Consultation Fees

by Josh on April 21, 2014

For most new matters from most new clients, we charge a small fee, usually $100, for our initial consultation.

Why? After all, 10 seconds on the internet will find you plenty of attorneys’ websites which advertise “free consultations.”

There are a number of reasons, but conflicts is one of the primary reasons. Generally, if Megan or I meet with a potential client who does not eventually hire us, the rules that govern attorneys in Texas prevent us from then being hired by the opposing party. For example, a husband in a potential divorce may consult with Megan concerning custody of his children. That husband may decide not to retain us to handle his divorce. So, if a few weeks later, his wife calls to schedule an initial consultation with either Megan or myself, we could not meet with him because the rules that govern attorneys in Texas generally prevent us from representing the wife after we have already met with the husband. This rule is based on the idea that in Megan’s meeting with the husband who did not hire us, Megan could have learned some confidential information from the husband that would be advantageous to the wife’s case.

When I practiced in Houston, conflicts such as these arose much less often as there are simply many, many more attorneys in Houston for potential clients to pick from. However, the potential for conflicts is very real in Washington and surrounding counties where there are a limited number of attorneys. In fact, on several occasions, we know of people who have consulted with every attorney in town simply to create a conflict so that the attorneys could not represent the opposing party. In the end, if we consult with you and you do not retain us, we are generally forced to forego representing anyone in that case.

Aside from conflicts, we hope that you are receiving some sort of value, even if you do not retain us. I’ll discuss what happens in a consultation in a later post, but as you can guess, the primary purpose of a consultation is to discuss your legal problem. Very often, we may spend much of the time in a consultation explaining why you do not have a suit to file. Or at least, why you should not file a suit. I often tell clients my job isn’t to “sell them a lawsuit.” Often times, the court room is unavoidable, but just as often, there is a better way to resolve a dispute. Our goal of the consultation is for you understand ALL of your options, even the ones that don’t involve going to the court house. I believe understanding these options hold some value for the potential client.

That’s all for now. Look for another post on consultations when I remember all the good stuff I forgot to put in this post.



by admin on May 3, 2013

Welcome to the Clover & Marak blog.  We will update this blog periodically to bring you more information about our practice areas, the litigation process, and the latest legal news that may effect your matters.