Law Office of Jennifer L. King, PC

Legal Insight. Strategic Instinct.

Frequently Asked Questions

Divorce

1. What are your rates?

Ms. King charges $325 per hour for family law work. She bills in six-minute increments and sends out a detailed billing statement once per month. Her paralegal's rate is $165 per hour, and her legal assistant's rate is $75 per hour.


2. How much will my divorce cost?

There is no way for an attorney to honestly predict the cost of a case. Certain factors (e.g. disputed custody, domestic violence, lack of awareness re-financial status, complex property division and complex spousal support calculations) indicate that a case will be more expensive. Other factors (the absence of minor children, little or no property and financial transparency) indicate a quicker and less-expensive case resolution.


3. How much do you charge for a retainer?

Ms. King typically requires a $5,000 retainer for a modification of custody and support and between $5,000 and $10,000 for a divorce case.


4. Do you take credit cards?

Yes, most of the time. You can easily pay invoices online using a credit card or echeck. However, we do require cash or check for the consultation and initial retainer.


5. Why do you charge for consultations? Some lawyers give free consultations.

The reason we charge for consultations is that Ms. King designed the firm to be low-volume. She based this structure  on feedback from clients, who frequently lamented their attorney's inattention and unavailability. Our goal is to provide excellent service to a group of hand-selected clients. We want prospective clients to make a good-faith investment as we are making an investment of our time. 


6. How can I keep my costs lower?

There are several ways you can decrease costs. Firstly, be responsive. Clients who provide documents and information promptly on request can save a significant amount on fees.  For example, we can complete preliminary disclosure documents from start to finish in about two hours with client cooperation. When we have to make numerous, redundant requests for the same material, costs increase.


7. How do I set up a consultation?

Contact us by phone or email to ask for an intake packet. We will send it to you promptly, and once we receive it back, we will set up a consultation. We prefer to have reviewed the facts of your case prior to meeting so that we can maximize your time.


8. Wouldn’t I be better off hiring someone that only practices family law as opposed to someone who practices Family Law and Personal Injury?

No way! The two areas are so similar that our experience informs and improves our work in Family Law. The same rules of civil procedure and evidence apply in both areas.



Personal Injury


1. I’ve just been injured. What steps do I need to take?

No matter the injury, document as much as possible. Take pictures, note observations, and gather as much information as possible. You should speak to an attorney as soon as possible.


2. Why do I need an attorney? Shouldn’t I just accept the insurance company’s settlement offer?

After an accident, it’s understandable to want to settle quickly so you can get on with your life. You may be tempted to try to handle everything yourself, without professional representation. It’s important to understand that, without understanding the nuances of the legal system, you may end up achieving just the opposite.


If you decide to act without help, insurance adjusters may subtly use your statements against your best interest. It’s in their best interest to do so, and the calculations made by the opposing attorneys are based in large part on how aggressive they feel the injured party will fight for full compensation for the harm caused. The ultimate cost of this to you could be hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars—not to mention the fees for missteps filing.


3. How soon after my injury do I need to file?

The time frame to file a lawsuit is known as the “statute of limitations.” If you fail to file a lawsuit before its expiration, your can never pursue your case. In California, you have between six months and two years to file a claim or lawsuit depending on facts surrounding the injury. Due to the time-sensitive nature of these claims, you should immediately seek legal help


4. What are contingency fees?

In personal injury cases, most lawyers charge contingency fees. This system allows an injured party to hire counsel without having to front the cost of legal fees. A party will also only have to pay if there is a settlement or verdict. Most contingency fees are between 33 and 40%. In the majority of cases, a personal injury lawyer will receive 33.33% (one third) of any settlement. With that said, there are many additional expenses that arise as a lawsuit proceeds. Lawyers usually factor these fees into the agreement or have their clients pay as they arise. These may include expenses such as expert witness fees, filing fees, investigator fees, and so on.


4. What damages am I entitled to recover?

This will depend on the type of case and the damages sustained. An accurate picture may only be obtained in a complete, professional review of all the details. You may be entitled to the following:

-Past and future medical treatment,

-Past and future lost wages,

-Pain and suffering (physical and emotional),

-Loss of enjoyment of life,

-Inconvenience resulting from the injury. 


5. How long will my case take?

It’s difficult to precisely determine since each case is unique. It could take anywhere from a few months (without a trial) to a few years (with a trial).


6. Do I have a claim? How do you determine its value?

Generally, the civil law maintains that an injured party (or their surviving family members) has a legal claim for recourse against any party who intentionally or negligently caused harm. While intentional misconduct is clear, negligent misconduct is often more convoluted. It can arise in many situations, whether a car accident, a trip-and-fall, or a misdiagnosis. Fundamentally, an injured individual can have a legal claim in many situations, even when the claim isn’t immediately obvious. Personal injury claims are based on full consideration of all the details involved; your best bet is to set a consultation.


7. What’s a subrogated lien?

Subrogation is a legal technique through which one party steps into another’s shoes. A lien is a claim or charge on property for payment of some debt or duty. A mortgage is an easy example of this. Putting the two together, subrogated liens are positioned against an injured party’s settlement, so that insurers can defend against unfair advantages. The insurer receives the rights and remedies of the loss alongside the responsibility of payment. Most insurers have the right of subrogation, which prevents the distribution of settlement funds until the lien has been satisfied. This often shocks people.