Family Law and Divorce Case Second Opinions - New Paradigm for 2017!
Thurman Arnold III introduced the second legal opinion for dissolution and non-marital family law cases on this website about 10 years ago, which only became economically efficient with the advent and the popular use of the Internet. Since then we've done scores of second opinions, supporting self-represented parties and those with counsel in cases pending throughout California, and particularly beyond Riverside and San Bernardino counties - where our family law practice is located.
Both Michael and Thurman love doing second opinions. We are obsessed with evaluating and weighing in on complex legal and situational circumstances and we passionately care about the experience of not only parties to divorce, but of their attorneys as well. Mr. Arnold is an imperfect student of Zen, and wants to alleviate divorce suffering wherever we may be of value. If you are a reader of our Enlightened Divorce Blog™, you have likely noticed that we try to go beyond simply restating legal principles by offering tips and how-too's based upon our experience and insights. Thurman was licensed to practice family law in 1982. He and Mike are Certified Family Law Specialists. Thurman is Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Our enthusiasm and sincerity has been demonstrated by the some 1,800 pages you will find on this website. If you've not searched this site for the free answers that we've already written about, we urge you to do so because maybe there's no need to speak with us at all (start with the search engine at the upper right of each page)!
We endeavor to take the high road in empowering our readers by what we publish on this website. But it is hard for a reader to ask a blog or website page a question, or it interpret and relate information to specifics of one's own circumstance. We want to weigh in on your concerns more directly if you wish it, to help you with the twists and turns you may be facing, and to see that you avoid the cul de sacs that the experience and practice of family law commonly include.
The landscape of California family law is insanely and destructively complex to navigate safely and alone. Whatever side of the relationship equation you find yourself on, your position is much improved when we pool our minds to fashion creative and astute solutions. Sometimes it is the judges whom you must overcome or the terrible inefficiencies of the courts. Sad to say, in many ways success hinges on a struggle between "just folks" and the adversarial family law system itself. This is why Thurman is an avid mediator.
We Decided in December, 2016 to Experiment With Reducing Costs for Second Opinions
Michael Peterson and Thurman decided last year to find a way to make second opinion professional help more affordable to litigants and their attorneys. We began an experiment to test whether we could reach more folks if we reduced our rates this month to see if this would resonate for a larger audience.
Given that many folks, though not all, have counsel and that those attorneys may be participating in our discussions and so must bill their clients, in order to reduce the overall cost for second opinion parties with lawyers we are going to continue to offer second opinions at $375/hour for Thurman, and $300/hour for Michael, with a two-hour minimum. We can afford to do this because we do not become your attorneys, or your attorneys of record - we just hope to surgically assist you on limited issues. This avoids overhead costs for us that lawyers, like any business professionals, must build into their rates, and so justifies for us smaller fees. We want to offer a discount that incentivizes you to reach out to us!
Please understand - we find we usually have to spend at least an hour or two reviewing your pleadings, case history, and your notes and emails, and even doing legal research, before our conferences in order to size up the situation and so give our most competent feedback. Our experience is that at least an hour (but often more than that, LOL) is required to understand most case histories. Rarely do we see phone conferences lasting under an hour. For that reason, we have to enforce a 2 hour minimum charge. However, we are willing to fix a maximum charge even if your matters takes up more than 2 hours of prep and consult time, where to do so is fair to you and us in terms of how complex your issues really are. In other words, we aren't going to surprise you with charges that you did not expect.
For the attorneys among us, we want to support you. We are not interested in poaching clients or undermining anyone. More heads are better than a few. In fact, we may well help reinforce your own conclusions about case management, the realities of which are sometimes hard from parties to divorce and family law to hear and accept. Other times, together we might come up with creative and productive strategies that are novel or not readily apparent, which favorably alter the course of the proceedings.
If this sounds like it may be value to you, please contact Kristin Jensen at our office, and we can get this started. Our aim is to complete all 2nd Opinion conferences within two weeks of you contacting us!
Author: The Thurman Arnold Law Firm
Second Opinion Review
Google Review by a highly intelligent, self-represented, CA attorney, 1/2017