Hallman Law Office

FAQs

How Much Does it Cost to Hire an Attorney?

How Long Will My Case Take?

If Two Attorneys Work on My Case - Will I Pay More?

What Should I Keep in Mind About Insurance?

What Will I Be Expected to Do in My Case?

Can I Fire My Lawyer?

Can My Lawyer Fire Me?

How Confidential is My Information?


How Much Does it Cost to Hire an Attorney?

Most of the cases that Hallman Law Office handles are done on a contingency basis.  That means we don't get paid until you get paid. 

Attorney fees are paid at the conclusion of the case, from your settlement or verdict recovery, and are based upon a percentage of your recovery.  In certain special cases the other side may be required to reimburse you for a part of your attorney fees.

Apart from attorney fees, there are certain out-of-pocket costs to pursue any case (such as expenses for medical records, etc.)  Oregon law allows a law firm to cover these costs as an advance, so the client doesn’t need to pay for these until the end of the case.  At that time any costs which were advanced by the firm are reimbursed from the client.

All clients of Hallman Law Office receive a written contract and explanation of fees.  That way there are no surprises. 

How Long Will My Case Take?

As you can imagine, the time may vary. Some cases settle within a few months, while others do not settle and must go to trial. A few go to appeal. 

Generally, you should expect it will take a few months to gather records & evaluate your case. Then we will submit a demand upon the responsible party. They will need to review the facts and documents we send them, which will take another few months. Sometimes a settlement can be achieved at this point.  If not, we will file a suit on your behalf (called a Complaint), and that will begin a formal process called Discovery where each side has the opportunity to review documents and take the statements of relevant persons. 

The trial is scheduled anywhere from 6 to 18 months after the filing of the Complaint.  Most cases, however, do not go to trial but settle somewhere along the way. If a case does go to trial, a verdict will be rendered for one side. That verdict may in some instances be appealed, which can take more time.  Most cases do not get to this point, but settle before trial or end with the verdict at trial.

If Two Attorneys Work on My Case - Will I Pay More?

Often other attorneys refer clients to us, and some of those attorneys stay actively involved in the case.  When that happens, you may end up with more than one firm working together to represent you. It's important to understand that will not cost you more. Your original fee agreement specifies the fee which will be paid from your recovery, and that percentage won't change if a new attorney comes on board. The attorneys will agree between themselves on how the attorney fee will be split, but it will never increase beyond what is set out in your fee agreement.

Insurance is Paying Some of My Bills - Anything I Need to Keep in Mind?

First, some insurance companies will try to get you to waive your rights by asking you to sign something or provide a recorded statement. Do not sign anything an insurance company presents to you, or agree to give a statement, before checking with an attorney.

Second, if an insurer pays anything on your behalf, it generally has the right to be reimbursed if you recover any funds from a negligent party. This is the law and, although there are a few exceptions, most of the time reimbursement must be made.  At the conclusion of each case, Hallman Law Office scrutinizes insurance pay-outs to make certain only eligible charges are reimbursed.

What Will I Be Expected to Do in My Case?

This is a very good question. First of all, let's discuss what you Will Not be expected to do. When you hire a lawyer, all communication with the adverse party (or adjuster, or insurance company) will go through your lawyer, not you. So right away you can get back to what you need to be doing - getting on with your life. The staff at  Hallman Law Office is always available to answer your questions so you are in the loop without needing to deal directly with the day-to-day workings of the case.

There are certain things a client must do to help move his or her case to a successful conclusion. 

These are the main ones:

  • Your Recovery - Clients who have suffered an injury should seek appropriate medical care and follow the doctor's instructions, including keeping scheduled appointments. The most important thing is to get you well and back on your feet.
  • Contact Information - Promptly inform Hallman Law Office of any change in address, phone number or email address.
  • Documents - From time to time we will ask you for certain documents which are needed for your case. Examples might be tax returns (if you have a claim for lost income) or photographs of your accident or injuries (or photos from before your injury). Of course, you may have some documents and not have others, but it is our responsibility to gather everything relevant to your case.
  • Meetings - After the initial consultation, much of the communication between you and our firm will be by phone, mail and email. Occasionally however, we may want to sit down and discuss your case with you. 
  • Depositions - If your case doesn't settle before filing a suit (Complaint), a process called Discovery will begin which allows each side to review relevant documents and take the statements of relevant persons. At that time, your statement may be taken in a Deposition. This is a relatively informal process where the adverse attorney asks you questions in the presence of a court reporter who records what everyone says. Your attorney will be present, to make sure no inappropriate questions are asked, and to be available if you need to consult. If your deposition is scheduled, we'll work with you to prepare for it, to help you know what to expect and to review the facts of your case.
  • Trial - If a case proceeds to trial, that of course requires the presence of each of the parties. If that occurs, we will prepare you for the events of the trial.  While most cases settle well before trial, it is good to keep in mind that going to trial is a possibility.
  • Disbursement - Upon settlement or recovery from a trial verdict, your lawyer will receive the recovery funds usually in the form of a check. The client needs to be available to review and sign the check and a release, as well as a schedule showing how the funds are to be distributed (no funds are ever distributed without client approval). This can usually be accomplished by mail or Federal Express.  The final check to the client can then be sent in the same manner.

These are the major commitments a client makes when he or she hires a lawyer and pursues a case. There are other things which come up, and in terms of cooperation, a lawyer is looking for the same thing a client is looking for - a spirit of cooperation and willingness to assist to bring the case to a successful conclusion.

Can I Fire My Lawyer?

Absolutely.

If you are dissatisfied with your lawyer at any time you can end his or her employment by advising in writing.  Every Hallman Law Office fee agreement specifies that a client can end the relationship upon written notice without obligation (except costs advanced must be paid by the client's new attorney from any recovery).

Can My Lawyer Fire Me?

Absolutely.

A lawyer can fire a client who has:

  • misrepresented or not disclosed a significant fact in the case
  • failed to cooperate in the case
  • failed to show good faith in negotiations or settlement discussions

A lawyer can also decline to continue with a case if the lawyer determines that the case has no merit. 

Under the Oregon Rules of Professional Conduct the lawyer must take steps to protect the client's interests.

How Confidential is My Information?

With very limited exceptions, lawyers have a duty not to reveal information relating to the representation of the client without the consent of the client. That duty extends to all legal staff in law offices, and is taken very seriously at Hallman Law Office.

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Hallman Law Office
104 Southeast 5th St.
Pendleton, OR 97801
Phone: 541-276-3857
Email:office@hallman.pro


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