"Just write a letter," she told me. "Tell him what to do so he'll do it," she explained. "How much could a letter cost?"
Family Law attorneys charge for their services under three, very different billing models: Unbundled, Flat Fee and Full Service. Each offers advantages. Each offers disadvantages. So, which one is better for you?
I'm a big fan of American Pickers, the tv show where Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz scour the country side for fantastic, eccentric and sometimes forgotten antiques hoarded by some of America's most interesting characters.
While driving home this evening, I was listening to NPR interview a woman in Panama City talking about the horrific devastation which all but wiped out that town. The reporter asked her, now that she, her husband and her three year old daughter have lived through that Cat 4 hurricane and lost everything, is she considering moving?
As I have written, we always want to represent the good guys. Our strategy always starts with a good guy approach. Representing the good guys is consistent with our MO. It is who we are known to be. We are honest and problem solving, not deceptive and problem creating. Judges know this. Opposing Counsels know this.
I'm a huge fan of football. College and pros. One of my favorite players to watch was Peyton Manning. I was never a particular fan of any of his teams, in fact, I was pretty neutral about all of them. But I really enjoyed watching him in action. His offensive coordinators must have had the easiest jobs in the world. In the summer they give Peyton the offensive playbook and by the first game, he had it memorized and was calling plays from the line. Not in the huddle, not getting them from the sideline (though both of those happened from time to time), but the vast majority of the time, Peyton was deciding the plays at the line of scrimmage based on his wealth of knowledge and understanding about famil...er...football. Even in the instances where a play was decided on the sidelines, by the time the ball had been snapped, "Omaha" had been yelled and a new play was chosen based on what the defense was showing when it lined up.
I recently watched an interesting spy movie called "Bridge of Spies." Tom Hanks plays an attorney who represents an old man accused of being a Soviet spy during the Cold War era. The most memorable of the scenes depicts the attorney meeting the accused spy for the first time. They discuss the attorney's legal services. As he advises his new client of his duties to him, their conversation gets a bit interesting.
Picture this: we're in Court, waiting for our case to be called. We have an entourage with us, our client's family. They each have their opinions, strongly held. Our client has his opinion as well, quietly held.
Practicing in Savannah and Southeast Georgia, the pool of family law attorneys is rather small. I don't know the last time I had a case where opposing counsel in a divorce, modification or contempt was "new" to me. In most cases we go back quite a way in our professional relationship. I try and keep those relationships professional and congenial. Life's too short, and we are going to wind up against each other again and again.
At the beginning of the month, I had the distinct honor of being named to the Rising Stars list for the 2018 Georgia Super Lawyers magazine in the practice of family law. Less than 2.5% of eligible attorneys in Georgia are selected for this honor. To qualify as a "Rising Star", an attorney must either be under the age of 40 or have practiced law for less than 10 years.