The initial conversation with an Outten & Golden attorney will be via telephone and generally will be fairly brief, seldom more than a five to ten minutes. The attorney may ask questions to learn more about the situation and will try to answer briefly any client questions. The O&G attorney will make a recommendation as to whether an initial consultation is advisable; if it is, she or he will suggest what documents the client should bring to the consultation. The attorney will also answer any questions about O&G's billing practices and advise the caller of O&G's policy on charges for consultations. There is no fee for this call.
We prefer not to call clients or prospective clients at work. If we must do so, we will leave only a discreet message, such as a first name and telephone number.
During the initial conversation, the attorney cannot and will not provide substantive legal advice, as doing so on the basis of a few minutes over the telephone is irresponsible. Instead, the conversation is used to determine a practical, responsible next step for the client to pursue and may result in one of the following:
- The scheduling of an initial consultation session at an O&G office to discuss the details of a client's problem or claim.
- The decision by the lawyer and/or prospective client that the matter is not suitable for O&G to handle, and possibly the referral of the prospective client to another attorney or to a government agency.
- The decision by the client to rethink the issue and/or call back later.