Questions and Answers
Law Office of Loren J Randall and Associates in Denver, Colorado
What is your typical process for working with a new client?
I typically talk to a client on the phone first; then meet with them face-to-face. After that, I get a feel for what they are comfortable with and try to accommodate that as much as possible. Some people like to use technology. Others do not. Some like to talk about issues in great detail. Others do not (but it is my job to get the details from them, in order to help them). I try to be flexible and meet the needs of the client.
What education and training do you have that relates to your work?
I have a Master's Degree in Business and a Master's Degree in Tax Law. I also regularly attend continuing legal education classes. I also subscribe to services by certain agencies and organizations that are dedicated to keeping attorneys current on changes and developments in the law.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your service?
I typically charge a flat fee for criminal representation, Wills and Estate Planning and Immigration. I typically charge by the hour for work in the areas of Business Law, Family Law and Wills and Estate Planning. However, it depends upon the nature of the job, and I am flexible to work with pricing in a way that the client is comfortable with. Some people like fixed pricing. Some do not. Sometimes I have even charged by the hour with a maximum fee. I try to work with clients to find a method that they are comfortable with.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
It just seemed like a good way to make a difference. My father taught me to treat others as you would like to be treated. He was a minister. He was also intelligent, honorable, and fiercely loyal. These are the characteristics that my father lived and breathed. They are also characteristics that I hold dear. I realized that I could make a difference in the lives of others as an attorney. The profession was one that I naturally gravitated toward. I did not grow up wanting to become an attorney. Eventually, it just seemed like a good fit with earning a living practicing what my father taught me about life.
What types of clients have you worked with?
I served in the Army for many years, as an Infantry Officer and then as an attorney ("JAG" Officer). I worked with people from all walks of life. I enjoyed this immensely. As a civilian, I have worked with people with very little and people that are relatively affluent. I have worked with people with very little education and people with 10+ years of education and training beyond high school. People are people. My job is to figure out how to help them with their legal problems, problems that often affect nearly every other aspect of life, from personal relationships to finances, and that sometimes even affect their health.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
I'd like to briefly describe several here:
1. Criminal Law. Felony cases: Two recently dismissed. One took about 45 days; the other about 6 months. Also got a DUI dismissed after about 6 months. I had a felony assault charge by a former Marine with a handgun (unloaded). I negotiated a deferred judgment on this one, so in 3 years, it is like it never even happened. He is now in treatment for PTSD and has stopped drinking altogether. Just result - 6 months here. I had another case that went to trial on a failure to obey a police officer and obstructing justice. My client was ornery (kind of like my father was, once he was in a wheel chair and getting close to 80-years-old). Not a crime. Police were conducting a "welfare check." They told her to let them in. She would not let them in and said her sister would come over with a baseball bat...her mother was out of town. They came in anyway and tazed her and arrested her. The jury acquitted her. She now has a civil suit pending for a violation of her constitutional rights (they came in anyway.
2. Business Law. I represented a client in a breach of contract case. My client (a foreign government) admitted it breached the contract. The Plaintiff sought $12.3 million in damages. They received less than $35,000. My client was VERY happy with the result.
3. Immigration Law. Had a client that had been deported and reentered the U.S. After trying the matter to the Court, he was allowed to remain in the U.S. We demonstrated that he was likely to be tortured or killed if sent back home to his native country. These cases are ordinarily very difficult to prove.
4. Family Law. Had a client whose ex-husband that had filed several actions against her in the past, each time gaining an advantage. He filed another one, alleging several violations of the court's order. My client said she was overwhelmed. I advised her that it was my job to worry about this. Her ex-husband lost on every count. The Judge advised him that he (the Judge) would not be happy if he had to address any more of this nonsense in his courtroom again. My client advised me that she doesn't worry about it anymore.
What advice would you give a client looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Talk to two or three different attorneys. There are many good, decent attorneys out there. Ask around. Unfortunately, there are many that are not. Find an attorney that you can trust. Beyond that, find an attorney who is not only intelligent but who is genuinely concerned about you. An attorney who genuinely cares is going to ask more questions and obtain more information than necessary to assist you. Often, what seems like incidental information can make a difference in presenting an argument or developing the case on behalf of the Client. Finally, find an attorney who is reasonable and has experience in life, not just in a particular area of law. You might feel good about an attorney that "fights like hell" for you. But the truth is, most people (including opposing counsel) fight like hell back. Sure, there are times that it is necessary to "go to the mat until someone gets choked out." But your attorney needs to be professional about this. Juries and judges like people (attorneys) that are polite and professional (even if they are in a "knock down, drag out.") And good deals are given to those we like and respect, not those that insult others. The worst deals are reserved for those that insult us. Attorneys do a great job of spending a client's money this way. But they often lose or put their client in a worse position when they are done. Then, the attorney gets paid. The client, well - not so much.
What questions should clients think through before talking to professionals about their situation?
Lawyers are people, just like those in any other profession. There will be those who are honest and diligent, and there are those who are lazy and dishonest. Most are somewhere in between. It's critical to realize this when choosing an attorney and when it comes to understanding how the system works. Most people understand this in the context of their own professions and personal relationships, but the same applies to the practice of law and in the function of the legal system. Customers should think about what they want at the end of the legal process.
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