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View Full Version : Would you pay a small monthly fee to have a lawyer on retainer?


oaklander
07-20-2008, 11:39 AM
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS NOT INTENDED TO BE LEGAL INSURANCE OR AN ATTORNEY REFERRAL SERVICE. THIS PROPOSED SERVICE IS NOT RELATED IN ANY WAY TO MY WORK WITH THE CALGUNS FOUNDATION.

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I'm beginning to realize that a lot of people need a lawyer now and then for fairly small stuff like reviewing documents, quick legal questions, etc..

These questions are often so simple that it almost doesn't make sense to go through the process of finding and retaining a lawyer.

Every once in a while, people also need lawyers for bigger stuff too, but don't want to pay a lot of money.

I am therefore thinking about offering some sort of service where interested Calgunners can put me on retainer for a small monthly fee.

For this fee, I would do the following:

1) Subject to some limitations, make myself available to answer your legal questions. If I don't know the answer, I will look it up. If your question involves more extensive research, I would charge you a discounted fee for the research.

2) Subject to some limitations, make myself available to write simple letters, and review documents.

3) Give you my personal cell phone number so that you can reach me any time.

4) If you had a larger legal problem, like an arrest, I would arrange bail - and either handle the case at a discounted rate, or put you in contact with another qualified attorney who could handle your case. I would negotiate with them to get the best rate for you.

The benefits of this arrangement are the following:

1) You have the confidence knowing that you are "covered" in case of legal problems. This doesn't mean that you can get reckless, but it does mean that you have someone to call in case the unthinkable happens and you get arrested.

2) You know that you have someone to talk to regarding your smaller legal issues.

3) You know that you are doing the above in a cost-effective manner.

4) You know that the person doing this is familiar with California and federal gun laws.

Please let me know what you all think of my idea. . .

Right now, I am still in the planning/thinking stages - so any input is appreciated!!!

:)

NRAhighpowershooter
07-20-2008, 11:47 AM
Me thinks it's a great idea!

jdberger
07-20-2008, 11:49 AM
I get your phone number?

I'm in!!

In other words, yes.

AngelDecoys
07-20-2008, 11:51 AM
While I like the concept (especially if it can be deducted automatically from an account), I would think it a good idea for you to have a 'cap' spelling out the amount of time/monthly fee. Over that amount of time (over simple questions), your rate kicks in.

Much like dental insurance (really pre-paid care) there's only so much care you can be covered for in a year. Over that, its out of pocket. This would allow clients to pre-plan the use of your time accordingly.

Just a thought.

1911_Mitch
07-20-2008, 11:51 AM
I think this is a good idea, but you may also want to consider a initial lump sum payment (or on a yearly basis).

CCWFacts
07-20-2008, 11:54 AM
I voted yes, but it would need to be spelled out clearly what I'm paying for. If this is for criminal defense matters, I wonder if it's even legal to have a retainer in advance?

CSACANNONEER
07-20-2008, 12:01 PM
Great idea.

I think that you would need to be very clear about what your rates are and what your discounted rates would be. I've found that especially with lawyers, rates can vary signifcantly and if someone is used to paying their 75 year old lawyer $100/hr (because he hasn't canged his rates in 30 years) they might be in for a sticker shock if your discounted rates are more than that. Of course, in my opinion,your discounted rates should probably be several times that rate.

So, besides firearm laws, what is your area(s) of expertise?

WokMaster1
07-20-2008, 1:04 PM
Sounds like a great idea. PM for price breakdown when you are ready....:)

savs2k
07-20-2008, 1:07 PM
i think its a good idea. if someone were to go somewhere ex: fishing and dont know the legality of carrying in such a place delta,lake,river,lake,resiviour ect and were not able to find out prior to leaving a quick phone call could save them alot of troubble

mk19
07-20-2008, 1:12 PM
sounds like a good idea, how much are we talking about ?

