Emerald City Legal Services

Example Future FAQ Title

Personal Injury FAQ

Answers to common personal injury question, be sure to also check the page that applies to your situation.

I have been injured in an accident. Can you represent me?
Yes. Remember if you’ve been injured, the defendant’s insurance company IS NOT your friend. Their goal is to get rid of your claim for cheap. They don’t care about you. You’re just a number to them that will reduce their profit margins by $XX.XX, biting into what they pay in bloated salaries, bonuses, inflated CEO pay, and to Madison Avenue advertising agencies for their slick marketing, etc. It’s not personal, it’s business. You need to get full and fair compensation, even when the deck is stacked against you, but they have lots of lawyers working to get rid of your case for cheap; you would be a fool to go up against them without your own lawyer to fight them.
The Insurance Company made me an offer should I accept it?
Probably Not. The insurance company is trying to get rid of you as cheap as possible; they are trying to preserve their assets, not make fair offers. Usually what they offer is far below what your claim is worth. But they will often try to convince you that you are getting the same amount or more, without a lawyer, ‘because you aren’t paying an attorney fee.’ So the question is ‘should you believe the insurance company is telling you the truth when they have a financial interest in misleading you?’. The answer is almost always – No.
The Insurance Company claims that I’m partly at fault, what do I do?
This is a common tactic by the insurance companies. Remember they are trying to get rid of your case for cheap. So if they convince you that you are partly at fault, then they reduce their already cheap offer even more. I’ve seen insurance companies try to claim that a client who got rear-ended while stopped at a marked crosswalk for a crossing pedestrian, or another client that was t-boned when a driver shot out of an alley across three lanes, was partly at fault. Most likely they are making it up to see if you are dumb enough to accept some liability and they can write an even smaller check. Don’t make that mistake; they are trying to cheat you.
I was injured by a Table-Saw, can you help me? And why should I hire you?
I’m one of the only carpenter/furniture-maker-turned-lawyers in the country; I own two table saws. I used to spend up to 10 hours a day on a table-saw. I understand table-saws in a way that no other lawyer ever will. If you’ve been injured by a table-saw you need a lawyer who can tell the story of your injury to a jury with conviction and understanding. The best person to do that, is a lawyer who has seen their friend’s finger laying on a table-saw like I have.

Small Business FAQ’s

Common Small Business Questions

I’m a small business, and I need some help with legal issues, can you help me?
Probably. Half of my practice is devoted to small business issues. So I can help with contract issues, lease issues, employee issues, and disputes with contract providers. I’ve helped a local deli, doctor, dive shop, spa, and others deal with their established business issues. Give me a call to see if I can help you.
I’m starting a business, and I know that I should know something about the law to start off right, but I don’t know where to start, can you help me?
Yes. I offer a primer for small businesses on the law and how it affects them starting up and when they get established. I’ve helped a local restaurant, family therapist, spa, and other lawyers, deal with start-up issues, by positioning themselves to avoid problems later on. Since I own two businesses, I also offer practical advice on running the business and avoiding common pitfalls.

General Legal FAQ’s

Questions about the law in general, small firms vs. big firms, etc.

