless you really want me to. You can do it yourself. For free.
If there’s an issue clients can handle themselves, I coach them through it. I see no point in charging a client to do something the client can do for free. That frees me up to handle the problems that do need a lawyer.
Conversely, if it’s truly a legal issue, one that requires special training, I expect my clients to listen to me. Final decisions are ALWAYS up to the client, but I’m not going to argue with you about what your ex-wife’s third cousin who is in pre-law thinks.
If you want to discuss a situation that needs some justice slammed on it, and you’re willing to play by my rules, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can talk and see if we want to work together.