Your First Appointment – Ten Questions about Consultations

When it comes to legal matters, no attorney or mediator can guarantee specific outcomes.  We can make a simple promise about our initial consultations however.  At the end of the meeting, if you do not think the information we provided was informative and helpful, then your consultation is free.

Below are some frequently asked questions about initial consultations – and answers – because a list of questions alone isn’t much help.

We have several consultation options available, because one – size does not fit all at Next Phase Legal.  Please CLICK HERE to see our consultation options and conveniently schedule your meeting.

1. Do you offer free consultations?

We offer a number of reasonably priced consultation options, but none are free.  We have found that some people scheduling free consultations do not value our time and fail to cancel their appointments if unable to attend.  While some attorneys and mediators charge their full hourly rate for consultations, we have adopted a reasonable flat fee pricing structure for consultations.  Please review your options HERE.  We do request payment at the time of your booking, and you may reschedule your appointment with us if necessary.  Things happen, we get it.

2. Should I bring anything to the consultation?

Pizza is always a safe bet, but seriously, it is not necessary to bring documents to the first meeting in many instances. You probably have lots of questions, so we suggest you jot those down and bring them with you. If you have received legal documents, such as a summons, complaint or a letter from an attorney, please bring those items with you.

3. My spouse and I are interested in divorce mediation.  Do we come in together?

Yes, it is best to schedule a joint meeting if considering divorce mediation, but some people prefer to come in by themselves initially.  Do what makes you most comfortable.

4. Who will I meet with?

You’ll meet with Attorney / Mediator Steve McDonough or Attorney Julianna Zitz.  For mediation cases, you will meet with Steve.

5. Can I arrange for a telephone or video-conference consultation (such as Skype), or an evening or weekend appointment?

Certainly, just call to discuss your requirements.   We have had good success with online meetings, and even conduct entire mediations through our secure online platforms! After hours and weekend time may be limited, but we’ll do our best to accommodate your scheduling requests.

6. What happens at the consultation?

We want to hear from you about your concerns and your goals. We want you to ask your questions. We understand most people are nervous, but you’ll likely feel at ease after a few minutes. Everything is confidential, and it is a time for us to explore if working together seems like a good fit.  Normally, people find it helpful to consider their process options and get information about legal and/or mediation fees.  Getting an overview of what lies ahead usually makes people feel somewhat less stressed about things.

7. I’m ready to get started, what should I do?

Please take advantage of our online scheduling tool that also provides details about our meeting options. If you are afraid of online scheduling tools, or prefer to talk to a real person, then please call us.  Before we can meet, we’re required to make sure we don’t have a conflict that would prohibit us from working with you. Thus, we’ll need your full name, address, and a contact number or email when you make your appointment, along with the name of the other involved person(s) in your case. Don’t worry, we respect your privacy so let us know your preferred contact method.

8. I’m nervous. Can I bring a friend or relative to the meeting?

We suggest that you come alone to the consultation unless it is a joint mediation consultation. Everything discussed at a consultation is privileged and confidential. If there is a third person present (unless affiliated with our firm) the privilege is lost. It is up to you however, and if you want to bring a wing-person, no worries. Please do not bring children to your consultation however. We love kids, but it is best that you arrange childcare for your meeting.

9. I have a couple of other questions about consultations, can I call and speak with someone?

Certainly!  We’d enjoy speaking with you.  Please call us at (508) 359-4043, or complete our contact form.

10. Wouldn’t this list of questions be better if you had 10 questions instead of nine?

Yes, you are correct, it would be much better indeed.

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