The Law Office of Gary S. Austin
6809 Indiana Avenue, Suite 145
Riverside, CA 92506
FOR CHOOSING OUR OFFICE
We are pleased that you have put your trust in us. We are aware that there are many to chose from, but we feel you will appreciate the personal service and expertise we will provide to you here.
This information is presented to you as a guide as to how our office best serves you. We find that these guidelines are prime ways for us to help you to succeed in the greatest outcome for your case.
Gary S. Austin, Esq
CONTACTING YOUR ATTORNEY
We schedule all telephone & video conferences with our clients in advance. That means that unless there is an emergency, you generally will not be able to call the office and speak with your attorney without a scheduled appointment.
We do this for many reasons and have seen consistently that this benefits both you and our legal team. We are frequently in meetings with clients or out of the office. By having the call on the calendar as an appointment this ensures your attorney is available when you are, and that you have your attorney’s undivided attention.
Our office is open Monday through Friday
9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Our answering assistants will answer your call after hours,
a member of our team will contact you by the next business day.
preventing irreparable harm or immediate danger to a party or their children;
preventing immediate loss or damage to property;
Contact Law Enforcement and seek an Emergency Protective Order or Criminal Protective Order
Some legal issues may be “urgent” to your case, but that does not rise to the level of an emergency.
Urgent situations may be:
•Your child(ren) were picked up by the other parent during your custodial time and after reasonable efforts, you cannot locate your child(ren) or the other parent.
•You were served with a domestic violence restraining order.
•You did not receive your support payment.
•Child Protective Services is at your home.
if you have a defined emergency, call the office during work hours and you will be contacted immediately.
If you have an urgent or important situation, please call our office and the team will make sure that the information is conveyed to an attorney and you receive a response as soon as possible, usually within one business day.
Whether your issue is urgent, important, or in the normal course of business, we are committed to addressing your concerns and responding to you.
EVERYTHING in our relationship is confidential. The ethical requirements of the lawyer apply to all employees of our ofiice.
We treat all client communications, whether oral, written or otherwise, as highly confidential information that may not be repeated or communicated to any other person without the express consent of the client.
It is important for you to know that confidentiality can be waived if you inadvertently discuss your case or disclose any confidential information with a non-lawyer outside of our office. This includes discussing, texting, messaging, confidential information, or sharing confidential communication with friends, significant other, or family member.
Please be cautious with all paperwork you receive from our office and with all conversations you have regarding the matters for which we are assisting you.
You will be required to provide our office with a non-work email address for all email communications. Please do not email our office with your employer-provided or business email address as this may inadvertently waive confidentiality in communications with us. Your work emails can be obtained by the other side during the course of your legal matter.
Please note that Text messaging or Social Media posts are an unacceptable form of communication with our office.
Confidentiality extends to the client. If a family member or friend came with you to a meeting or paid fees on your behalf, confidentiality does not pertain to them. We cannot and will not speak to your family or friends without a written waiver on file.
Dealing with the opposing party
While not every situation is contentious, on occasion a matter can become heated or escalate in tension.
We want you to know that in fulfilling our duty to vigorously represent you, we will engage in a manner designed to best represent you while maintaining the professionalism and integrity of our profession.
We expect the client to be professional at all times, including in court, at depositions, and in any other meetings.
We ask that you NOT
Be combative towards the other party via text message, social media, email or other communication tools;
You making disparaging statements, comments, posting photos or memes relating to your specific case or any other party involved in this litigation via social media; or
Offensive or abusive language from a client toward any staff member.
We understand you may be going through a difficult time with this legal matter, but we would ask that you maintain a level of professionalism at all times.
Policies and Procedures
To better serve all of our clients. Our office has implemented a new communication policy to improve our time management, case tracking and efficiency for both our clients and the attorney. This policy will apply to all clients.
Communications are charged at a regular billing rate of .1 hours (6 minutes). This includes: Emails, telephone calls, or Virtual meetings
Our office has created a questionnaire for any questions or inquiries regarding your case.
Billing for use of the questionnaire is a minimum .2 hours (12 minutes) for reviewing and responding to the questions.
This policy was implemented to avoid back-and-forth communication with the attorney and staff.
Instead, a questionnaire is to be completed by the client.
Regarding the Questionnaire and Emails
The process is as follows:
The client will communicate the need to address an issue or ask a question
A questionnaire link is sent to the client for specific questions
A response to the question from the attorney is made within 48-72 hours *Unless it is deemed as an emergency.
