Tampa Law Frequently Asked Questions
- I’m not sure what my legal options are. How will you help me?
- How do we set up an appointment to speak with an attorney?
- Where are you located?
- Is there a fee for the first meeting?
- What are your fees?
- What methods of payment do you accept?
- I’m a high-profile business owner. Will everyone in town know that I’m in trouble?
- What makes your firm different?
- How does the billing process work?
- Who will oversee my case?
- Can costs be minimized without hurting my case?
- How much will it cost?
I’m not sure what my legal options are. How will you help me?
We take a holistic approach to an individual’s personal situation. At the first meeting, we will learn all of the facts necessary to give you the best advice. If you are struggling with debt, we may offer more than one strategic solution to the short-term as well as long-term problems. As a multi-faceted law firm, we practice various types of civil litigation as well as several chapters of bankruptcy. Those strengths, coupled with our expertise in bankruptcy, business and real estate law, ensure that you will have “all the bases covered.”
How do we set up an appointment to speak with an attorney?
Simply call our office at 813-288-0303 and one of our friendly staff members will schedule an appointment for you. Our office hours are Monday-Friday 8:30-5:00 p.m.. Evening appointments are available with prior notice. If distance is a factor, we can arrange for a telephonic consultation.
Where are you located?
We are located at 620 E. Twiggs Street, Suite 110 in the heart of downtown Tampa. Because we are in court so often fighting for our clients, the office is strategically located within walking distance of both courthouses.
Is there a fee for the first meeting?
In most cases, there is no fee for the initial 30-minute consultation.
What are your fees?
Our fees vary depending upon the type of legal matter. You will not be charged anything unless and until you agree to retain our services through the use of an Engagement Letter.
What methods of payment do you accept?
We accept cash, personal or business check, money order, Visa/Mastercard debit and credit cards, and wire transfers. Unfortunately because of federal laws, we are not permitted to accept credit card payments from bankruptcy clients.
I’m a high-profile business owner. Will everyone in town know that I’m in trouble?
This is why it’s so important to get legal help sooner rather than later, because the earlier you come to see us, the better we can mitigate the damages to your finances. Of course everything that we discuss is held to the highest of confidences under the attorney-client privilege. We are experienced at discretion, and we will fully go over “what to expect” at the first meeting.
What makes your firm different?
In the practice of law there is no substitute for efficient preparation. We use technology. Technology is more than an efficient means of communicating, it has transformed the way informed professionals practice law. From legal research, calendar management and day-to-day client transactions, to the efficient preparation of monthly statements, we rely on modern technology to quickly deliver quality services. We believe the use of technology benefits our clients as follows:
Communications: Improved communication channels serves as a transparent, but reliable, link between all members of our firm and each individual client.
Efficiency: Rapid turnaround through the use of electronic tools and resources.
Cost Effectiveness: Our approach saves time by building upon existing foundations for research and the creation of legal documents.
Quality: Work quality is improved with the application of constantly updated, improved or revised work product, software, and laws.
Information: Instant access to reliable databases for monitoring ever changing laws, trends, opinions, and information in our practice areas.
We believe this approach helps us meet our goal of providing each client with quality legal services that are delivered in a timely, efficient, and professional manner.
How does the billing process work?
Statements for services are generally sent out monthly and are usually based on negotiated hourly rate. Hourly rates for attorneys are established at time of engagement. Rates are set based on experience, expertise, and the complexity of each case. We offer alternative fee agreements in some cases. They include Fixed Fee, Contingency Fee, mixed Hourly Fee and Contingency agreements.
Fees for bankruptcy matters and many foreclosure defense matters are a reasonable fixed rate. Of course Chapter 11 cases can be much more involved, and are billed at our hourly rate which is credited against an initial retainer.
The fees and costs in probate administration matters tend to be more predictable than in family law and probate litigation cases; however, we can rarely predict the costs in any case with a high degree of certainty. To give our clients more control over legal fees and costs, we prepare a cost verse legal benefit analysis of various options when possible.
Who will oversee my case?
All cases remain under the supervision of Samantha Dammer. She is primarily responsible for client communication, establishing case strategies, managing the delivery of legal services and litigation. Since she delegates other specific tasks to skilled members of the firm, she encourages a close working relationship between herself, our clients and staff. Our clients have regular contact with Ms. Dammer.
Can costs be minimized without hurting my case?
We strive to balance cost-effective legal services with meritorious results. Each case is evaluated based on it s unique facts and circumstances. The more we know about the facts and circumstances of a case, the better we can anticipate and help manage legal issues and their related costs. Effective communication at every stage of a legal matter, coupled with the use of technology in the delivery of our legal services, enables us to serve clients in an affordable manner. By emphasizing effective communication, we minimize costs without compromising our clients rights.
How much will it cost?
Legal costs can differ greatly depending on the facts and circumstances of each case and the type of fee agreement. We offer a variety of fee agreements as follows:
Individual Chapter 7 bankruptcy fees are typically a flat fee ranging from $1,500 to $2,500 depending upon the complexity of the case. A business bankruptcy filing is usually more involved and can be a bit more. There is a filing fee to the Clerk of the Court which is currently $335.
Only individuals can file Chapter 13 bankruptcies. The current standard fee in our District is $4,500, although most firms will usually only expect a portion up front. The rest of the fee gets worked into the Plan. There is also a court filing fee of $310.
Chapter 11 cases can be filed by individuals as well as most business structures. We charge hourly on these cases, and there is an initial agreed-upon retainer. The court filing fee is $1,717.
Adversarial bankruptcy matters might require an additional fee agreement. These bankruptcy matters require more expertise and time commitment, and therefore fees for those cases are established after consultation.
Foreclosure Defense/Short Sale/Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure/Loan Restructuring
The goal of Tampa Law Advocates is to assist the homeowner in determining the best and most effective course of action when he is facing foreclosure. Fees for foreclosure solutions vary depending upon the service being performed.