From Attorney Haskell:
I have tried very hard in recent years to restrict my practice to the 4 areas that I excel at and enjoy: Personal Injury, Bankruptcy, Immigration and Tax. By virtue of my tax practice, we have added on a whole line of business services such as bookkeeping and general corporate record keeping and advisory services. This has quickly expanded over into drafting the contracts and other documents that become part of the corporate records that we keep as well as organizing and reorganizing corporate entities. Although I am a general practitioner, I find that I am a lot happier just finding a few things that I do well and focusing on those and structuring my office to take care of those kinds of cases. However, I will from time to time do other things.
For example when I was a young lawyer, I used to do a lot of divorce and Family Law. When my auto accident practice took off, the first thing I did was dump my divorce practice. It is a miserable way to make a living. However, I will still do uncontested divorces and I am available for divorce mediation. If you do not want to fight with your spouse, but simply want somebody to help to bring you to a quick and easy agreement, paper it over and get you divorced, I am the right guy. That is especially true because if it gets messy and you cannot agree, I am not going to take the case. As a result, I am incentivized to keep it cheap and simple.
Although I do not do complex estate planning, I am available to write a will, to draft simple trust documents, incorporate a business or do the other basic paperwork to put peoples’ affairs in order. Again, I am not trying to sell a complicated or elaborate plan or package, because it is not what I do.
I no longer try felony cases, and generally avoid any criminal matter that is in the Superior Court. However, I like going into the District Court and playing “let’s make a deal.” I will try those cases if the DA is being unreasonable, but in the District Court that is often not the case. I am usually able to sit down with the DA, talk things out, and come out with a pretty good deal for my client, if that is what my client wants. However, I do not hold myself out as a criminal lawyer and really do not think that I am one any more. I am available for anybody who just wants to get the case over, without too much aggravation or expense. However, I am a trial lawyer, and will try a criminal case if the DA forces me to.
I am now formally making myself available for half hour consultations in matters where I may or may not be retained in the future. I will be charging $150.00 for up to one half hour, and $100.00 for up to fifteen minutes, at the end of the half hour I am done. If you do need to hire me later, I will apply that $150.00 to the service where appropriate. For example, if I had a client consult me about bankruptcy, which is an area where I have fixed fees, and then come back later to file a bankruptcy after, then I would apply that $150.00 to the bankruptcy. This essentially would become the “free legal consultation”. I think that this meets a need that is clearly out there for people to be able to consult with an attorney and get quality legal advice while allowing me to protect my “stock in trade”. I will try to be proactive about warning people who do not come in up front saying that I want to hire you for a half an hour. However, I also feel that this creates a situation where people can feel comfortable coming to see me without feeling that they are being exploitative.