More About Us

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Our goal is to show you courtesy and consideration at all times; ethically represent you zealously; and preserve your confidences and secrets that are revealed in the course of the relationship. If you ever have any questions about the way your matter is being handled, or the fees you are charged, it is important to us that you do not hesitate to ask your attorney or staff. Although there may be occasions when it may be the next day before we can answer your question or respond to your concerns, our staff will make every effort to be prompt. We believe each and every client is entitled to that courtesy.

Billing Practices and Other Procedures

Charges for Legal Services - General Policy

We are not able to predict with certainty the amount of effort that will be required to accomplish a specific task. It is not unusual for unexpected events to arise that materially affect the amount of legal work required. Legal services rendered by our Firm are generally charged on the basis of hourly rates. Each attorney and legal assistant is assigned an hourly rate and records his or her time (in tenths of an hour) for each client and matter. Hourly rates are reviewed from time to time and are adjusted periodically (usually not more than once a year), based upon our Firm's determination of the value of each individual's services in the legal marketplace in which we serve our clients.

In handling various client matters, we attempt to utilize those attorneys and legal assistants having the lowest hourly billing rates that are commensurate with the degree of specialization and level of experience required in order to achieve the client's objectives in a timely manner. The selection of those attorneys and legal assistants who will render services will be made by the attorney having overall supervisory responsibility for each matter, taking into consideration the nature of the matter, the degree of legal experience, knowledge and specialization required in order to achieve the client's objective, the availability of attorneys and legal assistants to work on the matter and their hourly billing rates.

The time devoted to client matters may include consultations and conferences with others (including personnel in our office), correspondence, meetings, telephone calls (including calls with opposing counsel), negotiations, factual investigations and analysis, legal research and analysis, document preparation and revision, travel away from the office on the client's behalf, and other work related to the client's matters. When more than one of our legal personnel is involved in a telephone conference, meeting or court hearing, each person normally will record his or her time expended.

The billing attorney responsible for preparation of a client's invoice reviews the time records before rendering a bill for legal services. This review may result in adjustments in the invoice, where appropriate in the judgment of the billing attorney. For example, time may be adjusted downward for duplication of effort, for training time beyond the normal adjustments for attorney experience already factored into our hourly rates, or in other situations where it appears appropriate to the billing attorney not to charge for the full time spent on the engagement.

Advance Payments - Retainers

Our policy is to request a retainer from new clients and for new matters from existing clients. Since we normally view retainers as a credit protection device, our policy with respect to new clients is to request a retainer which we believe is appropriate to cover our credit risk for the work we expect to perform during the period from when the work is first performed until payment for the work is actually received. In the normal course, and since we generally invoice our clients monthly by the middle of the next succeeding month, and anticipate payment promptly (and in no more than 30 days from our invoice date), our requested retainer for new clients usually anticipates the amount of work we will perform during the forthcoming 75 day period. If and to the extent that our initial representation is enlarged or payment of our statements is slower than expected, we reserve the right to require our retainer to be increased as a condition to our continuing representation. In the event that we require an additional retainer as a condition to continuing to perform our services or incur expenses on behalf of a client, we will advise our client in advance of the time that the retainer is required.

Any retainer that we receive is refundable, at any time, to the extent not applied against services rendered and disbursements incurred on our client's behalf. Although a retainer is requested with the expectation of applying such payment against our final billing, with any excess being returned, retainers are received with the understanding that we are expressly authorized to utilize sums necessary to pay for services rendered and disbursements as they are incurred. In the event that any portion of a retainer is applied, the client will be notified in writing and will be provided with a brief statement explaining the services rendered and disbursements incurred. If the charges for services rendered and disbursements incurred exceed the portion of the retainer which is applied, the statement will show the excess due and payable.


Our Firm endeavors to provide the most effective support systems available, while at the same time using reasonable efforts to allocate the costs of such systems to the clients who use them. We separately charge, as disbursements, for non-local telephone calls, facsimile, and other telecommunication services, document photocopying, delivery and messenger services, postage and express courier service, computerized research and other out-of-pocket expenses incurred on behalf of a client.

Computerized Support Services including Word-Processing: We do not currently charge for computerized word-processing services; however, we attempt to recover our costs when we use specialized computer programs such as in connection with estate administration.

Computer Research: Our Firm uses computer-assisted research. Our Firm has found that when such tools can be utilized, the time spent by the attorney in performing research can be significantly reduced. We bill our clients only the actual fee charged by the vendor based upon the use of such services. Our Firm also uses various on-line Internet services which are available without the payment of any vendor fees. Our Firm charges for the time spent by the attorney or our staff in obtaining information searched for based on the individuals hourly billing rate.

Billing Procedures

Invoices are normally rendered monthly and are due and payable upon receipt. We endeavor to include disbursements and other charges in the invoice for the monthly period in which such charges are posted. When there is a delay in posting disbursements, the unposted disbursements will be billed, when posted, on a subsequent invoice.

Our Firm charges interest on outstanding invoices from the date rendered, if not paid in full within 30 days of being rendered, at a rate of twelve percent per annum, not to exceed the maximum rate allowable by law. In the event that our invoices are not, thereafter, paid in a timely manner, and in our discretion we determine that it is appropriate for us to institute proceedings or take other actions to collect our outstanding balance then due, our Firm reserves the right to charge for our costs of collection including reasonable attorney fees and, to the extent permitted by the canons of ethics, the value of our Firm’s services in connection therewith at our then normal hourly rates. In addition, if any invoice is not paid within 30 days after being rendered, our Firm reserves the right, at any time thereafter (unless all then outstanding invoices are paid in full before the time of our resignation) to resign as counsel, in which event at least five days prior written notice will be given.