Matt C
07-20-2008, 1:18 PM
I think you would want to set some stronger limits, otherwise you will have a few individuals calling you constantly.

snobordr
07-20-2008, 1:29 PM
Am definitely interested, while I would not expect a great deal of time for this small fee, its good to have contacts and an established relationship in the event that services beyond what you are offering here are necessary. I also like the idea of dealing with someone from the CG community as lawyers are kind of like doctors, you really need to find the right one and barring a reference from a trusted source, how does one go about finding that right doctor or lawyer?

stag6.8
07-20-2008, 1:35 PM
I have one.....and I pay only 35 bucks a month taken out of my bank account so I`ll never miss it and I have nationwide coverage....if you can spare some change every month ...DO IT....its worth it....I went through a divorce and I`m a witness to the value of having one ....www.prepaidlegal.com

wilit
07-20-2008, 1:47 PM
At work a couple of years ago, we had the option of having a very similar service as part of our benefits package. It was extremely useful.

bulgron
07-20-2008, 2:05 PM
As the gun rights movement progresses through the courts, I think more and more people will find themselves legally able to carry a firearm. For various reasons, I see this activity as being something of a legal minefield. So having an attorney on retainer that you can call in case of trouble seems like a great idea.

Of course, there is a point beyond which the monthly cost for this "service" won't be worth it. So I answered 'yes', but for that reason it's a qualified 'yes'.

rue
07-20-2008, 2:16 PM
I have pre-paid legal through my wife's work but I doubt it's effectiveness and I've never used it so I don't really know. I like a gun specific lawyer on retainer though. It's a great idea.

stag6.8
07-20-2008, 2:41 PM
Rue give them a call and ask....I checked with mine and they referred me to a lawyer who specialized in firearm legal related issues.....so if I have concerns I get on the phone and talk to him...:coolgleamA:

packnrat
07-20-2008, 3:01 PM
i posted NO, as i do not plan on needing one.


but if the fee is like a dollar a month then maybe... ok.

why pay for services not needed or used.


:TFH:


.

sfwdiy
07-20-2008, 3:48 PM
Can I call you just to chat? I get lonely some times... Kidding.

Seriously though, I like the idea for something like Prepaid Legal but specifically for firearms. If this was actually done through the CalGuns Foundation and wasn't terribly expensive it might be a really great way to raise money. If you do this on your own and a lot of folks jump on the bandwagon you may find yourself with a rather large workload very quickly. I voted yes on this, but the real question is price.

--Ben

redneckshootist
07-20-2008, 3:56 PM
I would do it, want to know more details such as how much ect.
oh and BTW I already have you phone #;)

Meplat
07-20-2008, 4:03 PM
Great idea. Most of the pre-paid services I have looked into don't want to know you as soon as it turns criminal. I have a, family law, wills, trusts, torts gal on retainer. But she knows next to nothing about gun law. I would love to have someone who knows what they are doing to call if I ever really step in it. If I can afford it I'd be in.

CitaDeL
07-20-2008, 4:06 PM
The answer is "Yes" I would rather pay a small amount than the alternative. At this point though, I dont believe I have a choice.

Liberty1
07-20-2008, 5:05 PM
I still want some national or state group to form a self defense/gun owners union and get full legal defense coverage like my Peace Officer Association's (porac in ca) Legal Defense Fund. I pay about $600 in dues and I don't know what percentage goes to the LDF but my legal bills are paid should I get into legal trouble at work or an off duty shooting/police action.

s2000news
07-20-2008, 6:17 PM
More details needed before I sign up, but a yes from me.

jacques
07-20-2008, 6:59 PM
Can we call you and just talk about AK's?

I would be into something like this. You should be careful though because you may be getting a lot of phone calls about ridiculous stuff.

Richy
07-20-2008, 7:19 PM
i posted NO, as i do not plan on needing one.


but if the fee is like a dollar a month then maybe... ok.

why pay for services not needed or used.


:TFH: .




