Free, brief initial consultation by phone
When a new, prospective client finds, or is referred to, the Kalyan Pokala, Attorney at Law, they will hear back from me directly; to determine if a more detailed consultation is required or if the matter might be able to be resolved by a simple answer or if the answer is outside the scope of my expertise, I will provide a referral. Answers will not be given and referrals will not be made without the disclosure to me of the full names of all parties to the legal dispute and the full address and telephone number of the caller/correspondent.
For these free, brief, initial consultations over the phone, no attorney-client relationship is intended to be established by a quick chat over the phone. Legal opinions provided “off the cuff,” without all the background information and without fact-based research should not, and cannot be relied upon for serious legal matters. If this is a serious legal matter, I strongly advise you to seek a complete, detailed consultation with me or the attorney(s) to whom I refer you rather than relying on the general concepts presented and discussed during a brief, initial phone consultation.
With those conditions and disclaimers in place, I offer up to 10 minutes of telephone or e-mail consultation without charge, for new clients. If I believe that more time is required, I will ask you to make arrangements for an in depth, in person consultation at my office, for my initial consultation rate.
Initial Consultation Rate
My initial consultation rate is $300 for a one-hour consultation, with no additional charge if the consultation is completed in ninety (90) minutes or less. If you decide to engage me as your attorney, if the work is substantial in nature I may credit the consultation rate toward the total cost of your legal services.
There is no fee for an initial consultation if the prospective client is consulting with me with regards to a potential personal injury claim.
Initial office consultation
Upon reaching the conclusion that a new, prospective client needs more than a brief phone consultation, an initial office consultation should be scheduled in order to determine if the client wishes to retain me and if my firm is the appropriate legal resource for the particular matter. The initial office consultation includes the following: getting to know each other, case background, fee and retainer negotiations and, often, advice and discussion of what your next steps should be.
The initial consultation fee is to be paid at the time of our first meeting. I take payments via cash, check, or for an additional fee, credit cards through LawPay. In some limited circumstances, depending on the situation and distance, the consultation may be conducted over the telephone or by email. The same hourly rate applies and payment must be made in advance for the estimated one-hour consultation.
In most cases it will be worthwhile to have me review documents and become familiar with the issues before the initial consultation. If requested, be sure to send the relevant documents to my office in advance of your consultation. If you have scheduled your consultation on the same day as making it, just send the documents to me as soon as possible. If you have scheduled a consultation on a future date, please try and provide me with the relevant documents at least 24 hours in advance. To ensure that your consultation is helpful, you also might find it helpful both in preparation for your initial consultation and in preparation of your case to keep a journal, write a chronology or prepare a summary of the events and contacts with the relevant people involved in your case. If you have done so or can do so in advance of the initial consultation, send those documents as well. Note that time spent reviewing documents in preparation for the initial consultation will be billed at the initial consultation rate and will be expected to be paid for at the time of the initial office consultation or in advance of the telephone or email consultation. A minimum of one-half hour will be billed for advance document review. An average of one and one-half hours should be expected for more than a few pages of advance document review.
Extended Case Evaluation
The initial consultation may result in the signing of a representation agreement, but it is more often followed by a period of investigation and case evaluation. This may be necessary in order for me to determine if, or under what conditions, I wish to accept the request for my representation or other legal services. Neither I nor my prospective client is under any obligation to enter into a representation agreement at the initial office consultation.
Concluding the initial consultation with a request for representation will obligate the prospective client to compensate my office, at the agreed upon rate, for the time spent on investigation and case evaluation. Advance payment of the expected amount may be requested and will need to be paid before the investigation and case evaluation will proceed.
I look forward to meeting with you and serving your legal needs.
Attorney at Law