Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is an initial consultation and what do I bring to it?
At the initial consultation, Ms. Baldwin will review any documents, explain the process for what to expect regarding your matter and answer any questions that you may have. It is recommended that your initial consultation be in person. If you are unable to meet in person, your initial consultation may be held over the phone. If you choose to hold your consultation over the phone, you will need to deliver any documents or information to Ms. Baldwin prior to the consultation. You may drop off or electronically deliver, your documents before your initial consultation.
2. Why do you charge for an initial consultation?
When you have an initial consultation with Ms. Baldwin, you will be receiving legal advice. If you meet with Ms. Baldwin for an initial consultation, even if you do not hire her, she is forever precluded from representing someone with interests opposite to yours in that matter. In the event you do hire Ms. Baldwin, the charge for the initial consultation will be credited to your account.
3. What is the initial consultation fee?
Baldwin Law Office charges a nominal fee of $75.00 for up to one hour of initial consultation. Payment of this fee is required at the time of the initial consultation.
4. What is a retainer agreement? What is a retainer?
The terms of the relationship between attorney and client are formalized in the retainer agreement. It contains the terms the client and the attorney have reached regarding, among other things, which legal services Ms. Baldwin will be providing to the client, what fees will be charged, how expenses are incurred and what to do in the event of a dispute of the fees. A retainer is a sum of money held in a client account from which fees and expenses are drawn, as work progresses, according to the terms of the retainer agreement. If a retainer is required in your matter, it must be paid before any work will be started on your case. An initial retainer is placed in an escrow (trust) account called an IOLA account (New York State Interest on Lawyer Account Fund). The amount of the retainer will be determined at your initial consultation. Any retainer money remaining in your client account, upon completion of your matter, will be returned to you. You will not receive any interest on the amount of the unused retainer because the mandatory IOLA program requires that the interest on IOLA accounts be pooled by banks to provide the money for grants made by the Board of Trustees of the IOLA Fund to non-profit civil legal services providers across the state.
5. Can you quote how much a case will cost?
Absent extenuating circumstances affecting the course of completion of a matter, often attorneys can give clients a good range of what a matter might cost because they are experienced in that particular matter. However, giving an exact quote for a fee or cost of a legal matter is not good practice.
Unless a particular matter is a fixed rate fee, Ms. Baldwin charges an hourly rate. She also keeps clients informed about any expenses before they are incurred. Ms. Baldwin endeavors to work diligently and efficiently to keep work progressing for the best and most efficient use of billing time so her clients are best served both with regard to their legal matter and their financial investment in hiring her. Baldwin Law Office bills monthly so clients are aware and can keep track of the legal fees and expenses incurred on an ongoing basis.
6. Do you accept credit cards?
Yes. Our firm accepts Visa, Mastercard and Discover.