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What Does It Cost For a Letter?

Dale Gribow Dec. 12, 2014

I get this question many times every week. I explain to the caller that it is like calling a doctor over the phone and asking what he would charge to see a patient and prescribe a course of treatment....and then whether he could cure you. A lawyer, like a doctor, would need more information to evaluate the matter. Unfortunately, most matters are not resolved with just a letter.

In today's technological world a letter/email is responded to within minutes. We no longer wait a week for a response in the mail.

That immediate response from the other side requires something from our side. This usually necessitates talking to the client again and writing out our position to the response.

The truth is that there is nothing more expensive that Civil Litigation. Not only will it cost about $600 to file a summons and complaint with the court but we may have to hire an investigator to find the defendant or serve a defendant that does not want to be served.

As a last resort you might serve by publication in a local paper. We would then get a judgment in favor of our client only to have the defendant' lawyer, 6 months later, move to vacate the judgment and you start all over again.

I usually ask the prospective client "Who has the most money..........YOU or the other party?" If the client is not well off and the other side is well to do, I explain it will be very difficult for the prospective client to stay in the game with them.

I share with them a recent case where a country club developer client of mine originally gave us $50,000 to defend him on one civil real estate matter. One matter became 2 and 2 became 5. To protect the client we had to get involved with all 5 matters.

My client kept promising he was getting more money. Initially he was getting refinancing and finally selling the project and I would be paid through escrow. After months in escrow, with instruction to pay me when the money becomes available, my client filed Bankruptcy and I was out $55,000 in costs I advanced during the case and $700,000 in legal fees (at a reduced rate). Not only did I not get paid but I never even get an apology or thanks.

It pains me to advise a client not to hire us when I know the client will not be able see it to the end and I suspect the client will just be wasting his/her money. Ironically the same thing happens when I cannot accept a minor accident case. It is hard for most people to understand why a lawyer is trying to get out of work. At The Law Office of Dale Gribow we focus on collecting compensation for a client that is wronged by another party whether it is a breach of contract or an auto accident.

Obviously when a drunk driver hits our client it allows us to hit a home run on the recovery. We successfully resolved the case where our jogging client on October 20, 2013 was hit by a drunk driver. However it is currently more difficult to address the problem of claims strategies used by insurance companies and thus we have to reject most small soft tissue cases.

We likewise have to explain to DUI clients that the DA's office is looking for Jail time on a first offense DUI. Because this may necessitate additional work to keep the client out of jail or find a loophole the lawyers fee often goes up.

The Holidays are upon us. Don't Drink and Drive Call a Taxi or Uber It is a lot cheaper than calling me

Dale Gribow 1) TOP LAWYER rating by Palm Springs Life every year. 2) Perfect AVVO 10.0 Peer Review Rating by fellow attorneys 3) Preeminent Rating by Martindale Hubbell. 4) Selected for Best Attorneys of America (Limited to Top 100 Attorneys in each state. 5. Man of the Year 7 times- including the City of Palm Desert and the City of Hope and Dale Gribow Day proclaimed 4 x's. 6. Only attorney appointed to study DUI: by both Clinton Foundation Health Matters and Coachella Valley Association of Governments

For more than 30 years Gribow has been committed to protecting client's civil and constitutional rights. Regardless of whether the matter concerns a Serious Accident, DUI, Business, Real Estate or Estate Planning issue every case is diligently handled with the utmost of respect and care. The Gribow firm offers clients decades of experience and success, thus making him the attorney of choice for thousands of clients. If you have any questions regarding this column or ideas for future columns please contact Dale Gribow Attorney at Law at his NEW number 760-565-0533.