What Do You Get with a “Free Initial Consultation”?
Most personal injury and many criminal defense attorneys offer clients a “free initial consultation.” Unfortunately, that’s a pretty vague term and could cover a lot of different scenarios. Is there a time limit to the consultation? Will the lawyer answer specific legal questions? Can you get advice such that you can handle the matter on your own?
Ask When You Call
Because the definition of “free initial consultation” will vary from attorney to attorney, the best way to know what you’ll get is to ask the attorney or receptionist when you schedule the appointment. Here are some of the key questions:
- Is there a time limit?—Attorneys generally get paid for their time. Accordingly, most offer a free initial consultation that lasts 30 minutes or an hour.
- Will the lawyer give you an assessment of the potential strength of your case?—Often, attorneys cannot accurately assess the potential outcome of a case without having an opportunity to review the evidence. Typically, during a free initial consultation, the attorney will ask for an overview of what happened or what the issues are, and will want to know about potential sources of evidence. Most likely, the attorney will then tell you that, if the evidence supports it, you may have a claim for some type of recovery. However, the attorney will also require that you enter into a contingency fee agreement or make other financial arrangements before any further action will be taken.
- Typically, before the initial consultation is over, the attorney will summarize the potential issues and advise you as to what needs to happen next, as well as how much it will cost.
- Even if you don’t hire the attorney, all communications remain privileged and cannot be disclosed to others without your permission
Contact the Law Offices of John E. Kusturiss, Jr.
At the Law Offices of John E. Kusturiss, Jr, we have more than 30 years of practice experience. Contact us online or call us at 610-565-0240 to schedule a private meeting. There is no charge for your first consultation. We will meet with you evenings or weekends upon request. We take Visa, MasterCard and Discover, as well as debit cards.