The Law Offices of
B J Fadem & Associates, APC
Certified Family Law Specialist
The following FAQs will provide valuable guidance as to how our Law Firm is run and will help answer some of the questions you may have prior to your consultation. The FAQs will also help your Initial Consultation be more productive, which will save you time and help us serve you better.
First we understand hiring an Attorney, can be a difficult decision. However, our Law Firm does everything possible to provide the legal representation you need without over charging or creating unnecessary “billable hours” like some attorneys do.
We created these FAQs to be up front and honest with you about your retainer, how fees are charged, and to give you answers to some tough questions. Most of these FAQs are also in our “fee agreement” so that there is no confusion.
Thank you for taking the time to review the questions and answers below. We will be happy to answer any other questions you may have during your consultation.
Initial Consultation information:
Hiring a Law Firm is a very difficult decision and could be a long term relationship. That’s why during your consultation you will be advised of some of the steps that will be needed in your situation as well as your rights and obligations; and what to expect in your situation. When you meet with B J Fadem, he will go over any documents you bring and answer as many questions as possible, in an hour. He won’t just sit there, listen, and then tell you what the retainer would be. You will walk away with legal advice. As we state from the first moment we meet, we pride ourselves on our customer service.
We offer several ways you may choose from to have your consultation. We understand how busy your life maybe and yet how urgent your situation may also be. You may have a one on one consultation with B J, you may have a telephone conference or you may Skype with him.
For a Skype consultation, when filling out the consultation form on our website please provide your Skype address and please be available approximately 10 minutes prior to your appointment time.
If you choose to speak with one of our Associate Attorneys, the consultation fee is only $100. To speak with our Senior Attorney Mr. B J Fadem, the consultation fee is $200. If you retain our services, the consultation fee will be credited back towards your retainer. i.e. your consultation is free.
We look forward to hearing from you. ‘It just takes a call.’
There is a limit of 2 additional consultations prior to retaining our Law Firm to represent you.
How can I get the most out of my Initial Consultation?
Just like you, our Family Law Firm is very busy and we understand your time is precious. We suggest before your Initial Consultation you write out a list of questions. Even if you think the questions are too simple, write them out. The only dumb question is the one not asked.
Write out the sequence of events that pertain to and lead up to your legal issue including: dates, places, asset, and debt information.
Write down all names, addresses, emails, phone numbers and employment information of other people involved in the case.
If you’ve done research into your legal issue, bring it. Bring any documents pertaining to your issue. This could also include letters, court documents, pictures, video, and paper documents.
Make copies of ALL documents including your list of questions, written sequence of events and research. Bring both the originals and the copies to your Initial Consultation.
The more you’re prepared, the better our Law Firm can serve and support you regarding your situation. Pay close attention to the questions your Attorney asks you and please offer as complete and honest answers as possible.
If you are not sure whether a piece of information is relevant, ask your Attorney. The more facts and information your Attorney knows, the better he/she can help you while saving you valuable time and money.
If you decide to retain one of our Certified Family Law Firm we may ask for either the original or the copies of your documents. This will save you time and will speed up the process for the staff to establish your file, or if your case requires it, to act immediately on it. You will still have either copies or originals of what you gave to the office for your records.
Can your Law Firm file our Legal documents or represent me in any County?
Yes. We can file in all California Counties and cities, including but not limited to: Alameda County, Alpine County, Amador County, Butte County, Calaveras County, Colusa County, Contra Costa County, Del Norte County, El Dorado County, Fresno County, Glenn County, Humbolt County, Inyo County, King County, Lake County, Lassen County, Madera County, Marin County, Mariposa County, Mendocino County, Merced County, Modoc County, Mono County, Monterey County, Napa County, Nevada County, Placer County, Plumas County, Sacramento County, San Benito County, San Francisco County, San Joaquin County, San Mateo County, Santa Clara County, Santa Cruz County, Shasta County, Sierra County, Siskiyou County, Solano County, Sonoma County, Stanislaus County, Sutter County, Tehama County, Trinity County, Tulare County, Tuolumne County, Yolo County, and Yuba County. B J Fadem has traveled not only throughout California – but throughout the country representing clients – as well as other countries.
How can I save money?
