WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU MEET WITH ATTORNEY LEE BERLIN FOR THE FIRST TIME
Meeting with an attorney for the first time to discuss a very sensitive and personal matter can be a difficult experience. Feelings of dread, anxiety, or embarrassment can be very real and strong emotions before your first meeting.
There is nothing I can write or say to someone that will convince them this process will be fun or enjoyable. I would expect to lose all credibility with that person if I even attempted to do something so ridiculous. Meeting with a criminal defense attorney for the first time, dealing with charges as serious as a sex crime, is not something anyone can emotionally prepare for regardless of their background or life experiences.
However, there are a few things you may look forward to during this meeting. I am assuming you would like to get some sleep, enjoy some peace of mind, regain a sense of hope, obtain knowledge that you are not alone in this fight, form a belief you can survive these horrible allegations, learn about how the process works, gain confidence and an improvement on your outlook at life and your future, and maybe you can start down the path to enjoy life again or at least realize that may be possible again.
I am not going to promise all of these results as a product of simply meeting with me, but I have yet to know of a client that has walked out of one of my meetings and not be satisfied with the answers they have received or had confidence in the plan or enjoyed a renewed sense of comfort or hope. You should feel better coming out of the meeting. The uncertainty and fear that comes from simply not understanding what is going on or what will happen and the belief you are alone on that island all are addressed during that first meeting.
I will provide you with a comfortable office in south Tulsa, where you will be able to park in front and walk right in. In my office you will find a private conference room, comfortable chairs, something to drink, and an attorney dedicated to helping you survive this nightmare. I guarantee a Judgment Free Zone. I will not judge you regardless the allegation.
The first meeting will typically take about an hour and could take longer depending upon the issues. Please plan accordingly and budget at least one hour. Please let me know at the beginning of the meeting if your time is limited to one hour. No cell phones or recording devices are permitted in the conference room. Please leave your phones in the car. I do not have child care facilities on site and having a child in the room, regardless of the age, is an unnecessary distraction and quite frankly this is not going to be the appropriate subject matter for a child. As such, please make the necessary arraignments ahead of time if child care is an issue.
Please bring any of the relevant items listed on the Client Checklist for First Attorney Meeting. I will briefly review those documents first just to make certain the Client Intake Packet has been fully completed and to get a brief idea of what else you have by way of evidence or important documents. Then I will ask you to tell me about your problem, legal issue, or case. I want for you to tell me the story as you know it and to be as detailed as possible. Once you have told me the “Why You Are Here” story, I would then like you to ask me those “nagging” questions that you just need to get off your chest. I find it beneficial to get those out of the way first, that way you are not constantly thinking about them and trying to find a way to work those questions in to our discussion or while I am laying out the strategy or issues.
Once I have answered those pressing questions to your satisfaction, I will follow up with questions that I may have related to the facts of your case. When we have finished discussing those facts I will answer any other pressing questions that have come up.
Once we have a good handle on the facts, I will give you an outline of some of the issues and problems (if any) with the case, and discuss the law and the process for defending you. Please understand, I will not be able to tell you exactly how I will defend you (theme, theory, strategy, etc) until I have reviewed the police reports in their entirety and discussed the reports with you. Only then will I have a picture complete enough to start developing a comprehensive defense.
Upon completing the review and our discussion, I will verify the contents of the Intake Packet, email, phone number, etc., and then we will review the fee agreement, sign the fee agreement, and the retainer will be paid. The retainer may be paid by cash, money order, cashier’s check, or by credit card. No personal checks will be accepted.
You will be provided a copy of the fee agreement, a receipt for funds paid, business cards with your court dates on the back, and possibly a return date.
Of course any number of issues can change up this process and order. This is only a general outline of how a typical initial client meeting may proceed.
Come prepared to participate, to ask questions, to listen, to be honest, to get some great advice, and to leave feeling completely satisfied that all of your questions were answered by a competent professional that wants to exceed your expectations.
I look forward to meeting you and starting on your defense as soon as possible.
Lee F. Berlin, Attorney at Law