Today, there are so many options for people to get legal information for free: websites, services, online archives, and message boards for every imaginable legal issue. Avvo, Reddit, Nolo, Google, Amazon, etc. By the time you realize you have a serious tax, family, or estate matter, you likely know you need to engage an attorney.
There are attorneys that offer “free initial consultations” for their services; however, please know that these free consultations are often 1) not performed by an attorney, and 2) do not provide any legal advice or guidance for your case. They are commonly an intake procedure, and a means to gather information about you to use in future marketing.
Additionally, many free consultations are spent with either a firm representative praising the firm and their pedigree, or the potential client convincing themselves and the attorney that there is a case to be made. Little time is spent on legal advice, and most of the time is spent sizing up the value of the case. This may be appropriate in contingency cases, like personal injury, but in our areas of practice, it does not make sense. Our clients need an attorney and appreciate the importance of good counsel.
At Mendes Weed, we help you with complex legal matters involving family law, probate litigation, trust litigation, estate planning, and tax litigation. Our credentials and experience go to work for you beginning with the initial consultation. When you meet with Mendes Weed for an initial meeting regarding your case, we will provide you legal advice and guidance specific to your case. We will review your matter in detail, review documents, do our best to answer your questions, and provide legal advice. We do not offer “free” consultations or legal services.
At the conclusion of our initial meeting, you will have a better legal understanding of your situation, legal explanations of the matter and your rights, and our opinions on your case. At this time we can decide to establish a continued relationship with a retainer to cover future hours of legal work by our firm. The cost of your initial visit can be applied towards your retainer of $5,000 or more.
In the legal areas we practice, we bill hourly, drawn from your retainer. Retainers, when paid, are deposited into a California State Bar governed trust account, often referred to as an IOLTA (Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Account.) The California State Bar collects the interest on these accounts for pro bono programs, etc. Our time and efforts are tracked and reported to clients monthly. Our rates will be discussed up front and are memorialized in your written contract for services with the Firm. Our rates are in line with other Bay Area firms the size and experience of Mendes Weed.
Meeting a potential client carries the same responsibilities as meeting a retained client. It takes our time, opportunity costs, has legal and ethical obligations, and can impact our meeting with other parties related to your case. It is a professional consultation, and a “free consultation” is analogous to if you met with a doctor but did not want to pay for medical advice.
The staff at Mendes Weed is professional, respectful, and value your time as well as their own. We will work diligently on your case and fight for your rights for the best possible outcome.
Call our office and book a time to meet with an attorney at one of our conveniently located offices. We look forward to working together to help you resolve your legal issues.
The Partners of Mendes Weed LLP, are your dedicated advocates in family, tax, and estate legal matters. We help our clients keep their families, businesses, investments, and their futures, safe and protected. Their full bios are here.
Lisa Mendes is a licensed attorney, with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA). She is an active member of the Contra Costa County Bar Association (CCCBA), specifically in the Family Law, Women’s, Tax and Estate Planning Sections.
Attorney Christina Weed is a Certified Specialist in Taxation Law by the State Bar of California. She also has an LL.M. in Taxation and a Bachelor’s Degree in Accountancy. She serves as Chair of the Tax Section of the Contra Costa County Bar Association.
Mendes Weed, LLP offices are located in Walnut Creek and our skilled attorneys provide family, tax, business and trust law assistance for clients. For your convenience, we also have attorneys' offices in San Francisco and Sacramento by appointment only.
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Walnut Creek Main Office
1990 N. California Boulevard
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
San Francisco Office
201 Spear Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
By appointment only.
770 L Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
By appointment only.