Hiring a Lawyer
The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience.
Conflicts of Interest
Occasionally we may decline to accept matters which would be a conflict of interest with another existing or past client. This should never be construed as an opinion on the merits of the subject matter or desirability of the client. Regulations on the practice of law and ethics require “conflict checks” to confirm our potential representation of your matters is not comprised by the competing interests of another client.
Due to our representation of government agencies, universities, publicly traded companies and research centers we decline representation for matters involving:
- Adult entertainment industry;
- Tobacco products; or
- Aany other industry adverse to the mission or objectives of our current clients.
Restrictions on Practice
We only practice intellectual property law which includes:
- Trade secrets; and
- Related administrative and litigation proceedings.
Ancillary to these are licensing agreements, non-disclosure agreements and evaluation of IP assets for merges and acquisitions. Our practice is focused on intellectual property and we do not engage in areas of the law outside our core competency.
It has been our experience that patents and trademarks are virtually always best owned by a corporate entity. Therefore we strongly encourage and sometimes require our clients to be a corporation. Corporate formation is easy, relatively inexpensive and offers a host of legal and tax advantages.
Time Billing Policies
The minimum billable increment is six (6) minutes. A detailed time billing report is provided at the end of each month or at the completion of a project. Our firm strives to delegate work to the qualified employee with the lowest billing rate. This provides our clients with the most efficient and cost-effective legal representation. Our time billing reports detail the hourly rate, time expended and detailed description of the work done by each employee. In addition, our reports calculate the mean hourly rate charged by our firm. This gives our clients a quantified view of the actual costs incurred for their matters.
Advance of Fees
Patent, trademark and copyright applications all require payment of a government fee. Advancing such fees without a retainer in trust is considered “co-mingling of funds” and constitutes a violation of the law and legal ethics. Prior to any patent, trademark or copyright filing, all fees must be deposited in the firm’s trust account. This money remains property of the client until the actual filing is complete. Then (and only then) does the firm move the funds to its own account.
We accept credit cards for payment as a convenience. VISA, Mastercard and American Express are far better equipped to manage credit. Our focus in providing the best legal services.
For hourly work, the firm generally requires an advance of the estimated monthly fees that will be incurred on the project. These funds are deposited in a trust account. At the end of the month or upon completion of the project, funds in trust are applied against the hourly charges incurred by the attorneys and staff. Excess trust funds may be refunded or kept in the trust fund for future work at the election of the client.
COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT RETAINERS: Retainers are not funds against which future services are billed. Retainers are funds paid to guarantee the future availability of the lawyer’s legal services and are earned by the lawyer upon receipt. Retainers, being funds of the lawyer, may not be placed in the client’s trust account.
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CIRCULAR 230 NOTICE: To comply with U.S. Treasury Department and IRS regulations, we are required to advise you that, unless expressly stated otherwise, any U.S. federal tax advice contained in e-mail, including attachments to e-mail, is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by any person for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed in this e-mail or attachment.