FEQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- CAN I AFFORD LAW PARTNER ON CALL’S SERVICES?
Of course! It should cost you as the attorney nothing! In most cases, attorneys should be billing our services to your client. If you employ a paralegal, associate, or researcher directly in your office, you would normally bill your client for your paralegal’s or associate’s work on the case, at a lower per-hour rate. Most law firms do. Our services are similar. Consider us your out-sourced paralegals, associates, and/or legal researchers. So you should bill our services to your client as an associate, researcher, or paralegal. Some law firms will even mark-up the cost of our services and charge a profit or premium, on the theory that you must supervise the final result. Others may bill separately for the time finalizing legal work. Of course, there will be some situations where you might want general advice for your law practice overall.
- HOW DO I GET STARTED?
Although we will respond quickly if you have an urgent project, we do recommend that we have a free orientation consultation to discuss how our services can help you. You can fill out an on-line request for a consultation and we will get a chance to evaluate your circumstances and how we can do the most for you. Use the “registration” function on this website to tell us a little about your practice and request a free orientation call. Lex Consulting’s leaders have experience in not only helping lawyers with their immediate cases, but also with helping solo lawyers and small law firms grow and expand and develop new or broader areas of practice, attract clients, and the like. So the more we understand your goals the better we can assist you. We recommend that you sign our umbrella contract right away. There is no obligation for you to request or order any particular work or services, or pay any fees. But you will be ready if you need to order work on a project in a hurry, at any time. Our umbrella contract includes our obligations of confidentiality, etc.
- HOW DO I ORDER WORK ON A PARTICULAR PROJECT OR CASE ?
When you decide you want to put “your people” on a project or a case, this particular proejct will be ordered under our umbrella contract. We prefer to have you send in a request by writing, such as by Fax, to document that you did in fact ask us to do this work. You should tell us a deadline (earlier than your actual deadline) to get the work to you. Obviously you will tell us any particular instructions that you desire and provide us with relevant supporting documentation. (Of course it will be most helpful for you to have access to a scanner to email documents to us quickly.) We will agree upon an estimate of the amount of billable time that is expected for the project, and we will require payment of the estimated fees for this billable time in advance. Once we assign an expert, associate, or researcher to your project we will confirm that they can meet your deadline and you will be able to talk to them directly, if you desire. While you can expect that they will already be highly competent in the task involved, the more information you can provide the better in terms of your own individual strategy, preferences, or approach for the specific project. However, there may be times when you have an urgent request from the road. You may need to walk out of one courthouse, call in a task for sending an urgent letter, arranging a court reporter, firing off a quick pleading, doing some urgent legal research, etc., while you are on your way to another courthouse for another case. There are times when you will walk out of a court hearing and realize that you might be able to turn a case around or protect your client’s position if you could very rapidly file a motion to reconsider or a supplementary brief very fast, sometimes before the court closes that afternoon. Or some large, over-sized law firm may have tried to throw you a curveball to beat up the little guy, and you want a quick consultation. When signing our umbrella contract, you can elect whether you want to have the accounting certainty of always having a written request to document our work for you or whether you want the flexibility to call in requests on the fly. Naturally we can change this option over time.
- WHAT ARE YOUR HOURS ?
Law Partner on Call is primarily located on the East Coast in the Eastern time zone. Our business hours are normally 9:00 AM to 6:30 PM EST, Monday through Friday, and 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM Saturdays. However, we understand that the nature of our business and your needs may sometimes require urgent, last-miunte projects at irregular hours. We cannot guarantee that we will always be available to answer the phone or that we can always find personnel to work at any specific time. But give us a call and ask. If we can pull it off, we may be able to work on your project on a crash basis late at night, on Saturdays, or even Sundays. Don’t hesitate to call, email, and/or fax to see if we can be reached. We have arranged our technology to be able to monitor contacts from wherever we may be at the time, assuming someone is still awake. We might have scheduling conflicts. But we will try to work with you.
- HOW DO I MAKE PAYMENTS TO LAW PARTNER ON CALL?
You can (1) pay by credit card by going to PayPal and enter as the recipient (“to”) information email address firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can send us your check well enough in advance to allow the check to clear before we complete work for you.
- IS MY INFORMATION CONFIDENTIAL ?
Of course. One of the first steps for a working relationship is to sign a confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement. We will not disclose any of your information or your client’s information for any reason, and will safeguard it. All our associates and experts must sign a similar agreement before working for Lex Consulting.
- WHAT IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH MY CLIENT?
