We only do criminal law, but we do practice in several jurisdictions and numerous courts in northern Georgia. Therefore, there is a common occurrence called “conflicts”. Lawyer’s calendars are set by COURTS NOT BY THE LAWYERS. As such, there are courts going on all the time in Cobb County and other places at every hour of every day. The law REQUIRES us to appear for cases in certain order depending on the type and age of the case and at what stage the case is in at that time. When this occurs, we try our best to let you know well in advance. Most times this is possible. Sometimes however when we are called into trial, we only have 2 hours to pull it together. There may be times when you don’t know we are in trial but the courts and prosecutors will know and the court will typically give you instructions.
When John goes to court with you, you have his undivided attention. He does not typically field phone calls during court. Almost all courts do not allow the attorneys to use their cell phones regardless of the reason. In these circumstances the quickest way to reach John personally is to email him. John will do his best to email you back during break times or lunch, but most likely you will hear back from him after court is concluded for the day. He extends this focus to all clients as he believes that you deserve his best work and concentration when he is in court with you.
We view the confidential nature of your representation as our highest duty and protect it vigorously. As such, we do not talk with family members, friends, bosses, etc on the telephone about your case. First, anything we tell them could be used against YOU and is NOT privileged, and second, we have no idea who we are talking to on a phone or who is listening. This is also why we typically do not accept jail calls. We see you in person instead. Regardless of what is supposed to happen, we are sure someone is listening in on the call at the jail, or other persons in jail are eavesdropping. We have some experience with jail calls being used against clients in court, so we rarely engage in such calls.
Also, regardless of who pays us, our loyalty is to the client. Another person paying us HAS NO RIGHT to any information about your case. Your communications to us are privileged and we WORK ONLY FOR YOU. Sometimes other people will want us to take a course for you they feel is in your best interest, however as we work for YOU, we will follow your desires on the overall goals of your case.
We understand that you work hard for your money. We do as well and we expect timely payment for our services. EVERY client signs an agreement with our firm so there is a clear understanding what is expected from you and us. Our fees are tailored to your individual facts and circumstances and is based upon an expected amount of time necessary to complete your case. We typically structure fees on stages of work and not on a per hour basis. These are called flat fees. For example, if you are charged with burglary, and we are hired while you are still in jail, your fees will in 3 parts. The pre-indictment fee, the pretrial fee and the trial fee. Each fee is due when the event occurs. This means your pre indictment fee is due before we start anything. You pretrial fee is due when you are indicted or accused, and your trial fee is due 10 days before your expected trial date. If the case resolves before the next fee, then you don’t pay that fee. In other words you don’t pay for what you don’t use. So if your burglary case resolves before the trial, then you do not owe the trial fee and assuming your fees are up to date, you owe nothing more.
WE DO NOT TAKE PAYMENTS ON TRIAL FEES AND THERE ARE NO PAYMENT PLANS AFTER TRIAL, under ANY circumstances. Also we occasionally allow people to make payments within their stages of their case. But, if you miss a payment FOR ANY REASON, we have the right, subject to Court approval, to withdraw from your case. This rarely occurs as we try to be reasonably flexible to allow you to afford a good defense, but we are also up front about having very little tolerance for non payment. However, we do accept all major credit cards, cash and checks as methods to help you meet your financial obligations.
We follow all rules of professional conduct. We cannot and will not violate these rules for any reason. Our reputation has been years in the making and we are respected for our integrity and honor. This not only goes for our appearances in court, but our dealing with our clients, opposing lawyers, police and the general public. We don’t want anyone thinking badly of you because of us, after all , we know that it is your confidence in us and our reputation that brought you to us to begin with.
Finally, We only have two rules for clients at the firm (other than payments of course): First, there’s no such thing as a dumb question, and second, don’t get worried until John is worried. We believe in straight talk. We hope you will interview us for your defense, we would be honored to represent you.