What Do We Expect From Our Clients?
We expect our clients to agree with us on two issues. They must wear the white hat in any conflict that we become involved in, and they must be clear about what our firm is capable of providing.
What Do You Mean "White Hat"?
This picture is of the two hats that Bruce keeps in his office. They are a small reminder of how we try to represent our clients. In the old western movies, the bad guy always wore the black hat, and the good guy always wore the white hat. While the legal field is never so simple, these concepts can be applied to the methods one uses in pursuit of their goals.
In general, most people seeking an attorney are simply trying to protect themselves. However, some attorneys have gotten a bad name by allowing themselves to be swayed by clients seeking to use the law solely to hurt others.
If there is a legal goal to be achieved, you can expect our most aggressive representation, but we decline representation in cases where the goal is spiteful rather than legal. Motivations such as this, are rare, thankfully, but avoiding them is one of the ways in which we attempt to uphold the purpose of the legal profession, and maintain credibility for our clients.
We always urge our clients to try to wear the white hat, and this is how we strive to represent you.
What Size Firm Do You Need?
There are two kinds of firms: Small and Large. Our firm is small, which benefits most of our clients, but it's important to know the strengths and weaknesses of each.
These have large offices, large staffs and large fees in order to pay for everything. The large staff allows them to be particularly good at getting work done quickly. If you have to go through 800,000 documents in a short time, a large firm is where you will need to go because they have the staff to handle such a demand. They also employ specialists so if your needs are highly technical, they may be the place for you.
Large firms also carry a certain intimidation factor. If your opponent is likely to be scared by a large organization, the higher fees are often justified, if they can close the case quickly.
Our experience with large firms comes from Bruce running the litigation department at a prominent firm in Napa. Ultimately, he decided that the overhead and bureaucracy were too much, which led him to open this practice.
From the Court's perspective, whether lawsuit is filed by a large firm or a small firm, they are each treated the same. A small firm's main advantage comes from having less overhead and consequently, lower fees charged to the clients. We also personally oversee all of our cases from beginning to end. Large firms sometimes re-assign attorneys, which can cause problems when presenting a consistent message.
However, small firm's main disadvantage comes particularly in single attorney firms. If your firm has only one attorney and he or she gets sick, then there is no one to assist you in keeping the process moving forward. To remedy this concern, our firm is a father and son team who strive to be up to speed on each other's cases. The tasks of our cases are broken down and targeted to ensure we provide expert advice and ensure that our services are cost effective for you. We have been in court against large firms many times and never felt that our size was a disadvantage to our clients; however, if scale or intimidation are an important factor in your case, then our practice may not be right for your situation.
For information on our billing rates, please click the button below.
Billing on a contingency basis means that the client does not pay for representation and the attorney takes a percentage of any settlement that is negotiated. We take a very limited amount of cases on a contingency basis.