Firm Overview

Advising Businesses throughout Greater Boston

Set up a free initial consultation. Ask me a question by e-mail or call 617-340-7821.

Small-Firm Feel, Large-Firm Talent

Small to medium-sized companies and even individuals often have precisely the same legal needs that large multi-national corporations have, but on a vastly smaller scale. I strive to meet these needs in a way that is more cost-effective and affordable than what most clients are used to with downtown firms.

Yes, You (or Your Company) Can Afford to Speak to a Lawyer

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers About the Consultation Process

Q: Do you really provide an initial consultation free for business matters?

A: Yes. I provide up to 1 hour of consultation on all matters in my practice areas.

Q: Do I have to come to your office for a consultation?

A: No. We can consult over the phone or via e-mail. I have consulted with clients located in California, Texas, Colorado, Illinois, Virginia, New York, Florida, Cyprus, Taiwan, Dubai, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, among other places. None of these people ever stepped foot in my office.

Q: Do you provide free consultations to businesses, too?

A: Of course. Sometimes there are a lot of people in the room.

Q: If I have follow-up questions, will you bill me?

A: No, but I may encourage you to make a decision.

Q: How long does it take you to respond to e-mails?

A: I usually respond within 24 hours.

Q: Don't you just give generalized answers in the consultation and then try to sell a contract?

A: My answers are as specific as possible (given the limitation that there is no formal attorney-client relationship unless we sign a fee agreement). I sometimes tell people how to solve their problem without hiring a lawyer, or I help them to hire somebody else. But I address their issue as comprehensively as I can.

Q: Why would you give free consultations and sometimes discourage people from hiring you? How can you possibly make any money? What's the catch?

A: I can't afford to pretend to help people if I really can't help them; I'd soon have a bad reputation and few clients. Being honest and straightforward with people generates goodwill (which all the advertising in the world can't buy). Many of the people who get my free consultations end up hiring me. Many are people who wouldn't talk to me in the first place unless they were assured that the process was a free, no-obligation, and relatively quick. Some people who never hire me refer other people to me, sometimes months later. If this approach didn't work, I wouldn't use it.

Q: But if you refer me to another attorney, don't you get a referral fee?

A: No. I just hope that the other attorney keeps me in mind for the future, which they often do. There is such a thing as professional courtesy.

Q: If I consult with you but don't hire you, will you still maintain the attorney-client privilege?

A: Absolutely. The law requires me to do it. Even if the law didn't require me to do it, I would still do it. I am bound by my profession, by the Rules of Professional Conduct, and by my own ethics to maintain your confidences.

Q: I'm dissatisfied with my current attorney, will you talk to me?

A: Yes, but be prepared to answer some tough questions about why your current attorney relationship isn't working. I am often reluctant to take over from another attorney, particularly when the dispute is of a personal nature.

Q: Will you review my documents without billing me as part of my consultation?

A: Briefly, yes, particularly if it is necessary to do so to understand your situation.

Q: Why don't you post your fees on your Web site?

A: Fee structures are both flexible and complex and they vary depending on the type of matter involved. Besides, you don't want the person you're litigating against or negotiating with to know what you're paying. I will give you very specific fee information in private.

Q: Do you take cases on contingency?

A: I take some cases on contingency. I take some cases on a split-fee basis (part hourly and part contingency). I do some work for a one-time flat fee. I bill some work on an hourly basis. The type of fee structure I offer depends on the type of case or issue.

Q: Our company is looking for a long-term attorney relationship – someone we can call from time to time and bounce things off of, and not get a bill for every single conversation. Do you offer that?

A: Yes, for clients who have evolved that kind of relationship with me. My clients and I sometimes have lunch together. Sometimes I pay.

Q: What's your litigation win-loss record like?

A: Over a nearly 20-year practice, I can't cite precise figures. I hate to lose, and I rarely do. The vast majority of my cases settle. But I try not to think of litigants as winners and losers; I aim to get my clients the best result. I try to treat everybody fairly, even my adversaries (some of whom have retained me to represent their clients after litigating against me).

Set up a free initial consultation with me, attorney Seth H. Salinger. I invite you to ask me a question by e-mail or by phone.