Frequently Asked Questions

Can you help with my case?

We hope so! We became attorneys to help people, and we want to get you back on track.

The “Services” section of our website outlines the kind of cases we normally handle, including family issues, criminal charges, writing a will and related estate-planning documents, and probating the estate of a deceased love one.

 

What will happen when we meet?

To get started on your case, the first step is to schedule an appointment with us. After you schedule the appointment, we will sent you a short questionnaire to fill out before you arrive.

When you arrive for your appointment, we will discuss your case. If you decide to hire us, we will ask you to sign a retainer agreement, which is a contract for legal services. We will also typically ask you to pay a retainer fee, which is described more below.

 

Do you charge a fee for consultations?

Yes, we charge a small fee for consultations. By “consultation,” we mean our first meeting with you, when you decide whether to hire us.

 

What will it cost to hire DLM?

We normally charge clients on an hourly basis. That means the cost of hiring us depends entirely on the length and complexity of your case. We will normally get started by asking you to pay a “retainer fee.”

 

What is a retainer fee?

A retainer is an advanced deposit on future legal fees. We will often ask for an amount close to what we expect the full cost of your case will be. But the money still belongs to you until we earn it. How does that work? Say, for example, you give us a retainer fee for 10 hours of legal work. The retainer fee will be depleted as we work for you, so if we do 6 hours of work, your retainer will be depleted by 6 billable hours. If we finish your case without using your full retainer, we will return the remainder to you.

At the beginning of a case, it can be difficult to guess how many hours it will take to resolve it, because many people (the opposing parties, the judge, etc.) will be making decisions that affects how long it takes. But we will always give your the best estimate we can based on our legal experience.

 

Are there other costs?

There often are. Many cases require separate payments to third parties, in addition to what you pay us for our time. For instance:

  • When you file a civil case there are filing fees paid to the court and fees to hire a process server to serve other parties with a copy of the lawsuit.
  • A case in probate court typically requires the added expense of “notice by publication,” where a short statement of the case is published in a local newspaper.
  • Resolving a criminal case often involves paying a fine and court costs.

These are just examples. We will need to know more about the details of your particular case to better estimate what the overhead costs might be.

 

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept cash, personal checks, and most major credit cards.

 

Do you accept ARAG or Texas Legal legal insurance?

Yes. ARAG and Texas Legal are popular legal insurance plans. Legal insurance is a lot like health insurance: if you are a member, then they will reimburse us for doing many kinds of legal work for you.

 

 

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