Today’s economy presents everyone with serious decisions about how best to allocate their financial resources and to monitor expenditures to achieve the best return on investments, any investment. Legal services are no exception. Our mission is to provide our clients with exceptional legal services and counseling without incurring legal fees which render the result meaningless.
Many small to mid-size corporations, as well as individuals, virtually have been closed out of the quality legal service market because ever increasing legal fees have made it impossible in many instances to retain quality representation while achieving the client’s goals. Incurring legal fees that cut into a client’s recovery by so much that common sense dictates the client should have accepted an initial settlement offer, no matter how inadequate before incurring all those legal fees, and experiencing two, three, or more years of stress , while becoming a major diversion of the client’s attention from more productive activities, succeeds only in creating a distaste for the system while bolstering the public’s general perception that justice can only be achieved by those who can afford the big firm.
Experts on the economy and management of law firms, like Michael H. Trotter, Esq., of Taylor English Duma of Atlanta, Georgia, addressing today’s many problems confronting the larger and mid-size law firms, have recently commented that financial costs have proliferated to the point where many clients, mostly corporations, are determined, if not compelled, to reduce their own costs and get away from the higher priced firms (see article). However, as Mr. Lattman pointed out in his article, those larger law firms are morphing into legal department stores, expecting thousands of billable hours annually from over paid associates and, with those hours, commensurate revenues enough to compensate its members. They staff and, in many instances, overstaff matters with younger lawyers. The result is a scenario whereby the client really does not receive the necessary, hands- on attention deserving of their case, while incurring “blended” but ever increasing rates because the partner must supervise the work. Before long, the client realizes it has expended well past its anticipated budget and now is in “over his head”. How can I continue with this case? But, how can I afford to drop it at this point? Unfortunately, these firms have become big businesses and some are pricing themselves out of business (see article). Unfortunately, the firms that suggest that they are cost-effective alternatives merely turn out to be slightly less costly as they aspire to grow.
More and more small corporations have taken their legal work in-house in an effort to save what these experts contend can be up to 50% of outside legal fees. But, in-house counsel is a fixed and ongoing cost and unless the corporation develops a substantial enough in-house staff to meet every legal issue, which then creates but another growing cost center, it will still be forced to retain outside counsel to address those issues for which in-house counsel does not possess the expertise, or the equally important experience to handle the matter effectively.
Experienced, cost conscious, reasonably priced, practitioners like Louis J. Maione, Esq., who, because he is devoting all his time to your matter, provides individuals and smaller corporations with alternatives to skyrocketing legal costs by providing the attention your matter deserves, with reasonable rates that allow you to receive the quality service you deserve.
Mr. Maione, a practitioner with more than 43 years of experience as a litigator in New York and New Jersey, and as counsel to many businesses, believes that the practice of law should remain the noble profession that it was intended to be, rather than merely becoming no more than another big business.
Mr. Maione, who, in addition to his law degree holds an M.B.A. in Finance, generally represents and counsels small to mid-size corporations, as well as individuals. In doing so, Mr. Maione, who in his professional practice has been a partner in two New York City law firms, as well as having been Litigation Counsel to a bank holding/financial services company, a General Counsel, and for 5 years the President and CEO of a cancer genomics company, accepts only matters to which he is confident that he can devote his full attention. Because he is a sole practitioner, Mr. Maione only handles a finite number of matters at any one given time, including matters where he might be overseeing a corporation’s in-house staff, and will not accept any matter if he cannot confidently devote to it his full attention, or which cannot be cost effective to the client even at his reasonable hourly fee.
As an American Arbitration Associate Neutral, Mr. Maione also was aware of, and appreciated the art of mediation and conciliation and is an advocate of utilizing his skills to help clients amicably resolve business disputes before they proliferate into costly litigation. Not every matter should go to trial, and when the client’s finances are at stake the “principle of the thing” takes on a hollow ring.
Mr. Maione provides every client with a two hour free consultation and generally only will require a small but reasonable retainer of no more than five to ten hours only if, after the initial consultation, he believes that your matter requires a more thorough review of facts and/or is document intensive. Thereafter, he will provide an initial,written opinion concerning the prospective value of your claim and chances of recovery. Mr. Maione also provides his clients with an estimate or budget, assessing the costs and expenditures which the client can be expected to incur over the life of the matter if it is one which appears destined for trial, as well as a reasoned expectation of how long it may take to accomplish the desired goals. In this fashion, the client, be it corporation or individual, always knows what to expect and how much it will cost. This process allows the client to make a well reasoned decision about whether to proceed while serving to avoid surprises.
Mr. Maione’s hourly rates not only are extremely competitive but, because of his ability as a sole practitioner to control client costs, his fees are well below those of practitioners in large firms with commensurate experience and expertise. On occasion, Mr. Maione wiil agree to blended rates of a reduced hourly rate, coupled with a partial contingency, depending upon the client and the case.