What areas of law does ECLS practice?
Personal Injury, General Litigation, Construction Law, Table Saw injuries, Contract Negotiation, Drafting, and litigation, Dispute Resolution, Small Business Law, and many other areas in which a general practice lawyer is needed.
Why should I hire a small firm instead of one of the big firms?
Mainly because you get better service with a small firm; remember the big firms have HUGE overhead, so they burn through A LOT of cases, pawning the work off on paralegals, and pushing for quick settlements to pay the bills. The big firms would rather have 1/3 of a small settlement and move onto the next case, than do the work to get a bigger settlement or jury award because they don’t want the risk. Small firms don’t do that. We work with our clients to position their case for the best result, because if we don’t – we starve. So you get much better service from us, and as a result you get a better result in your case.
How is ECLS different from other law firms?
We’re small and accessible (but we carry a big stick). We give hands on service to our clients. You will know your lawyer. We answer our own phone. We believe that every case, and every client, deserves the maximum recovery. We aren’t out there spending lots of money on advertising and overhead so we have to ‘grind out’ the cases to pay our bills. We don’t believe in selling our clients a ‘story’ to land the case, then ‘fliping’ the case for a few bucks, and moving onto the next case. We believe in educating our clients about their case because it makes them better witnesses and gives them confidence. We recognize that this is your life, and that you will understandably need help working through this process, and we give you that help. You don’t get that from big firms because they can’t afford the time.
The big firm says they are so respected and powerful that the other side is afraid of them, is that true?
No. There are about 20 lawyers in the country, ‘Lions of the trial bar’ (none in WA), that insurance companies are afraid of. These lawyers spend most of their time teaching other lawyers, and hardly ever take new clients. For everybody else, what dictates the value of any case is how the defendant (read: insurance company lawyers) feel the facts of the case will play to the jury, basically how well the plaintiff’s lawyer tells the client’s story. Big firm lawyers don’t know their clients as well as the small firm lawyers; they can’t, they have too many cases. So the question for you is ‘who would be better at telling my story to the jury’? The big firm lawyer who barely knows me and has all the work done by paralegals? Or, the lawyer who has lived and breathed my case for months, and been with me every step of the way?
I’m getting sued can you help me?
Maybe, but I only do a limited amount of defense work; look at my defense page. If you’re the right kind of client and case I might be able to help you. If you are being sued because you were involved in a car wreck, call your insurance company they have to defend you, I don’t do insurance defense work. If you’re getting sued for any other reason, you need a lawyer now; otherwise you are going to get ‘hammered’, because you can't do this alone. Remember the old adage, "The man who represents himself, has a fool for a client!".
How much does it cost to retain ECLS?
It depends upon the case. In contingent cases, like personal injury claims, it costs nothing. In other types of cases that have hourly billing or flat fees, like contract issues, dispute resolutions, small business issues, etc, it depends upon the complexity of the case and the risk factors involved. But I often work on a billing basis, where I bill for the work as we go along so no ‘retainer’ is required. It just depends on the case.
Do I need to retain a lawyer?
A ‘trick’ question. Technically you only ‘retain’ a lawyer by advancing money to pay for services your attorney will do. Commonly ‘retain a lawyer’ means to ‘have a lawyer’, and everyone needs to ‘have’ a good lawyer, just like they need to ‘have’ a good doctor, dentist, and mechanic. Because everyone has legal issues they need addressed, whether it is help with a contract, drafting a will and living will, resolving a dispute, or help because they were in an accident and the insurance company is trying to hammer them.
I am about to sign a contract. Is there anything in it I should be wary of?
Probably. Some of the biggest messes are when people create contracts that don’t adequately comply with the law, or spell out what are the party’s responsibilities, or how to resolve problems that might crop up along the way. “Good Contracts Make Good Friends.” So a good contract should be clear, concise, and have a process for dealing with unforeseen issues. I’ve always thought it ironic that the two most important contracts in life, your marriage, and your mortgage, are usually the ones that they have the least amount of legal advice.
What is your background and why do you practice law?
Since I was a little boy, I’ve always wanted to be a lawyer. I took a detour from going to law school because of – Life. Along the way I served in the Navy, worked retail, got beat up by life, became a furniture maker & carpenter, and eventually became a lawyer as a real ‘grown up’. I practice in a small firm because I’m motivated to help regular people get real access to justice, and help solving their everyday legal problems. Take a look at my ‘bio’ page.
I’ve been charged with a crime can you help me?
No. I don’t do criminal law. I can refer you to two good friends of mine who does criminal defense, call/email if you would like a referral (also see my Resources page). If you’ve been arrested, when they tell you that you have the right to remain silent, say to yourself “excellent idea, I’ll do that!”, and when they say you have the right to an attorney, say “another excellent idea, I want one of those”, then call one of my friends, Ned, or Bob.
Placeholder question here (Don't click here!).?
Placeholder Answer - You just couldn't resist could you? :) Well there's nothing here, but there is another hidden page on my website, where you can find lawyer jokes, if you look, and dig. And no fair using a tool, or some other secret sluthing method, you should actually look for the clues and hidden access.