By Larry Chamberlin, 26 May 2020
Litigation can be expensive. Protecting your family is vital, but you should do so in as economical a manner as appropriate. Of course, as in any other area of your life, you get what you pay for, but that does not mean you should ignore the cost. There are three ways Chamberlin Law & Mediation strives to reduce your fees.
The telephone is probably the worst way to communicate with your attorney. You are charged a minimum of 15 minutes for each call or text. This means that if all you do is call for the status of an activity you are charged the full 15 minutes for a two minute call. Worse, as soon as you hang up you remember that you were supposed to ask about something else. Finally, a week later you do not remember for sure what was actually said in a particular conversation.
Instead, Chamberlin Law & Mediation encourages and highly recommends email. You are only charged a tenth of a minute for emails, depending on the complexity of the email and the response so that your communication is more cost effective. Additionally, as you were typing out your email you tend to remember all the items you wanted to discuss so that your communication tends to accomplish more. Importantly, the email and its response is still there a week later so that you do not have to guess at what was said. Finally, the email holds the attorney accountable for his commitments and actions.
I have an excellent staff, which I trained in legal practice and specifically in the methods used at Chamberlin Law & Mediation. Through early and continuous use of the Chamberlin Law & Mediation Manual, I am able to delegate various tasks to them so that instead of paying at my rate you are paying less than $200 an hour for their work. Understand: I delegate authority to perform these actions, which include drafting documents, but I do not delegate and cannot delegate responsibility. I review the activities and documents of the staff and take full responsibility for what leaves this office.
Third, Rabbit Trails.
Imagine that you are deer hunting by stalking through a forest. You see a trail off to the side. You get excited and follow the trail to the end – only to find rabbits playing at their warren instead of a ten-point buck. I may sometimes have a hunch regarding your case and do legal research only to find it has no bearing at all for your situation. I consider that exercise a rabbit trail and will not bill you for it. On the other hand, if that hunch plays out to your advantage, I will bill you for the research since it is equivalent to that 10 point buck.
Hopefully you can appreciate our efforts to make your litigation cost-effective, but you must understand it is as much in your own ability to control by following the advice given and being concise yet complete in dealing with us about your case.