Law Partner on Call (Lex Consulting) only works directly with you and your law firm. Our contract with you and our contracts with our associates, experts, and staff do not permit us to contact or work with your clients. If you ask us to interview a witness or your client in order to draft a pleading or the like, Lex Consulting will provide the results only directly to you, and will not provide any advice or analysis to your client. We agree not to contact your client at any other time.
- WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONTENT OF LEGAL WORK ?
As the attorney serving your client, you will have the ethical duty to provide your independent judgment on all legal work for your client. We can do 90% to 95% of the work and save you tons of time. But your professional judgment is important before you submit any final legal work for your client. Ultimately, the end result must be yours. Obviously, you will want time to review the “head start” that we provide you and finalize all legal work according to your own professional judgment. We can save you a tremendous amount of time and do most of the work, but you will also want to put your final review and imprint on the product before using it for your client.
- CAN YOU MEET MY “HARD” DEADLINES ?
Naturally, we can never know for sure if you will want to make changes to our work before you finalize it for your client, if you will want work re-done, or if you will suddenly have new ideas after reviewing our work. Because you must give your own opinion, we cannot predict whether our final result will also be your final decision. We will not be able to predict how much time you will want for your final review. Therefore you should always tell us a deadline at least 3-4 days before your actual “hard” deadline. We can help you get 2 or 3 times as much work done. But you should always allow time to finalize our work before it is actually due. You must allow enough time between the deadline you give to us and the “real” or “hard” deadline for your final review, editing, and finalization of the product.
- WHAT IF I ORDER WORK, BUT CHANGE MY MIND?
If you find that your schedule clears up and you have time to do a project for yourself…. and we have not yet started doing the work… then you can cancel the project. You can do the project yourself. If we have already started the work, you will be responsible for the time actually spent on the project (and we will give you the work that we have done so far to give you a headstart), plus a 15% fee. You can then finish the project yourself, if you choose, building on what was already done.
- WHAT IF I AM NOT SATISFIED WITH YOUR WORK?
If Lex Consulting provides a reasonable product which is simply different from your style or preferences, or you think of new ideas or new approaches, our additional work will be billed at the regular rate. (Obviously, if you give us instructions on style or preferences, we will follow your instructions.) But be assured that it is our goal to keep your business and win your glowing referrals to get the business of your friends and acquaintances. So we will bend over backwards to make you happy. The nature of legal writing and work is that a great deal of time, preparation, research, organization, editing, thought, planning, and writing can go into a pleading or legal document. Even if you wish to alter the final product, it is exceedingly unlikely that you would not be building on a lot of valuable work already “baked in” to our draft from Lex Consulting which you are modifying or building off of. However, if you have any dispute, Lex Consulting management will fully explore how to reasonably satisfy you.
- WHAT IF I NEED A LAWYER TO APPEAR IN COURT FOR ME OR CONDUCT A DEPOSITION ?
Law Partner on Call does not practice law or appear in court. However, one of our services is to provide an administrative locator service. We may be able to find for you an attorney who can fill in for you when you have scheduling conflicts or expanded opportunities or short-term extra work. Law Partner on Call will charge a fee for arranging this assisttance, but will not share in an attorney’s legal fees from clients. To make it clear that Law Partner on Call does not appear in court as a law firm, you must communicate directly with such a temporary or contract attorney about his or her license status and must pay them directly for their time as a contract employee of your law firm.
- SHOULD I — USE MY LAW LICENSE FOR THESE SERVICES?
You, the Attorney (the client of Law Partner on Call) must be licensed to practice law in any and all jurisdictions and/or Courts involved in the case. Law Partner on Call only provides support services directly to licensed attorneys. This gives you confidence that we are here to support you, and we will never compete with you. We are not going to work directly with your clients or any other clients. It also simplifies our operations so we can focus on serving you. While in many if not most situations, Law Partner on Call’s experts, associates, or researchers working on your case or project will in fact be licensed attorneys, and may even be licensed in your particular State, you the Attorney must rely 100% on your own license to practice law, business license in your State, etc.
- CAN LAW PARTNER ON CALL OFFER OTHER SERVICES ?
Quite likely. We have listed the most common services most lawyers need. However, if you have other needs, give us a call. We might be able to help.
- CAN LAW PARTNER ON CALL SCREEN AND RECRUIT PERSONNEL FOR MY LAW FIRM ?
Absolutely. We will enter into a separate contract for personnel recruitment, with payment contingent upon success and your satisfaction.