Prepare for all your meetings. Come with all the requested information and papers. Prior to the meeting, if you’re not sure what you need to bring, contact one of the Law Firm’s paralegals and ask them what you should bring to your initial consultation.
Write down important events, facts, and questions you would like to bring up at the meeting. Keep copies of all information you provide to your Attorney. The more work that you do to prepare, the less time your Attorney needs to spend finding the needed information.
If your Attorney knows all the facts as early as possible in the case, it will save on time (and money) that might be spent later on further investigation or misdirect case development. Even if you believe it is negative to your case.
If your situation changes, tell your Attorney as soon as possible. You are a primary source of information about your case and your Attorney will act based on the information you provide. If something happens or if you find out new information, which may affect your case, give the information to your Attorney quickly. It may change what he or she is doing on your case. It may save the Attorney’s time (and your money) or save the Attorney from heading in the wrong direction on your case.
Consolidate your questions or information giving into a single call or email. Pass on information in writing or to other office staff rather than speaking directly with the Attorney unless you have a specific reason to do so.
When do I have to pay my bill?
Upon receipt of your statement, statements are generated on the 10th of each month.
How can I pay my bill?
By check, by debit card, Master Card, Visa, American Express, Discover Card, cash, bank wire and you may walk in any payment. You may have anyone pay your account for you who may be assisting you financially. However, the responsibility of your account being paid on time is yours.
How am I charged?
Any and all services that our Attorneys, Paralegal, Legal Assistant and Law Clerk perform on behalf of Client are billable time. Their rates are as follows:
Paralegal Shampelle Byrd $185.00 per hour
Attorney Patricia Zerbini $350.00 per hour
Attorney Lee Hoffman $350.00 per hour
Attorney Scott Reno $350.00 per hour
Law Clerk Mayra Ibarra $125.00 per hour
As stated above, we try to be as transparent as possible and want to respect you with full disclosure by providing as much information about our costs as possible. Here’s a general list of services and cost that may apply to your situation:
Court filing fees [these fees are regulated by the Court’s requirements]
Service of process [these fees are regulated by the requirements of the Serve
CPA evaluation/tax analysis [Client will be advised in advance]
Subpoena production [these fees are regulated by the requirements of the Serve]
Photocopies [3.5% of each statement]
Fax [3.5% of each statement]
Postage/delivery costs [3.5% of each statement]
Service of Process/Deliveries of Depositions
Parking Fees/Bridge Tolls
Any Court appearance: 1.50 minimum
Attorney Client meetings: 1.00 minimum
Telephone conferences: .20 minimum
review of Client file: .25 hour minimum
All letters from Attorney: .25 minimum
Attorney from & to all email: .20 minimum
Review of incoming faxes or documents .20 minimum
Update Client file for Court Hearing .60 minimum
Court run by staff .60 minimum
All letters from staff .25 minimum
Staff from & to all emails .25 minimum
What if I have questions about my statement?
If you have any questions regarding your statement, our accounts receivable manager, Kathey Gentry [firstname.lastname@example.org] will be able to answer any of your questions regarding your statement.
If you have a dispute regarding your billing statement you have 30 days from the receipt of your statement to inform us in writing of your dispute.
Monday thru Friday: 9:00 am to 5:00pm.
What does Certified in Family Law mean?
Attorney B J Fadem has been a Certified Specialist by the California State Bar since 1999. It’s comparable to hiring a doctor or surgeon that specializes in a particular field versus hiring a general doctor. It requires a lot of training, passing an additional test and other requirements set by the California State Bar. There are not many Attorneys who are Specialists in Family Law in California due to the fact that the requirements are very strict.
Why do some cases take so long?
There are many factors and many parties that have an effect on the process of your case. Our Law Firm only has control over what we do. We do not have control over the other parties and or their counsel or the Courts. We understand that you may want this situation over and done with but circumstances that we have no control over may keep this from happening.
Depending on your legal issues many situations can complicate the issue. For example in a Divorce: The numerous factors may include:
Delays may also include:
Discovery (getting) formal information from the other side
if Custody is contested and needs to be pursued through an assessment or Custody Evaluation
Numerous ‘Motions’ necessary to be filed on your behalf because Opposing Party and/or Opposing Attorney refuses to cooperate
Can your Law Firm file our Legal documents and/or represent me in any County?
