What is a “consultation”?
At the Gene C. Colman Family Law Centre a “Consultation” is a very in depth process where we come to understand the challenges that you currently face and where we propose strategies and solutions:
- Prior to the consultation, I (Gene C. Colman) read the relevant documents.
- We meet for an extended period – normally about two hours but sometimes less (and sometimes more).
- I ask you questions about your problems.
- We get to know each other, and I come to understand your situation.
- My law clerk or one of the associate lawyers takes detailed notes of our discussion.
- I then come up with the appropriate strategy to match your case.
- Shortly after the conclusion to our meeting, we send to you a detailed memorandum summarizing the meeting. The memorandum will include what we discussed at the consultation and this includes:
- the facts of your case;
- my proposed strategy;
- my advice; and,
- a list of tasks that should be accomplished.
Is it worth the expense?
Yes. A considerable amount of time and effort goes into the consultation process. The block fee for the consultation (which is usually less than the number of hours x our normal hourly rates) includes the following:
- We handle all preliminary inquiries from you in a professional and timely manner. Either via an exchange of emails and/or over the phone, our team explains the process to you and spends time with you to find the appropriate schedule to set up the appointment.
- A staff person takes detailed notes of our discussion, and then uses them to compile a memorandum of the consultation for you.
- I review the memorandum before it goes out to you to ensure it is correct and to add any additional ideas I may have following the consultation.
What if I do not want to hire the Colman firm after the consultation?
You come out of the process with a detailed memorandum that includes the strategy and advice. This is a valuable tool to help in managing your case for the future whether you become our client or not.
- You become better educated about your rights, your responsibilities and the possible next steps in your case.
- There is absolutely no obligation to hire us as your lawyers on a go forward basis.
- If you want to hire the Colman firm, you can discuss that at the conclusion of the consultation or anytime thereafter.
- Regardless, everything is held in the strictest confidence. Your consultation is protected by solicitor-client privilege regardless of whether or not we form an ongoing relationship after the consultation.
Why should I have a consultation when many lawyers will give me one half hour for free?
An in depth consultation with an experienced family law lawyer will help you assess your legal situation. What is the best approach to achieve your goals? What sort of creative strategy might you use? You need to make an informed decision. The consultation will help you do just that.
Nobody (not even the best lawyers!) can gain a proper appreciation of a case in just one half hour, and many lawyers who offer a “free half hour consultation” will not give you specific advice, but rather only general legal information, which may well prove unhelpful to you. The old adage applies: You get what you pay for.
When and where are you available to conduct a consultation?:
I am available for consultations Monday to Friday during normal business hours. I may be able schedule meetings at other times if I become your lawyer. Since March 2020, our firm has operated entirely on a virtual basis. The consultation will be via Zoom.
Who can attend the consultation?
You are very welcome to bring with you a trusted friend or family member. (But be aware that such a person is not covered by the solicitor-client privilege rule and therefore, that person could theoretically be compelled to give evidence by the opposing lawyer as to what transpired during the consultation.)
How can I contact your office to get the process started?
You can contact me online, call to 1-888-389-3099, or get started online and find out where you stand using our sophisticated online system.
How do I get more information?
You may call our Reception at Ext. 100 to obtain more information with respect to the consultation process or contact us via our online form.