Office Meeting Address:
WorkSuites at the Galleria
5718 Westheimer, Suite 1000
(Westheimer at Bering Drive)
Houston, TX 77057
© 2022 David J. Willis – LoneStarLandLaw.com
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Our Goal. Our goal with a consultation is to respond promptly and thoroughly discuss your case (“case” refers to your situation or the circumstances of your inquiry). We have an established process. Having done well over a thousand online consultations, we are confident that you will find the process both thorough and effective. We receive very good feedback on the online consultation experience.
Your Initial Inquiry. Our initial no-charge response to your inquiry is preliminary and general in nature and not a thorough analysis or formal legal opinion upon which anyone may rely. It is not intended to be a consultation. After our preliminary response, we offer two paths forward: (1) you may order documents at flat fees if you know exactly what you need; or (2) you may request a consultation to discuss your case. No fixed appointment time is required to begin an online consult.
When is a consultation advisable? If you are undecided about which action to take, need to discuss your legal issues and options, or require advice and information before you can proceed, then a paid initial consultation is your best first step. