Logo for the Law Firm of Richard J. Rutledge, Jr. PLLC. Winston Tower
301 N. Main St., Suite 2402
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Call: (336) 283-0284

Purpose of the Initial Consultation

The purpose of an initial consultation is to allow you, a prospective client, to identify yourself and share your needs or concerns; and for the attorney to advise you what, if anything, can be done to help you, and whether we are the proper resource for addressing your matter.   It also allows us to discuss important practical matters including fees, timing, potential conflicts, and so forth.   The initial consultation is usually not to render a final or definitive legal opinion, or to resolve your matter.   Occasionally, the discussion of your matter and the legal remedies or resolutions available, if any, will be the end of the matter.

More often, additional investigation or research will be required, or we'll need more time to meet with you and to gather the information or documents necessary to move forward.  Time is allotted for an initial consultation in an attempt to strike a balance between obtaining enough information to make an informed decision about what to do next, and the need to manage time and scheduling.  An initial consultation will usually result in one of four outcomes:

  • You and the attorney mutually agree to the terms of representation and the scope of your matter, or
  • The attorney declines representation, based on a conflict of interest or other factor that prevents us from handling your matter, or
  • The attorney refers you to another resource, such as an accountant or another attorney, whose specialization is more appropriate for resolving your matter, or
  • You decide not to use the services of the attorney, for whatever personal reasons you may consider important.

If we arrive at a mutual agreement for the terms of representation, we will then schedule a time and date for moving forward on your matter.  You will normally receive a letter shortly after our meeting confirming what we discussed and what steps are next, to ensure that we have a clear understanding and a record of our agreement.

Initial Consultation Client Data Form

You will be asked to complete a simple form that requests general information about your identity and the nature of the matter that brings you to the office.  The information collected here will allow us to create your initial file, to establish reliable contact with you, and to check for possible conflicts with existing clients.  The answers you provide are confidential.  Please ask for help if any of the questions are unclear.  You may:

  • Complete the form at the office (please allow time before your scheduled appointment), or
  • Download a blank form to complete and bring with you (or fax ahead for a phone consultation).

Please Note:
Completing and/or submitting this on-line form DOES NOT create an Attorney-Client relationship, and acceptance of this form DOES NOT constitute a commitment to represent you in this, or any, legal matter.   The information you provide on this form will not be reviewed until you meet an attorney in person or speak with an attorney by phone.


Attorneys vary on whether they charge a fee for an initial consultation. When a client is referred to me by the Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service, I am permitted to charge a fee for the initial consultation, and I agree to limit the amount of the fee for the first thirty (30) minutes. Consequently, I have decided to apply that structure to all initial consultations. Thus, I charge a modest, flat fee for an initial 30-minute consultation.

To schedule an initial consultation, either in person or by phone, please call.

I reserve the right to extend the time allowed for the initial consultation at my sole discretion, or to waive the initial fee for any reason I deem appropriate.

We accept payment via MasterCard, VISA, Discover, and American Express debit and credit cards.
*Tenant matters engaged less than 10 days before the curt date are payable by cash only;
w e regret any inconvenience.

Nothing on this web site is intended to provide, nor should be intepreted as providing, legal advice. Every legal question turns on the facts of the individual situation, and any examples, illustrations, or cases presented here are presented as illustrations only.

Sending an e-mail or completing a web form requesting information does not create an attorney-client relationship. No attorney client relationship exists until you have spoken with an attorney and both you and the attorney agree that the attorney will represent you as a client. E-mail is neither private nor secure; do not e-mail private, confidential, or privileged information.

Unless otherwise indicated, all site content is © 2008-2017, Law Office of Richard J. Rutledge, Jr. PLLC.