What do you discuss in your 15-minute free phone consultation?
You don't get legal advice. It says that on the booking page. This can be upsetting to a prospective client. You are calling because you need help and want answers quickly. First, the law isn't a quick process. Second, the law and liability go hand in hand. It would be foolish to give advice without knowing all the pertinent facts of your case. This is impossible to figure out in a short consult. In the consult you'll go through a general checklist designed to figure out quickly what type of legal action you have; what are your big legal issues; whether the attorney(s) in the office have the skill set to help you; and if the office is a good match, you'll know options for services and costs.
Do you recommend I just book an office consult before ever speaking to the office?
No. Your time is precious and your hard earned money valuable. It is recommended you do the free phone consult first so you can figure out (1) Is the offie the right office to help you? (2) Do you think the attorney is the right attorney for you? (3) Is the pricing right for you? The areas of the law practiced in the office are emotion-packed. It's important you trust, respect, and like your attorney. The office believes a client should figure that out before paying several hundred, possibly thousands of, dollars.
What's Attorney Zieman's style and approach to the law?
My character is honest, organized, efficient, and budget conscious. Once hired I discuss my client's goals and desired outcomes, set an action plan, and move forward with the legal process. I believe in the approach of "Begin with the end in mind." In family law, especially when children are involved, I believe parties need to be guided to process their emotions and get to, "What makes sense here?" I do not wish to take clients who have the attitude of "I'd rather you have [blank] then her/him?" My response has typically been, "You're paying me to do good work and help you move on. Do you really want to pay me $20,000 to make the other side miserable or $5,000 and you take the other $15,000 and go on a trip through Europe? It's up to you."
What are your methods of payment?
The law office accepts cash or credit cards. No checks. Payment can be made on-line through a secure payment portal.
Do you provide services for a flat fee?
No. While the procedures for a case follow a general flow, the total sum of actions steps for any one case are specific and unique. The office strives to provide quality service at reasonable rates. Charing a flat fee entices cutting corners to ensure a profit and is not best to ensure quality legal work. You'll be charged a fair price for great quality work.
Do you require an upfront deposit?
Yes. How much requested upfront depends on the type of service requested and whether the client qualifies as a modest means client.
How do you do your billing?
Deposits for services are placed in trust. A billing statement goes out usually bi-weekly through e-mail. A client has three days to dispute the bill before the bill is paid from money in the trust. If the trust account runs low, the client is asked to replenish the account. Because the billing is bi-weekly it is easy for a client to see when they might need to replenish the deposit or ask how much more work needs to be done on the case.