To learn more about Sessums Black and how we may assist you with your family law matter, you can set up an initial consultation with one of our attorneys.
What is an Initial Consultation?
Typically, Sessums Black will reserve two hours for an initial consultation. The prospective client will first meet with the paralegal assigned to his/her case to get to know the paralegal and provide the paralegal with some basic factual information. This typically takes about 15 minutes. The prospective client will meet with the attorney for the remainder of the consultation.
What if I do Not Live in Hillsborough County?
The attorneys of Sessums Black prefer to conduct the initial consultation in-person. It allows the attorney and prospective client to get to know each other the best.
However, Sessums Black uses technology to benefit its clients and prospective clients. We can offer telephone or video-conferencing to out-of-county, out-of-state, and out-of-country prospective clients. An initial consultation by telephone or video-conference is similar to an in-person initial consultation except that it will occur by phone or internet instead of in-person.
What Can I Expect from the Initial Consultation?
The attorneys of Sessums Black take care to make all prospective clients feel as comfortable as possible during the initial consultation. They understand that this is a difficult time for prospective clients and will take care to be sensitive to each person’s unique needs.
The initial consultation provides the attorney the opportunity to identify the client’s legal issues, identify any additional information or documentation which may be helpful, and analyze the prospective client’s needs. It provides the prospective client the opportunity to have his/her questions answered thoroughly and candidly by a qualified Florida family law attorney.
Throughout the initial consultation, the attorney will comprehensively explain Florida family law and his/her analysis of the case to the prospective client. Great care will be taken to assist the prospective client in evaluating available options on how he/she can and should proceed.
Is the Initial Consultation Confidential?
The initial consultation is entirely confidential and is subject to attorney-client privilege even if the prospective client does not retain one of our attorneys.
Do you Offer Free Initial Consultations?
Normally, all of the attorneys of Sessums Black charge a fee for the two-hour initial consultation. Please call our office at (813) 251-9200 if you are interested in more information about the initial consultation fees.
How Much are Your Hourly Rates and Retainers?
Each attorney at Sessums Black charges an hourly fee depending on the attorney’s qualifications and the nature of the case. Please call our office at (813) 251-9200 to obtain information about our attorneys’ standard hourly rates.
What retainer amounts may be requested will depend on the complexity of the case. Our attorneys discuss billing policies and retainer amounts during the initial consultation process once they have a good understanding of the prospective client’s unique needs and the complexity of the issues presented.
Does Attending an Initial Consultation Mean I Have Retained the Attorney?
No. The initial consultation process affords prospective clients a unique opportunity to become acquainted with our firm, our team, and our processes to help determine if Sessums Black is the legal team for his/her case.
Choosing an attorney is an important decision. There are many factors that should be considered prior to determining who could best assist in resolving the legal issues. The Florida Bar has published a pamphlet to help individuals in the attorney selection process. Click here to read more.
Also, Sessums Black retains the unconditional right not to represent a prospective client if the firm so chooses. There are many reasons which may lead to that decision but such a decision should never be taken personally.
You have retained Sessums Black to represent you only after you and the attorney have executed the Retainer Agreement and you have made the required retainer payment.
Can You Answer My Legal Questions By E-mail or Before the Initial Consultation?
The attorneys of Sessums Black occasionally receive e-mails from prospective clients seeking advice. The attorneys of Sessums Black cannot answer inquiries or give legal advice by e-mail or prior to the initial consultation for several reasons including:
First, the rules which govern licensed attorneys in Florida require that we run conflict checks to see whether accepting a new client may present a conflict of interest with any existing or former clients. Running a conflict check requires our firm to get the identities of the prospective client and prospective opposing party(ies) including full names and addresses as well as a very general nature of the family law issues involved in the possible case. Often this information is not included in the initial inquiries we receive.
Next, in order to properly answer questions, the attorneys often must ask questions and review documents which would involve the prospective client revealing possible confidential information. This cannot be easily done nor is it properly done by e-mail or before the initial consultation.
Lastly, there is no way for the attorneys of Sessums Black to know the true identity of the person contacting us via e-mail or prior to the initial consultation. It is important to us to know the identities of the persons with whom we are communicating.
How Do I Schedule My Initial Consultation?
Please call our office at (813) 251-9200 to start the initial consultation process.