We analyze the lower court documents presenting your arguments, the relevant case law, and the trial court's decision. We inform you of the best arguments you have on appeal, to either keep your win or to obtain a reversal. We warn you which areas are not worth pursuing because they will distract a court from your winning arguments. This service gives you a focus for brief-writing because you have a court perspective from the start. We will advise what to keep in mind when drafting your brief. After you receive our written evaluation, we are happy to discuss your questions or concerns. Our evaluations are very useful for settlement purposes.
We are able to set the cost of this evaluation in advance and can do this work on an hourly or flat fee basis.
We are pleased to associate with trial counsel to prepare the record, draft the brief, and argue the case in state or federal court. We are also happy to appear pro hac vice in other states' appellate courts.
We can do this work on an hourly basis, a contingent basis, or a combination of both.
We can assist in the writing, or help with the review of your draft brief. We will make the necessary revisions, both substantive and stylistic, so that your brief will be persuasive. We promptly return your draft, with our revisions, so you have plenty of time to file it.
If you are an appellant, your reply brief is especially important. You can lose an appeal if you do not know how to counter the arguments in the respondent's brief, and if you do not know how a court will perceive those arguments.
We charge an hourly rate for brief work.
We can write a "friend of the court," or amicus curiae, brief for you. Such briefs can be very helpful in telling a court about an otherwise overlooked aspect of a case, such as how it may affect an entire industry, labor union, or class of litigants.
We charge an hourly rate for preparing an amicus brief.
We are pleased to perform the oral argument. It is valuable to know where a court's questions will come from, and how to answer them. No one wants the panel to raise issues he or she hadn't foreseen. We can also prepare you for oral argument because we generally know which issues will most concern the panel judges. Such mock argument sessions are useful to practitioners who do not appear frequently in appellate courts.
The best time to handle an ethical issue is before there is a problem. When you need ethical advice, the new RPCs allow you to consult a lawyer about your professional responsibility problem, without breaching client confidentiality. We consult with lawyers and other professionals to analyze the situation and provide options about how to proceed.
Sometimes you need a formal legal opinion to protect yourself. We provide formal legal opinions on ethical and related issues.
Our firm provides advice, legal representation, and expert/consult services at the trial and appellate levels in state and federal court, including cases such as:
In the course of litigation, issues arise where professional responsibility expertise is needed. Should we ask the judge to recuse herself? Do I have to withdraw from the representation? Will I be sanctioned? Do you need to file or resist a motion to disqualify or to have the fee disgorged? We can consult with you, directly handle, or serve as expert witnesses in such a situation.
If you receive notice from the WSBA that a bar complaint has been filed against you, we can help. The best result is having the matter resolved at the initial stages before the matter is no longer confidential. We can help you write an effective response to any inquiry.
If the matter goes into formal proceedings, we represent lawyers in lawyer disciplinary cases. Because of our appellate expertise, this includes handling lawyer disciplinary matters on appeal to the Washington Supreme Court.
Judges want to do the right thing. Issues of judicial ethics are particularly important because judges are elected public officials. We provide consulting, advisory opinion, and other assistance when a judge has a professional responsibility problem. Tom Fitzpatrick is a nationally recognized authority on judicial ethics.
If a judge is charged of misconduct by the Commission on Judicial Conduct, we defend judges throughout the Commission process. In addition, we handle appeals to the Washington Supreme Court in judicial discipline matters. We have been counsel on appeal in Matter of Disciplinary Proceeding Against Niemi, 117 Wash.2d 817, 820 P.2d 41 (1991); In re Disciplinary Proceeding Against Michels, 150 Wash.2d 159, 75 P.3d 950 (2003).
We provide case evaluations involving professional liability for a variety of professions, including lawyers. We can prosecute and defend professional liability cases. We have the expertise to handle these matters on appeal. We provide forensic expert testimony in cases involving lawyers.
We consult, investigate, and defend public officials when ethical issues arise or a claim of misconduct is alleged.
We can provide training and seminars on various areas of professional responsibility and attorney fees. We have been hired by major corporations for training in the fees area. We have extensive experience teaching seminars to lawyers and other professionals.
Generally professional responsibility matters are handled on an hourly basis, but some services such as training may be done for a flat fee.