Often, one of the attorneys here at Meece and Lockamy, P.A. will be asked “How are you guys different from another firm?” Or, more specifically, we are told “The last attorneys I dealt with did not give enough attention to my case,” “only seemed concerned with their fees,” “would not call me back,” “and promised things they couldn’t deliver.” The list goes on, and it really saddens us to learn of the negative experiences our clients have had, or even expect to have, when they deal with lawyers.
We know that clients often deal with lawyers as a means to an end as with real estate closings or wills, or are forced to seek legal assistance because of difficult circumstances as with family law or criminal matters. Real estate closings and wills often involve transition and tough decisions, not to mention extra costs that clients must incur. Family law, criminal matters and other litigation often come about because of extremely stressful events in peoples’ lives. It is our goal, as well as our duty, to handle all of these situations professionally, efficiently and affordably.
As this firm has grown, we have asked ourselves, “How are we different?” and more importantly, “How can we make our legal services a better, richer and more goal-oriented experience for our clients?” We stress with our associates, our staff, our clients and even in our relationships with other attorneys the following values that we hope set us apart.
- Honesty – All we have is our word, and it is paramount to our relationship with you that we always tell you the truth. Doing so is particularly important when we have to tell you things you may not want to hear. While some attorneys may “inflate” your expectations, we believe it is imperative to give you the benefit of our advice unvarnished, with both the best and worst case scenarios, so that you can make an informed decision. This emphasis on honesty extends to our staff, our billing policies, even to how unpredictable a certain outcome may be.
- A View of the Big Picture – Clients have different goals and priorities. While sometimes fairly predictable as to what a certain outcome may be if clients proceed to litigation, we recognize that there are other values besides “winning” that matter. For example, in a family law case, it may be more important to compromise with the other side and be able to co-parent your children in the future than it is to proceed to prove your case in Court. We try to look at the big picture by learning what our clients’ goals are and helping them to achieve them with all the tools at our disposal. We think it is important to look at negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and any other method short of litigation to accomplish our clients’ goals. Having said that, we are also experienced litigators and if you choose to proceed in the Court Room, we will represent you zealously and efficiently. Furthermore, in appropriate matters, we will bring in respected professionals from other fields, whether that be counselors, accountants, real estate appraisers, or business evaluators to help us serve your needs.
- Client Service – Simply put, we strive to treat every case as if it is our most important matter that we have before us. We thoroughly inform you of your options. We use a team approach so that you receive the benefit of all our attorneys. We train our staff to be courteous and responsive. We return calls and we keep you informed of the progress of your matter as it progresses.
- Affordable Fees – Legal fees are expensive and often the last expense someone wants to incur. We try to temper this fact in several ways. We always let you know to the best of our ability what you can expect in terms of costs, and keep you informed as your case progresses. Because building a relationship is so important to us, we recognize how important it is that your legal fees are affordable. We often work a client’s particular circumstances so that they can have access to the legal system in a way that will not break the bank. We take very seriously the duty to resolve your case in the most favorable way possible at the least possible cost to you.
- Importance of Relationships – There are few relationships more intimate and confidential than that of attorneys and their clients. We value the relationships that we have built over the years with our clients and have been pleased to watch these relationships grow over the years. It is not uncommon for someone to buy their first house with us, call us back when they are ready to adopt one of their stepchildren, call us if they have a traffic ticket, ultimately have us incorporate their business or have us help them with estate planning. Nurturing these relationships can be rewarding for our attorneys and our clients.
As members of the legal profession, I hope that you can say that the values we stress here at Meece and Lockamy are universal to all attorneys, and I know many of my colleagues do share these values. It is our hope that as you look either forward to your relationship with us or as you look back at the conclusion of our representation, you can say that Meece and Lockamy really is different in a way that has been helpful to your particular situation.