In the event of a dispute concerning our invoices which we are unable to resolve to a client's satisfaction, the client may have the right to seek arbitration pursuant to Rules of Professional Responsibility adopted in the State of Washington, in which event we will provide the client with the necessary information upon the client’s request.

In the event that we perform services for an individual or entity associated with a client, and are instructed by such individual or entity to directly invoice such other client, we may do so, based upon the understanding that such billing will be merely for the convenience of the individual or entity for whom the services are being performed, and such individual or entity will make the payment to us of our legal fees and disbursements for services rendered if such other client does not, for any reason, make timely and full payment, as invoiced by us.

Although we stand behind the services which we provide to our clients, in the event that we are made a party to a litigation with respect to our services for a client by someone other than our client or who is not entitled to be a beneficiary of our services for our client, and such litigation against us either is dismissed or we are found not to be liable to such third party, then our Firm expects to be reimbursed by our client for the reasonable expenses of our defense (including our normal time charges in asserting our defense) and we reserve the right to obtain indemnification therefor.

Engagement in other matters

Our engagement by a client in a particular matter does not apply to other services which our Firm may be capable of rendering to such client, and our Firm reserves the right to decline to render other services or to render such other services only upon terms which our Firm deems acceptable.

Our Firm represents many entities and individuals, and it is possible that some of our present or future clients may be competitors of, or may have disputes or dealings with, another client of our Firm during the time that we are representing such other client. As a condition to our undertaking any engagement, the client recognizes and agrees that our Firm may continue to represent or may undertake in the future to represent other existing or new clients in any matter that is not substantially related to our work for such client. In such an instance, our Firm acknowledges and agrees that such prospective consent to possibly conflicting representation does not apply in any instance where, as the result of our representation of a client, our Firm has a duty, under the Canons of Ethics, not to represent any such other client without the first client's express consent thereto.

Retention of Documents

We maintain in our files any document a client furnishes to us. Our Firm’s files pertaining to any particular matter, including internal lawyer work product such as internal memoranda, drafts and notes, administrative records and staffing materials belong to, and are retained by, our Firm as we deem appropriate. At the conclusion of a particular matter (or earlier, if appropriate), it is the client's obligation to advise our Firm as to which, if any, of the client’s documents the client wishes to have returned. Our Firm may retain any remaining documents in our files for a certain period of time and will ultimately destroy them in accordance with our Firm's record retention program schedule then in effect. At the present time, pursuant to such schedule, our Firm keeps clients' documents for at least three years after we close a matter; although in certain areas (such as estate planning) we consider that a matter remains open for a significantly longer period. After such time, we destroy those documents, unless the client instructs us otherwise. Prior to such destruction, we will make a reasonable attempt to notify the client and give the client a reasonable period of time (up to three months) to take receipt of its documents. To the extent that a client requests us to turn over any documents, we are entitled to charge for the assemblage and delivery of such documents at our customary hourly rates.

Client Information and Privacy

Our Firm is not responsible for independently verifying the truth, accuracy and completeness of information supplied to our Firm by or on behalf of a client. Delivery of such information to our Firm is deemed by us to constitute a warranty of its truth, accuracy and completeness. Our Firm relies upon the client to review for correctness and completeness all applications and other communications drafted by our Firm that will or could be submitted to or relied upon by regulatory authorities or other third parties. Likewise, we expect that a client will treat confidentiality all written documents we have delivered (including opinions and memoranda) and will not - even as regards their material content - pass these documents to third parties without our prior written approval, and that the client will place its own employees and agents under the same obligation. Our Firm will take all reasonable steps to protect the privacy rights and confidential information of its clients.

Termination of Engagement

A client may terminate our Firm's engagement with or without cause at any time on written notice to us. We will return all documents belonging to the client and any other property of the client we may be holding promptly after termination of our engagement and payment for services rendered and disbursements incurred. We will, however, retain our own files, including other documents and work papers generated during the engagement. If the client desires to make copies of those portions of our files to which the client is entitled, the client or its new counsel can arrange to make copies of such documents at its expense (including the cost of any assemblage of documents required of our staff) in order to maintain new counsel's continued representation. Termination of our Firm's engagement will not affect the client's responsibility to pay for legal services rendered by us and all disbursements and other charges incurred up to the date when we receive notice of termination, and for any further work and expenses required of us in order to facilitate an orderly turnover of the client's documents.

Our Firm may terminate our engagement with a client for any of the reasons permitted under the Code of Professional Responsibility, including the client's failure to pay promptly our invoices or our reasonable belief that our invoices will not be paid, misrepresentation of (or failure to disclose) any material facts necessary for our representation, or any other conduct or situation that in our judgment impairs an effective attorney-client relationship or presents conflicts with our professional responsibilities. If our Firm determines to discontinue its services, we will not do so without first giving the client due notice of such intention to discontinue, cooperating to the extent reasonably requested by the client with counsel subsequently employed and otherwise reasonably endeavoring to assure that matters in which we were engaged should not be unduly prejudiced. If required, our Firm will request a stipulation executed by the client allowing us to withdraw as attorney of record in any judicial, arbitration or similar proceedings; alternatively, our Firm, under the foregoing circumstances, may apply for a court order approving our deliver such a stipulation if requested and to our withdrawal under such circumstances.