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How NOT to Hire a Lawyer

Through some search engine magic my genius website creator wove into my website, I often come up in the top few fits in a search for a business or trademark lawyer in Denver. This has resulted in some interesting calls. I am honored to sometimes be the only lawyer with whom a person has ever interacted! If a caller wants to make an appointment for a brief "meet and greet," I am happy for a few minutes to see if I can help with their particular situation, and if I can’t, I do my best to steer them in the right direction. Just a few tips for people calling me or another attorney for the very first time:

– Please introduce yourself. . . no one likes to feel like they are talking to a complete stranger.

– A brief summary of your situation is ok, but please don’t go into detail. First, we should make sure that your problem is one I have the skill or expertise to help solve, and that the representation will not present any conflicts of interest with existing clients. An attorney-client relationship simply can not be established in a 10 minute phone call.

– Don’t expect comprehensive or specific advice if you are calling out of the blue. Real problems take time to solve, and if it is a unique legal situation, research and thought may be required before presenting an answer. I recently got an email from someone I don’t know stating that he “just opened a new business. What should I do to protect my intellectual property?!!” Obviously not something I can answer without knowing what kind of business is involved, if there are trademarks, copyrights, patents, or trade secrets involved, or if an attorney-client relationship between us is even appropriate as the next step. Just like a couple is not engaged until there’s a ring and a date, you’re not my client until there’s an engagement letter and advance payment!

Photo by Ali Aliakbari on Unsplash

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