case selection

Case Selection Process Explained

stack of cases in manilla folders on desk We at Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates know that it can be frustrating shopping for an attorney. We hear from potential clients that other firms won’t even take their calls or that they’re automatically dismissed based on income. Attorneys sometimes get a bad rap for turning down clients or refusing to work pro bono. Kathryn Wayne-Spindler wants potential clients to know three things about her case selection process.

Highland Attorney Case Selection Process

1) “I’m happy to listen.”
There’s a stereotype that attorneys are aloof and unreachable. For some that maybe true. Many law firms are so busy that potential clients are screened and denied before they ever get to talk to an attorney. That’s not the case (haha pun intended) with Michigan Family Law Office of Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates. We take every call. There is no automated voicemail system. The friendly and knowledgeable Administrative Assistant Ann Marie Pattinson answers calls and schedules free consultations. “The free consultation is a useful tool for getting the information I need to determine whether or not to take a case,” said Wayne-Spindler. “I don’t automatically decline cases based on the client’s income level and I’m not scared off by tough or complex cases that require litigation.”

2) “I may not take your case but I have good reasons.”
Wayne-Spindler will take every call that comes her way, but she may not necessarily take every case that comes her way. She has good reasons. The first is practical – money. It’s good for the public to understand that a law practice has expenses just like every other business. I have to charge for my services, “says Wayne-Spindler. Kathryn estimates that it takes five billable hours per day just to pay the bills. Offering free consultations cuts into the amount of time she can spend on paying clients. “If I started offering free legal services on top of it, it could put me out of business,” says Wayne-Spindler. Other law firms have to charge for consultations just to meet overhead. I have to do a certain number of billable hours. “If I did free telephone calls and appointments all day that would not allow my office to continue to operate.”

Wayne-Spindler analyzes the ability of the client to pay a reasonable retainer. She also encourages clients to look at whether the case is likely to gain enough to make it worth the expense. “If you want to sue someone for $1500 and it will cost you $3,000 in legal fees I will either tell you how to do it on your own or I will tell you not to do it.” Sometimes it just isn’t worth it and it should just be looked at as a lesson learned.
The second major reason for declining a case is lack of legal merit. Even though a client may feel wronged, he or she may not be able to actually prove the mistreatment or its intent. Sometimes even if a client can afford to bring the case to trial, Kathryn may advise against pursuing it when she thinks there’s no chance of winning; or if she believes the psychological, emotional or social damages of bringing a family law case to court would outweigh the potential benefits to the client or client’s children.

3) “I will give you options.”
When Wayne-Spindler does decline a case, she takes the time to explain why. She usually offers options. “The free consultation gives me the chance to explain my practical reasons for denying cases so potential clients don’t feel rejected,” said Wayne-Spindler.
Some cases are better handled DIY. Kathryn Wayne-Spindler gives advice to help clients handle their own cases. She does recommend having an attorney review the paperwork before filing it and charges a nominal fee for that service.
Sometimes she recommends a different attorney. Although Wayne-Spindler has vast experience with all family law, adoption, probate, estate planning and minor criminal defense matters in Southeastern Michigan, there are some cases outside her geographic or legal practice areas. Through more than 20 years of law practice, Kathryn has gotten to know other attorneys in the area that she respects and will sometimes refer clients to them if she knows they would be better suited to serving the client. No matter the advice she suggests, the free consultation provides a satisfying means for the client to express the facts of the case and get feedback.
“In terms of experience and fearlessness, Kathy has the reputation as a warrior lawyer,” said Wayne-Spindler’s associate attorney Jeffery Worosz, “but the free consultation gives people the chance to find out that she is also compassionate and genuinely concerned about helping people solve their legal problems.”

Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates is a responsive, accessible local law office. The legal team understands that it’s frustrating to be dismissed without explanation so they offer free consultations to all prospective clients. Contact the Milford, Michigan law office of Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates at 248-676-1000.
The law office handles divorce, child custody, post-judgment modifications, adoption, probate, estate planning and minor criminal defense cases throughout Southeastern Michigan including Oakland, Wayne, Washtenaw, Livingston, and Genesee counties. The attorneys help clients in Milford; Highland; Hartland; White Lake; Commerce; Walled Lake; Waterford; Wixom; Howell; South Lyon; New Hudson; Linden; Grand Blanc; Holly and many more local communities.

Written and Posted by Christine Donlon Long,
Communications’ Specialist for Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates