Q: I have never needed an attorney before. How do I go about engaging your firm for services?

A: Simply contact our offices and speak with or email the principal attorney. Be prepared to explain your situation and your potential needs.

We will ask helpful questions to decide whether your legal matter has merit, whether we are in a position to assist you or whether you require a specialized referral.

Q: What is the cost of your firm's services?

A: Fees depend upon many factors, including among others, the nature of the engagement and level of attorney experience required.

Typically, we charge a fixed fee in residential real estate purchases and sales. Representation in family law matters, such as divorce or other litigation matters, is based on time expended and hourly rates.

Representation in a personal injury matter is contingency fee- based. We are happy to fully disclose fees in advance of representation, at the time of your first communication with our principal attorney.

Q: What's involved in selling my home?

A: While we represent sellers in FSBOs (for sale by owner), typically sellers have engaged a Realtor and signed a sale contract by the time of engagement. We can provide Realtor referrals, if desired.

Once the contract is signed, that document provides the "road map" to closing. As may be required by contract, we will respond to attorney modifications and/or inspection repair requests and obtain title insurance, survey, mortgage payoff letters, association letters, municipal clearances, tax stamps and other documents that must be available to close the transaction.

We also prepare the deed and other seller documents required by the contract, municipality or title company involved.

Q: I am purchasing a home. Do I need legal representation?

A: Purchasing a home, whether new construction or a resale, poses many risks to the buyer with respect to contract provisions, inspection matters, tax prorations, special assessments and allocations thereof, title issues, survey matters such as encroachments, and mortgage clauses, just to name a few. An experienced real estate attorney can assist in avoiding serious pitfalls and significant costs.

Q: My spouse and I are planning to purchase substantially all the assets of a going business. What are the issues with which we should be concerned?

A: Beyond the primary concern of whether the business is viable, there are many additional issues to explore, including the manner in which the business should be acquired — corporation, limited liability company, sole proprietorship or something else such as the acquisition of the stock of the company. While your due diligence is essential in examining the business or assets during a contingency period, a strong contract that assists in protecting against fraud and misrepresentation is also essential. Legal representation assists in avoiding missteps that can be devastating when problems are discovered after closing.

Q: Why do I need a living trust and/or a will?

A: Should you pass without a valid will or properly funded trust, you create an opportunity for a probate of your estate and the state to decide how your assets should be distributed. This may be in a manner and to people you would not otherwise have personally named. Moreover, depending on the size of your estate, you may be subjecting the assets of your estate to taxes, which might otherwise be avoided. A thorough evaluation of your estate during your life and proper estate planning may provide substantially more to those people whom you regard as the objects of your affection.

Q: My spouse wants a divorce. What do I need to know?

A: To obtain a divorce, one must have legal grounds and address other issues as applicable, including child custody and visitation, child support, maintenance, property settlement and/or distribution, and allocation of debt. These general issues lead to multiple sub-issues to be considered. This multitude of issues then needs to be comprehensively addressed in an appropriate procedural manner in view of court process and rules. Even the simplest divorce must meet legal requisites.