New Location and Contact Information

Effective Monday, April 16, 2012, I will be in my new office location in the Fernwell Building:

505 West Riverside, Suite 521
Spokane WA 99201

The lobby is located in Suite 500.

In conjunction with the move, I am taking on a new phone and fax number (my current phone number will still work, but I personally think the new number is easier to remember):

Phone: (509) 252-5055
Fax: (866) 385-0452

The physical move is taking place over the weekend. Hopefully, the chaos will clear by Monday (at least that is the plan).

Back to Business as Usual

I am on the tail-end of a short holiday break. I’ll be back in my office tomorrow and returning to regular business hours.

Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. We have another holiday weekend just ahead! Looks like the Courts are closed on December 31st. I will schedule appointments on Friday 12/31/11. However other than pre-scheduled appointments, my office will be closed to walk-ins and the telephones will be answered by voice mail after noon.

Remember for those who have difficulty getting a call out from work, I take appointments by online scheduling on this website.

Scheduling An Appointment Online

I often forget to let existing clients know about online booking.  Some of my clients booked their initial consultation with me using my online scheduling service.    This is also a great tool for existing clients.  I’ve recently added the function to the firm’s Facebook page. Scheduling can also be accomplished via this website navigating to the Schedule Online page.

Here is a walk-thru of the process using both Facebook and the Website.

On Facebook, click on the “Schedule Now” on the left menu.

FBScheduleNow

The scheduling page will open up with a pull down menu to select “Initial Consultation” or “Existing Client”.

FB-Select-Service

Once a service is selected, links to available time slots show up on the calendar.  Click on the selected time and you will be asked to fill out your name, phone number, and email contact information (once you use this system, you will be entered as a “contact” and less information is required each time).

FBDropDown

The process is similar for scheduling through this website.  Again, the user must choose between “Initial Consultation” or “Existing Client”

WebsiteSelectService

Once the service is selected, the schedule will show available time slots.

Website-Dropdown

No matter which service is used for online scheduling, the user’s identifying information will not display on the calendar.  My pre-existing appointments and court appearances are blocked off for scheduling, but all details are kept hidden.

I hope clients find online scheduling useful.  I know that I personally appreciate the ability to make my own appointments online – particularly since I can do so when at anytime of the day without having to interrupt my work hours.

 

This web site and these articles are not legal advice and are not intended as legal advice.  This web site and these articles are intended to provide only general, non-specific legal information.  This web site and these articles are not intended to cover all the issues related to the topic discussed.  The specific facts that apply to your matter may make the outcome different than would be anticipated by you.  This web site and these articles do not create any attorney client relationship between you and Tamara C. Murray.  This web site and the articles contained on this web site are not solicitations.

November 2011 Holiday Hours

The holidays are here again.  How did that happen?  Every year I am befuddled by the notion that the holidays re-appear like clockwork.

Since time marches on regardless of whether or not I catch up, the following is my scheduled office closure for November 2011:

Friday, Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2011

Wednesday, November 23 through Friday, November 26, 2011.

I typically take time off in December each year, however, those dates are currently unsettled.  Stay tuned…

Office Closed Thursday 11/1/10

My office will be closed on Veteran’s Day.  I will be working, however, the wonderful staff who answer my phones and accept deliveries are getting a well-deserved holiday.

I will try and use some of that time on Thursday to continue my “Stuff I Use” series.  There have been some interesting changes/upgrades on that front since my last post.

Vacation in July

I am taking a vacation from the afternoon of July 1 through July 9th.  I’ll be returning to the office on July 12th.  While I’m out, I may be checking my e-mail sporadically to avoid it stacking up (but I’m not making any rash promises).  Between my visiting family and family visiting me, things are going to be quite hectic – but fun.

New Street Address

First, the important point of this post, my new street address which is: 1312 North Monroe Street, Spokane, Washington 99201.  My phone, fax and e-mail address remain the same.

I tried to find a clever, sage quote referencing going back to the beginning or returning to all where it all started, but a fast (and lazy) Google search was unsatisfactory.  For those who go back with me a couple of years, this new address will look a little familiar.  I am returning to my old stomping grounds where it all started in Pat Fannin’s gorgeous historic building outfitted for Spokane Virtual Offices.

