What Can I Expect In An Initial Consultation With Your Firm?
The initial consultation is free and I typically give a half hour and if it runs over that a little bit, then I don’t charge anything extra for that but it’s basically to talk to either the association which would be members of the board of directors or talk to a unit owner and to try and figure out what their needs are and what kind of issue they have in particular that they have come to see me about. Typically, I can tell pretty quickly, just from the facts that are given whether or not the particular party that’s talking to me has a decent argument or a decent shot given the facts that they’ve given me. Obviously I don’t have all of the information at that time but certainly if they come and tell me look, I brought a copy of the page of the declaration that applies and I wanted to do something completely contrary to it. What can you do for me?
In some of those instances, I’ll certainly say unless we find an amendment or unless we find something in the statute that would contradict and supersede that part of the declaration, then you are going to have an uphill battle and you probably don’t want to waste your money on fighting this unless you want to do it just on a matter of principle and we still, as lawyers have an ethical obligation not to bring cases with no merit. Assuming though, there are some questions I have and some answers that I need to have in front of me before I can give somebody decent legal advice, then I will tell them that the next step would be to look at the governing documents or to look at the statute, it may involve the letter to the other side. These are the options. This is where this case may end up but we may be able to resolve it easier.
So it’s generally just to get a feel of kind of where the case is and whether or not, initially the case has merit and if it does then we talk about retaining me and going forward on getting us what they call discovery which is information that would help me to understand what the problem is and what the argument’s pro and con are for both parties. With the board of directors, typically those conversations are a little different insofar that the board is usually looking for an attorney to handle a number of cases that may come up in the future that are not there yet. Just for example, they may want to have an attorney that attends board meetings and can answer the questions there. They may want an attorney that can draft all the governing documents or redraft those or restate those or make amendments to those documents.
So there is document preparation, there is collection work for people that are delinquent within the association so when you deal with representing the associations, it’s a little bit different because they want a broader base of what they are looking for but again, the initial consultations for board of director members that are looking for counsel and then we go over what kind of work we are doing for them which essentially would be any type of work that relates to HOAs or condominiums. They try and answer questions that they would have for potential issues and tell them how I would handle it and how I would interact with them.
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