1. Is there a charge for an initial consultation?
There is no charge for an initial consultation in any case, civil, criminal or traffic. Before any legal services are begun the fee whether a contingent fee or a fee for services, will be fully explained and a specific fee arrangement established.
2. What is meant by a contingent fee?
In a personal injury, wrongful death or medical malpractice case and in some other cases, the attorney fee is a percentage of any settlement or jury verdict. If there is no recovery, then there is no fee.
3. What happens if the insurance company will not settle?
If a case is not settled then it goes to trial and a jury decides the case. Insurance companies will only settle a case if they believe the Plaintiff is capable of going to trial and winning.
A fair settlement depends upon being represented by a lawyer who has the experience, resources and ability to win cases in the courtroom. If I take any case, I am prepared to go to into the courtroom and try that case to a jury. That is the only way I can achieve fair settlements for my clients.
4. How are felony criminal cases handled in Cumberland County?
Normally a felony criminal case begins with a warrant issued by a magistrate. Then the case goes to a first setting before a District Court Judge where a bond is set and the judge determines if the defendant is represented by an attorney. The case usually remains in District Court for several months. If a negotiated plea is not worked out in District Court, the case goes to the Grand Jury and to Superior Court.
In Superior Court the case goes through an Administrative Court system with a first, second and third setting each a month apart. When I was the Senior Superior Court Judge, I established this Administrative Court system in Cumberland County and it is now used throughout North Carolina. If a plea agreement is not worked out, then at third setting the defendant is arraigned and a trial date established. On the trial date, a jury determines whether the defendant is found guilty or not guilty. If found guilty, the defendant is sentenced by the Superior Court Judge.
The felony criminal justice system in Cumberland County is very complex and every defendant needs an experienced and capable lawyer to achieve the best available outcome.
5. Why should I hire your firm to represent me?
I have almost 40 years experience in the North Carolina Court system, having served for over 20 years as a Superior Court Judge. Since my retirement as a judge 12 years ago, I have represented my clients in every North Carolina court, civil and criminal, from small claims court to the Supreme Court.
During that time I have achieved collected jury verdicts and settlements for my clients totaling more then $30 million dollars. I have defended individuals in criminal cases from traffic tickets to first degree murder. I am a trial lawyer. While specific results cannot be guaranteed in any case, I always fight for my client to the maximum of my skill and experience.