** If the client requires a phone call or virtual meeting it is scheduled for 12 to 15 minutes. Which client will be billed for
This process will repeat for subsequent questions or issues
This policy is relaxed for clients the week or 2 weeks before their hearing date(s) depending on the attorney’s or staff’s availability
This process allows us to better track and serves all of our clients
Here Is the Link to Our Questionnaire
Please note: A second (or more) follow-up questionnaires are sent ONLY after the initial process is completed
Responses to Questions:
Responses submitted via the questionnaire will be answered
From the questionnaire
By a video response (Loom or Other)
Or by email
Within 48-72 hours (2-3 business days)
Calls and Virtual Meetings:
Calls and virtual meetings are scheduled after we receive your questionnaire and learn the specific questions/issues that the call/meeting will focus on.
Preparation for calls/virtual meetings is essential to ensure efficient and effective use of everyone’s time.
All 10-15 minute pre-scheduled Zoom or scheduled telephone calls or virtual responses.
Will end automatically end once time expires
Random unspecified emails will not be replied to
In the Implementation of Our Policy:
Clients are not:
Billed for communications seeking routine information on the first request (hearing dates, locations, filing dates, sharing telephone numbers) though this information will be made available to the client digitally/virtually.
responsible for keeping track of dates and locations for matters once provided
* Please refer to our section on emergencies
** Calls and Virtual meetings automatically will end at the appointed time
NEXT STEPS AFTER COMING ON BOARD
Immediately - An intake form will be emailed to you for your completion.
Within 3-5 days - Depending on the nature of your case. A financial packet will be emailed to you for your completion.
This packet consists of forms regarding your finances. This does not include the other parties' finances
There is normally a set of videos and instructions to assist you with this process
This is a mandatory, court-mandated process. Your case will not, & can not move forward without it
These forms are time sensitive and required to move your case along in a timely manner.
Please return all forms if possible within 2-3 business days
UPDATES TO YOUR CASE
As new developments arise in your legal matter, you may need to have periodic meetings with us.
These meetings may have a singular focus, such as preparing for a specific meeting or court appearance
or it may be for a general status update on a number of issues.
Please be sure to contact our office and relay any new information related to your case.
If there are new documents, please make sure to relay a copy of those documents
to our office about the information.
We also need to know if there are any significant activities that have been impacted your life
such as a loss of employment, new employment, a proposed move, moving in with a new partner,
plans to get remarried, or an arrest. If you change your email address, physical address or
telephone number you must notify our office.
If during the course of our representation with you a new legal matter arises, we are happy to discuss this with you.
However, please be sure to mention this when scheduling time to talk by phone or in person
so we can schedule adequate time to discuss the new matter.
Our invoices to you will include two categories of charges; FEES and COSTS
FEES are the amounts we charge for our legal services.
Retainers are typically paid in full after initial consultation and agreement to accept the case. In some cases, a 50% deposit can be put down with arrangements for payments.
If you cannot afford a full retainer, we offer an hourly rate for limited-scope representation at court hearings within Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
Contact our office for more details
COSTS are amounts that we pass on to you for our out-of-pocket expenses.
There are two types of costs:
administrative out-of-pocket costs (i.e., fax, photocopy, domestic postage, etc.) which are billed as a flat fee; as well as
additional out-of-pocket costs which may be billed to you during the course of litigation, such as filing fees, expert fees, and certification fees.
Typical out of pocket costs are:
First Filing Fee ($410-$450)
Motion/Request for Order ($60-$150)
Certification Fees ($15-$25)
Court Copies ($1.00 per page)
Transcript Fees (vary)
Trial (at a minimum $129.50/day)
Child Custody Evaluator (approx. $5,000-$7,000)
Please make every effort to stay current with deposits to your retainer account or other agreed payment plan so we can remain focused on resolving your legal matter without interruption. If you fail to abide by the terms of your Retainer Agreement or other payment schedules by falling behind in your payments or failing to keep your retainer account current, we will suspend work on your matter until the non-payment issue is resolved. If the problem continues, we will make every effort, consistent with our ethical obligations, to withdraw from your matter.
We look forward to working with you !
"Fighting for your Family's success"
The Law Office of Gary S. Austin is committed to continual improvement of our service.
If you have a suggestion as to how we can improve our service, we’d love to hear from you.
Please feel free to email us at email@example.com. It is our priority to help you keep what you don’t want to lose,
If you have a suggestion on how we can improve our services to you, we would love the feedback.