Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Where are you located?
Our office is located in the Franconia area of Alexandria, less than one mile from two Beltway exits, the Fairfax County Parkway, Kingstowne and the Metro Park/Walker Lane business area. We have ample free parking, are convenient to Old Town Alexandria, and are approximately two miles from both the Van Dorn Street and Franconia Springfield Metro stations, both of which have taxi service.
What are your office hours?
The office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m to 4:45 p.m. (4:00 p.m. Friday). We generally take lunch between 12:00 and 1:00. The earliest new client appointment of the day is 9:30 and the latest starts at 3:30. Once you’re an established client, we can be far more flexible in meeting your scheduling needs with earlier, later, or lunch-time appointments – within reason.
Do you give free initial consultations?
No. Over more than 30 years of practice we’ve come to two conclusions: you get what you pay for and there’s nothing more expensive than bad legal advice. Look closely at any offer for a free consultation. Many are limited to the first 20 or 30 minutes, which is barely enough time to learn basic information. We prefer to see clients on time, handle administrative matters outside of the billed appointment time, and have the initial consultation be a meaningful and helpful experience. You will be expected to pay for your consultation at the time of the initial consultation (usually one hour). Call for more information about payment options.
How can I make my initial consultation most productive?
Be organized. Think through and write down the questions you need answered. Fill out the intake forms in as much detail as possible. It is impossible for us to tell you, for example, how much child support you might get if you cannot tell us how much the other parent makes. Even people who believe they are coming in for general advice really want specific information. The more time you spend getting answers from us, rather than us trying to get answers from you, the better your time and money will be spent. (See “free” consultations, above).
Can I bring a family member or friend to the initial consultation?
Absolutely! We believe it is helpful having someone to listen and take notes so that you can concentrate on our discussion. Before the other person comes in, we will first give you a little “speech” about client-confidentiality, attorney-client privilege, and how to signal that you want the other person to leave the room if there is something you want to discuss privately.
Will I be working with the attorney I see at the initial consultation?
There are only two attorneys in our office. Karen Davis, who has over 30 years experience, and Dawn Titus-Rogan, who has been part of the team more than a dozen years. If you are unsure about which attorney to see, we recommend that you schedule your initial consultation with Karen Davis. After you and she have discussed the complexity of your case and your budgetary concerns, you can decide on the attorney with whom you want to work. In either instance, you won’t have to worry about your case being passed down to a young, inexperienced associate.
Are you familiar with issues involved in military divorces?
We are located just about half-way between the Pentagon and Fort Belvoir. Over the years we have handled many cases representing either the military member or the spouse, involving retirement, on-going health insurance, survivor benefits and other regulations.
What are you hourly rates and how much of retainer will I have to pay?
As of September 1, 2012 Karen Davis’s hourly rate is $400 and Dawn Titus-Rogan’s hourly rate is $275. Each case is different and a retainer fee is not set until the attorney has an idea of how much work will be involved over how long a period of time. We do not offer “flat fee” services in which a set fee covers everything involved in a divorce. Every case is different; it is impossible to set a one size fits all number. In some cases we do not require a retainer; we work on a pay as you go basis. In cases in which litigation or extended negotiations are anticipated, a retainer amount will be discussed and agreed. As a convenience to our clients, we accept Visa, Master Card, and Discover credit cards.
I’m not sure I’m ready to take action, should I still come in?
Just because you come in for an initial consultation doesn’t mean you’re ready to separation or divorce – or that we’re going to talk you into it! It never hurts to come in, learn your options, get advice, and become informed about the process. Also, if you’ve already come in and an emergency does arise, we’re all in a better position to react and act. If you are even thinking about taking action sometime in the future, contact us to discuss and protect your options.