Tonight’s post on family law sale’s pitches was written by our Marietta attorney, Darrin Keaton.
We often hear advertisements about items that promise more than they could possibly deliver and seem to good to be true. Does that device really cook a roast in a minute? Will that slicer/dicer really cut through a piece of wood like it was butter?
Advertisements about attorneys can be very much the same. Some attorneys are out there trying to win your business by promising something they cannot possibly deliver… and many times clients can’t possibly afford. In family law, there is no magic formula and there are no tricks that win you custody or makes your spouse suddenly disappear. Before you retain an attorney to help you through a usually very stressful period in your life, you should know if they are looking out for you or looking out for a fight.
I cannot count how many times in my 16 year career that I have observed a complete disconnect between what a client needed and what some attorney wanted to do. At the Manely Firm, we strive to listen and discern what our clients need rather than gear up for a fight just to generate more income. Do you really need to depose the mail carrier; is it necessary to subpoena the third cousin who hasn’t been close in years? Sometimes a simple phone call to the other side to offer a fair settlement can cut the litigation time in half or less.
There certainly are times when the sleeves need to be rolled up and you need to get ready for the fight. That only happens when the other side leaves you no choice. But most times, an honest exchange of reasonable terms is what is needed. Having an attorney attentive to these principles can make a huge difference when your financial resources are already strained from the process.
To save costs and to know your attorney knows the playing field (the court house), your attorney should be very close to the court house. This puts him inside the court house community and saves you a fortune in travel fees. So if you are in Cobb, you neednan attorney on the Square in Marietta. If you are in Gwinnett, don’t settle for just anyone in Gwinnett, get as close as you can to the Justice Center in Lawrenceville. If you are in Fulton, Atlanta is a big, big place. Find an attorney who is next to the court house, where the action is. And if you are in Chattham, find your attorney in Savannah’s historic district, within walking distance of the court house. And always remember that your attorney should only practice family law. If they have to do other work to pay the bills, they can’t be very good at family law.
Ask the attorney specific questions about costs and budget. Talk to the attorney about strategy and what they think should happen each step of the way. If you buy into the hype of a clever sales pitch, you may be severely disappointed. You might get your money back on the slicer/dicer, but attorneys don’t come with money back guarantees. And remember, if something sounds too good to be true….it probably is.