I maintain an active trial and appellate practice. As a result, I am not in the office a great deal of the time. On any given day, I can be at the courthouse, in the jail, at a client's office, on the scene investigating, in an expert's office..... the list goes on.
Due to my required absence from the office, I typically have my receptionist gather every scrap of information from you prior to my being involved. This helps you because, when we finally meet (which I always require), I have seen and gone over the facts and documents that exist. Typically, I do not charge for my review of these documents and facts. This means, when we meet, you do not have to get me up to speed on the situation and we can discuss my opinion of your situation and your desires in resolving it. After this review has taken place, I will have my receptionist contact you to arrange an office conference. When you arrive, there will be an initial set of case intake forms for you to complete. If, after we meet, you decide that you want to hire me, I don't represent anyone without a signed fee agreement. I'll have to prepare that agreement and, once you sign it and deliver the payments required, representation will start.
In typical civil cases, you will need to provide my office with copies of every document involved. It is my experience that most, if not all, civil cases revolve around documents that typically ultimately control the outcome. Those documents will need to be reviewed by me so that I have a clear understanding of the issues that may exist/arise and the potential outcome. You will need to provide those documents. You will also need to provide all information to my receptionist regarding the situation. Who was involved, where did the issue occur, why are the parties at odds..... If I do not receive these documents and information, it is virtually impossible for me to form any opinion as to what your options might be. If you are considering hiring me for such a case, please contact my office and provide the appropriate documentation and information.
In most criminal cases, you will need to provide the details of your arrest (where, what agency arrested you, were any search or arrest warrants served, what property or items did they take), where you were jailed, do you have prior arrests and/or convictions, are there any co-defendants, what witnesses exist.... While each prosecution is different, many of them are controlled by much of this information. Again, if you are considering hiring me, please do not delay in contacting my office to provide this information.
Please note that DWI charges are different. There are time requirements involved that are very short. These involve license suspensions but those suspension activities can be used to benefit you in the DWI process. It is highly unlikely that your license will not be suspended but, in the end, that process can be used to confine the prosecution of the DWI. I charge more for DWI representation than most. I do so because, to represent you properly, they require quite a bit more work. If you have been arrested recently, do not hesitate to contact me or any other attorney as the time period is short in preserving your rights.
Appeals are driven by all of the events and filings in the trial court. Typically, a review of those events and filings are needed. The time period for filing an appeal is typically too short for the records to be prepared for you to deliver them to me. An initial review that roughly provides information is needed and it is very helpful if the trial attorney can be met with to go over the points of error that were preserved. Appeals are concerned with "error" in the trial court and the quickest way to lose in the appellate court is to fail to "preserve" that error. There are RARE occassions when an error is so bad that the preservation issue is not a concern. Those are extremely rare. If you need to discuss an appeal, please do not delay contacting my office. You will need to provide the trial court cause number, the trial attorney's contact information, any documents you may have and what you believe is the error that will need to be presented to the appellate court.
Typically the process above helps me understand as much as possible prior to our meeting. As a result, I typically do not charge a consultation fee.
Civil cases are typically charged an hourly rate with an up front retainer which is replenished by the client. My hourly rate for general civil litigation and appeals is $300.00 per hour. An average retainer deposit is $5,000.00. The type of case typically sets the fee structure in civil matters. Criminal cases differ as hourly billing is not involved. I suppose that an hourly arrangement could be made in a criminal matter but typically that leaves the amount to be paid by you as an unknown. The industry typically supports and requires a single amount for pretrial resolution and a separate trial fee. As a result, I do not charge hourly for criminal matters. If you want to hire me for a criminal case, after my review of the information, I will decide the fee amounts for pretrial and trial resolution. The same is true for criminal appeals. The clients typically want a set amount to be paid and I try to accommodate you in that regard. In both criminal and civil cases, any costs (service fees, investigators, deposition costs, transcripts, records fees, etc.) involved will be your obligation.
|Chris Raesz, P.C.
306 North Carroll Blvd.
Denton, Texas 76201
E-mail: office at chrisraeszpc.com
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