I had a couple of motivating forces going on behind this decision.  First and foremost is quality of service at this location.  The reception is staffed full time and the conferences rooms are grand.  Secondly, I tend to telecommute whenever possible and I never gave up the exceptional phone service offered by Spokane Virtual Offices – even when I physically moved myself to a different location for a little over a year.

It’s a lot of fun being back “home” and I look forward to seeing all of my clients at the new/old digs.

Uncontested Divorce and Flat Rate Plans

I offer flat “fixed” rate plans for uncontested marital dissolutions as an economical alternative to paying an hourly rate.  If the case qualifies, the flat rate plan fixes the legal fees at a predetermined rate.  The advantage to the client is predictability and cost control.  The advantage to me is  reduced administration time and frankly, gives me a break from acrimonious litigation.  The flat rate plans are broken down by legal fees and costs here.

The Uncontested Case: The truly uncontested case is one where both spouses agree to everything – nothing needs to be negotiated or litigated.

Representation of One Party Only: I will not meet with both spouses.  I only represent one spouse and one spouse only.   The spouse that I do not represent is always advised to seek his/her own attorney to review the paperwork and provide legal advice.  If the other spouse chooses not to seek independent legal advice, then I require him/her to sign a waiver to that effect.

Hiring an Attorney versus a Paralegal: There are a number of paralegal services who provide a typing service to put together your documents.  I have nothing against paralegals making a living – I was once a paralegal myself!  However, paralegals cannot give legal advice and they cannot give an individual an opinion one way or the other as to whether or not the decisions being made are the right decisions.  An attorney who practices family law has extensive knowledge of the statutes pertinent to family law as well as the case law interpreting those statues.

If the Case Becomes Contested: If either party files a motion, if the other spouse refuses to sign the documents, or if either spouse backs out of their agreement prior to signing the documents, then the case is contested.  At that point the client may take the option of re-hiring me on an hourly basis.  If the client does not wish to hire me on an hourly basis, then I will withdraw from the case.

If the Client Terminates My Services Prior to Completing the Work: The flat fee payment constituting the “legal fees” immediately becomes my property and is not placed in my trust account.  However, the fact that the flat fee is paid in advance does not affect the client’s right to terminate my services.  In the event my services are terminated before the agreed upon services are completed, the client may or may not have the right to a refund to a portion of the fee.

Online Scheduling

I am trying out an online scheduling application so that new and existing clients can book appointments online.  There are links placed all over the website and special spot on the navigation bar to choose from.   For those reading this post, appointments can be booked online here or here.

If I get a positive response to the scheduling system, it will remain a permanent option.

Because my schedule changes on a daily basis to accommodate deadlines and court hearings, online scheduling is available 14 days in advance.

All of the information is secure and no one can “see” the details on the calendar.  In order to maintain security, individual accounts must be created by the client and I will confirm the appointments after they are scheduled online.

As always, you can contact my office by phone at (509) 252-9156 for scheduling.  However, I wanted to include an extra service for folks who want the flexibility of planning their schedules or maybe find it easier to schedule online.

More on Flat Rate Plans

The flat rate plans are live on the website.

The flat rate plans are limited to uncontested dissolutions and child support modifications.

All other cases are billed on an hourly basis. There are a couple of differences between flat rate plans and cases that are billed on an hourly basis:

  • Flat rate plans are locked in for legal services. As long as the services fall within the scope of the flat rate plan (the scope is given to the client in detail), the client will not be charged further for legal services.
  • The amount paid for legal services under a flat rate plan is not deposited into my trust account. The legal services are considered my property immediately, although if my services are terminated before the conclusion of a case, a portion may or may not be considered refundable.
  • I generally charge a higher advance deposit for cases that are charged on anhourly basis because there is a very low level of predictability for how much work will be required.
  • Advance deposits for hourly cases are deposited into my trust account and paid to me as services are rendered. Any unearned portion of the advance deposit is refundable.