Scott has been in business for a little more than eight years and things have going well – so much so that he has hired three assistants and a secretary. The business is still growing and has turned tremendous profits for five of the last eight years. Up to this point, Scott has not hired a law firm, but lately he has been having problems with some of his clients who have given him bad checks. He normally alerts the business client by sending out notices that the check(s) have bounced and then gives them time to make good on the transactions. If he doesn’t hear back within a week or so he sends a friendly reminder. He sometimes follows this up with a certified mailing that includes a payment plan. Most of them will pay the entire balance when they receive the second notice, but then some don’t. In situations with clients who are past due, he saves signed agreements of business work orders, letters and emails that notified the client(s) of past due balances.
Scott is seeking a business attorney for advice and perhaps to represent him in court on some of the issues he is confronting at present. He has been asking friends, relatives and some acquaintances for recommendations and they advise him to find a good business lawyer. As a result, Scott has begun to screen potential lawyers on the phone. He wants to find out what the cost will be to discuss the challenges that he is experiencing. At the same time, he doesn’t want to make the mistake of setting up an appointment and then presenting his situation with an attorney who doesn’t handle the issues he faces. Business acquaintances have advised Scott that sometimes a retainer fee is not necessary to have an attorney send a warning letter, and that most who hesitate to pay will do so when they see that you have taken steps to hire an attorney to represent you. Scott is hopeful that he will be able to find a reputable business attorney who will give him fees and costs upfront so there are no surprises as he moved forward to collect on monies owed him.