Exactly

Saigon1965
07-20-2008, 7:20 PM
Can we call you and just talk about AK's?

I would be into something like this. You should be careful though because you may be getting a lot of phone calls about ridiculous stuff.


That's where the screening office assistant comes into play.

gn3hz3ku1*
07-20-2008, 7:21 PM
i think prelaidlegal.com will not help you in criminal cases

jacques
07-20-2008, 7:23 PM
Exactly

Nobody plans on needing one.........

oaklander
07-20-2008, 9:30 PM
Thanks Chainsaw for the input. I'm still trying to figure out all of this myself. I know from past experience (before I became a lawyer) that there were many times I needed just a "little" legal advice.

But I didn't know any lawyers, and the type of advice I needed wasn't enough to warrant actually hiring a lawyer.

What I'm thinking is kind of a lawyer-for-the-people sort of thing, where I can bring reasonably priced legal services to folks and save them the trouble and expense of having to go out and hire a lawyer for simple things.

I think with respect to getting deluged with requests for stuff, I probably would put a cap on what services I would include with the monthly fee. Any services rendered above that cap would be charged at a discounted rate. To make things easier as far as paying the fee, I would do it via a monthly credit card charge.

Regarding getting arrested for more serious charges, it's true that most people can quickly get representation - but I think there's also value in knowing that you have a lawyer you can call as your first phone call.

Like I said, I'm still trying to figure everything out - so I truly appreciate the input!!!

:)

Beatone
07-20-2008, 9:30 PM
I think it would be a great idea as I have already had a visit by the ATF. :mad:

jacques
07-20-2008, 9:33 PM
T

Regarding getting arrested for more serious charges, it's true that most people can quickly get representation - but I think there's also value in knowing that you have a lawyer you can call as your first phone call.

:)

Priceless.

sorensen440
07-20-2008, 9:37 PM
I would only do it with a firearms knowledgable lawyer

stag6.8
07-20-2008, 9:50 PM
Thanks Chainsaw for the input. I'm still trying to figure out all of this myself. I know from past experience (before I became a lawyer) that there were many times I needed just a "little" legal advice.

But I didn't know any lawyers, and the type of advice I needed wasn't enough to warrant actually hiring a lawyer.

What I'm thinking is kind of a lawyer-for-the-people sort of thing, where I can bring reasonably priced legal services to folks and save them the trouble and expense of having to go out and hire a lawyer for simple things.

I think with respect to getting deluged with requests for stuff, I probably would put a cap on what services I would include with the monthly fee. Any services rendered above that cap would be charged at a discounted rate. To make things easier as far as paying the fee, I would do it via a monthly credit card charge.

Regarding getting arrested for more serious charges, it's true that most people can quickly get representation - but I think there's also value in knowing that you have a lawyer you can call as your first phone call.

Like I said, I'm still trying to figure everything out - so I truly appreciate the input!!!

:)
what oaklander stated is the reason why I retained one with a small fee every month.....just to make a simple phone call to get advice goes a long way.......an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure...with california firearm laws so messed up ...its worth taking some precautions...even if you think you dont need It....I`ts there when you do need it

spsellars
07-20-2008, 10:14 PM
I think with respect to getting deluged with requests for stuff, I probably would put a cap on what services I would include with the monthly fee. Any services rendered above that cap would be charged at a discounted rate.

I'd imagine you'll be getting a lot of the same questions over and over, so email only (or help desk style) for the simple requests would probably cut down on your workload considerably, as you can simply create an internal "knowledge base" of responses as questions come up and just copy paste for the subsequent similar questions. (Obviously wouldn't work for those one-off/personalized questions though.)

I know from a business standpoint, a venture like this is only profitable with high numbers, but you may want to consider starting things on a limited basis just to see if it is worth it for you.

Having different tiers of service at different price points might be something to look in to also. (Some people have more basic needs, and some people want the "highest in quality", regardless of cost.)

