What to expect when you contact our office.
Making the decision to contact a lawyer is not easy. Most people rarely interact with lawyers, and the vast majority have only worked with a lawyer for, maybe, a will or real estate closing. So, when you need to contact a lawyer about a serious personal injury accident, or about discrimination at work, it can be intimidating.
We try to remove intimidation from that process.
First things first, we cannot overstate the importance of selecting the right lawyer for your case. Lawyers are not all equal, and your selection of a lawyer will have a significant impact on how your case is handled, as well as your personal experience, moving forward.
Once you have done your research, and have decided to contact our office, how does the process work?
The initial contact
You'll initially contact us either through online submission on our website, or by calling our office. If you contact us through the website you'll receive a quick message back acknowledging your contact. Shortly thereafter, you'll receive an email with a questionnaire that will ask you some specific questions about your potential case.
If you call the office you will likely speak with our paralegal Cheryl, who will take some initial contact information from you and then send you the questionnaire.
Why the questionnaire?
Because your answers will help us determine how to move forward. They will help us make sure that the case is one that is right for our practice (and that our firm is a good fit for you as a client), and that we do not have any conflicts of interest which would prevent us from further considering the case.
Learn about how we select cases here.
We believe in using technology to make our customer experience as smooth as possible. To that end, the questionnaire may be filled out electronically, on a desktop, laptop, tablet or smart phone. Alternatively, we can send you a hard copy to complete.
Once you have submitted the questionnaire we will review it internally to determine if we have any conflicts, whether the case meets our criteria, and whether we can help. We (Giovanna D'Orazio and Scott Peterson) personally review every submission, unlike many firms where potential client intakes are reviewed by non-lawyer staff or junior attorneys. This means that if we ultimately accept your case, you will know that we've been involved from the beginning.
The consultation process
After we have reviewed the questionnaire we will determine whether we think we can help. If we cannot, we will either call you or send you an email letting your know our assessment and giving you some suggestions/recommendations. While we cannot accept the majority of cases that come our way, we try whenever possible to point potential clients in the right direction.
If we believe your personal injury or employment discrimination case is a case for which we may be able to help we will contact you to schedule a consultation. We handle consultations via phone and in person depending upon the circumstances, and generally schedule consultations through our online scheduling system or through our office.
During the consultation, we will seek to obtain some more information about your situation to determine if we can accept your case. We might ask you questions about the facts of your potential case, the wrongdoers, your damages and any witnesses. Consultations typically last between ten and thirty minutes.
At the conclusion of the consultation we will either make a determination that we can or cannot accept your case, or we will tell you that we need further information. This may include medical records, investigation reports, or simply require further legal consideration from our end. In this case we will give you an estimate of the timing of our further consideration. Once again, if we cannot accept your case we will give you some helpful recommendations/information.
If we accept your case we will send you an electronic retainer, and once signed you will become a client of our firm.
If you have questions please feel free to contact us today.