Yes. We can file in all California Counties and cities, including but not limited to: Alameda County, Alpine County, Amador County, Butte County, Calaveras County, Colusa County, Contra Costa County, Del Norte County, El Dorado County, Fresno County, Glenn County, Humbolt County, Inyo County, King County, Lake County, Lassen County, Madera County, Marin County, Mariposa County, Mendocino County, Merced County, Modoc County, Mono County, Monterey County, Napa County, Nevada County, Placer County, Plumas County, Sacramento County, San Benito County, San Francisco County, San Joaquin County, San Mateo County, Santa Clara County, Santa Cruz County, Shasta County, Sierra County, Siskiyou County, Solano County, Sonoma County, Stanislaus County, Sutter County, Tehama County, Trinity County, Tulare County, Tuolumne County, Yolo County, and Yuba County. In addition, B J Fadem has represented hundreds of clients throughout California, the United States and foreign countries [with regard to Hague matters].
Seeking sound legal counsel with regard to your legal issue is a very important decision. Making the wrong or uninformed decision could cost you your family. Helping families is what Attorney B J Fadem does.
Our Attorneys are skilled at helping clients with your legal issues and making the process as civil and polite as possible. We hope that your case will go to Mediation first or to a Settlement Conference. This will save you both time and money. However, if the Opposing Side does not hold these ideals in high regard, we will be prepared to litigate at trial.
Your issue may be time sensitive.
Please contact our office to set-up your Initial Consultation.
Se habla Espanola
‘It just takes a call’
BJ Fadem was my lawyer in a child custody case. He was incredible. He knew my fears and took the time to ease everyone of them. BJ was helpful with everything. He is about fair and what is best. I would not have made it through the process without him. BJ is a compassionate, knowledgeable, and straight forward. I would recommend him for anyone that is in need of a Family Law lawyer. Hated going through it, but he made it incredibly painless!Posted by Scot
I hired BJ Fadem and Associates to enforced my divorce settlement. BJ Fadem and Associates read through the entire divorce settlement and wrote a letter to my ex-husband pointing out what was not being enforced. BJ is very kind and makes you feel comfortable talking about the situation. BJ and his staff followed through on getting the tasks done and my ex husband complied with his responsiblities. The best possible outcome I could have expected and I couldn't have reached that result without BJ Fadem and his team!Anonymous
I have had several opportunities to consult with this law firm over the past few years. I have always received timely and courteous responses to my inquiries. The reason I return time and time again is knowledgeable employees and the respect I am treated with. I also think that the noncondensending matter in which I was treated was a prime factor. It was hard enough to go through what I did, I appreciated not being talked down to by some old stuffy lawyer. Though I have only consulted with Fadem Law, I have referred a few family members who were totally happy with the outcome of their cases.Posted by Claude
Mr Fadem is extremely knowledgeable of the laws. Felt he was very in tuned to my needs and fought those. Would definitely would use again. HIGHLY RECOMMENDPosted by Sharon
I endorse Mr FADEM Loved The Way He Went To Bat For Me Very Skilled!!! Mostly He Listened When I Thought I Had No Hope!!! Thanks For CaringPosted by Darrell Fears
I had a previous attorney who so screwed up my divorce that I almost lost my home, custody and my business!!! When I did my initial consultation with Mr. Fadem, him and and his staff immediately started working on my case to get things saved! The professionalism, customer service and legal knowledge this firm has is incredible!! I can't say enough!! My case is still going on. However, I am so grateful for all they have done and are doing on my behalf!Posted by anonymous
I have worked with Mr. Fadem on many occasions and he is as intelligent, professional, and dedicated as they come. His knowledge of family law is outstanding and I refer him to anyone who needs a specialized and highly skilled family law attorney.Posted by Emily
As a father with an extremely challenging custody situation, I went through several attorneys before retaining BJ Fadem. Without a doubt BJ has helped my case and my family reach favorable results more quickly and effectively than the collective effort of my first three attorneys combined. Based on years of favorable results and such a positive experience there is no way I would use any other law firm for custody or family law matters. BJ Fadem is absolutely one of the finest custody attorneys in the bay area.Posted by Gary
Professional and Skilled. Great Law Office! Mr. BJ Fadem is a knowledgeable and skilled attorney with great experience. Thank you!Larry
California Jan 27, 2014