Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have experience doing exactly what I need?

I might. Why don’t you drop me a line and tell me exactly what you need? If you don’t know exactly what you need, don’t worry, I can help you figure it out. That’s why I’m here. If I don’t have experience doing exactly what you need, I’ll tell you that up front. You can then decide to hire me, or not. I won’t take any matter that I can’t handle and I have a network of trusted attorneys that I can refer you to for things that I don’t do.

What kind of work are you really good at?

I’m really good at helping you protect your businesses intellectual property assets. I’m really good at helping you through the process of getting your business off the ground. I’m really good at helping you come up with solutions to your legal problems. But I’m a mediocre bass player and I’m a horrible painter.

What do your clients think of you?

They think pretty highly of me, I think. Here’s an objective stat: in the six years I’ve been offering my “Name Your Price Guarantee” no one has ever taken me up on it. I hope that is a reflection that my clients think I treat them well and that my services are worth my rates.

Will you return my calls?

Yes, I will. I’ll return your e-mails even faster, but I will always return your phone calls, even if just to say “There’s no new news in your matter.” And I don’t bill for those status calls, either.

Are you a jerk?

Sometimes. Don’t ask my wife. But I mean well.

What do you mean “Flat Fees”?

It means when I tell you it will cost you $500 to do what you need, it will cost you $500 to do what you need done. Not 3-4 hours at $200 per hour, plus phone calls and photocopy fees. You won’t have to haggle over my bill and you know what to expect to pay going in. My quotes are accurate, and if I under quote something, I eat the cost (which is why my quotes are accurate).

That said, there are some matters (such as commercial litigation) where it is difficult to provide a flat fee due to the changing nature of litigation. For those, I will always try to give you an accurate estimate to the best of my ability and I will make it very clear when a service cannot be performed for a flat-fee.

What do you mean, “No Free Consultation”?

Our first conversation is always free. That usually is best over the phone, but I do also do short meetings with potential clients free of charge. I am happy to spend a short amount of time with you to determine if your problem/need is something I can assist with. If you call me for a divorce, for example, I will let you know I don’t handle divorces and I can provide you with recommended attorneys who can help. There’s never fee for that.

But when most lawyers offer a “Free Consultation” what they are really offering you is a free sales pitch. If we sit down for an hour or two and go over your needs so we can determine the best legal course of action–that is the kind of expert advice I’m trained to provide. Often times, it turns out that there is a simple solution that doesn’t require an attorney, which means I didn’t just charge you for nothing–it means I just helped saved you a bundle in potential legal fees. If it turns out you do need a lawyer, and you decide to hire me, I will give you a credit for the initial consult fee on your invoice. So in the end, it would be a “free” consultation.

Okay, what is your initial fee?

I charge $125 for an initial consultation which buys you an hour of my time to sit down with you, go over all your needs and to let you know what I think is the best course of action. After the initial consultation I’ll provide you with a quote for the best course of action. You may hire me, and I’ll credit that $125 toward your matter, or you can walk away with the advice I’ve just given you.

I’ve been calling around, and another lawyer said they could do it cheaper.

Then hire them. I do not do things cheaper; I do things better. In the end, doing things better saves you money. There will always be someone who is willing to do something cheaper.

What’s this “Name Your Price Guarantee”?

It means this: If you are unhappy with my work for any reason, you tell me what you think it was really worth and you pay that. Period.

I do ask that you let me know what I could have done better because I always strive to offer the best customer service possible, but you don’t have to fill out a form, you don’t have to wait 60 days for a refund, you don’t have to do the dance of talking to a “partner” about your bill and having them “reduce” your hourly charges or any other tricks. You say, “David, I don’t think that was worth $1500. It was worth $800.00.” Then you write me a check for $800.00 and I write ‘Paid in Full’ on your invoice.

Are you on Facebook or Twitter?

I have personal accounts on both, but I stopped using them for professional services because, well, they aren’t very good tools for professionals.

When did you graduate law school?

I graduated from the Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2008, and was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 2008 as well.

What’s with lawyers and all their disclaimers?

It’s two-fold. First, we’re trained to be paranoid about every possible risk in every possible situation. I can’t go near a roller coaster without getting a headache thinking of everything that could go wrong. Second, hiring a lawyer creates a special relationship. We have duties to our clients that (most of us) take very seriously. Giving a client bad advice is malpractice. But when someone asks us for off-the-cuff advice or we talk about something general without knowing the specifics, it’s important that we let the person know we don’t have that special “attorney/client” relationship yet. It protects us from malpractice and it protects you from acting on advice that was “off-the-cuff”.