TonyM
07-20-2008, 10:50 PM
You had me at:


3) Give you my personal cell phone number so that you can reach me any time.


You know I get to work at 4am many days and I am bored in the office at those hours, right?

;)

savageevo
07-20-2008, 10:53 PM
You finally took my advice and ran with it. I am in when you lay out your plan. Just let us know the details. It would be great to have a lawyer just to ask a few questions and if in need of an emergency.

ohsmily
07-21-2008, 8:03 AM
why pay for services not needed or used.


:TFH:


.

You mean like insurance?

AJAX22
07-21-2008, 8:28 AM
I'd be interested, but moreso if there was a plan akin to major medical.

I don't plan on bugging a lawyer about every little thing (although having one available would be a definite plus), at least not at this point in my life. But as a gun owner there is a very real chance that every day that passes I could be wrongfully arrested for my 2A hobbies.

Having some kind of plan which compleatly covered all fees etc associated with a 2A arrest/bail/defense would be IMHO priceless.

oaklander
07-21-2008, 12:52 PM
I'd be interested, but moreso if there was a plan akin to major medical.

I don't plan on bugging a lawyer about every little thing (although having one available would be a definite plus), at least not at this point in my life. But as a gun owner there is a very real chance that every day that passes I could be wrongfully arrested for my 2A hobbies.

Having some kind of plan which compleatly covered all fees etc associated with a 2A arrest/bail/defense would be IMHO priceless.

I'd like to offer something like that - but I can't - since that falls into the realm of "insurance."

:)

AJAX22
07-21-2008, 2:53 PM
I'd like to offer something like that - but I can't - since that falls into the realm of "insurance."

:)

What does it take to become an insurance company?

Meplat
07-21-2008, 3:18 PM
I have a friend of the family situation for civil stuff that I can call informally and get pointed in the right direction. Often it turns into paying work for her. That is kind of like I see this being but with someone who hasgun smarts. I don't abuse the privelage and try to keep it to a minimum. You probably will have cliants who can't figure out where the abuse line is so you will have to have some kind of controls on it.

What I would like to see is someone I can call and say: I'm working in Imperial county and I'm going to Arizona for lunch. My CCW says I must have it concieled in CA. But I'v been told it has to be OC in AZ. What do I do?

That happened.

On the other hand. I would like to be able to have a card I can hand the LEO when the conversation starts getting too pointed and say: This is my councel of record, ask him cause I ain't talkin any more. And a number to call. You get me through the preliminary incounter at the reduced rate and we then mutually decide if you should represent me. If so fine. If not you help me find compitant councel locally, or whatever.

If you can do that I am in. In spades.

The mere presents of a firearm often results in crimes not being commited.

OTOH: The mere mention of a lawyer often results in injustice not being commited.







Thanks Chainsaw for the input. I'm still trying to figure out all of this myself. I know from past experience (before I became a lawyer) that there were many times I needed just a "little" legal advice.

But I didn't know any lawyers, and the type of advice I needed wasn't enough to warrant actually hiring a lawyer.

What I'm thinking is kind of a lawyer-for-the-people sort of thing, where I can bring reasonably priced legal services to folks and save them the trouble and expense of having to go out and hire a lawyer for simple things.

I think with respect to getting deluged with requests for stuff, I probably would put a cap on what services I would include with the monthly fee. Any services rendered above that cap would be charged at a discounted rate. To make things easier as far as paying the fee, I would do it via a monthly credit card charge.

Regarding getting arrested for more serious charges, it's true that most people can quickly get representation - but I think there's also value in knowing that you have a lawyer you can call as your first phone call.

Like I said, I'm still trying to figure everything out - so I truly appreciate the input!!!

:)

Ding126
07-21-2008, 4:26 PM
For a small monthly fee....You can say to people, " talk to my attorney" just like the big guys... LOL

Seriously, It's a great concept and could be a value to many here. I would like more information as it becomes available.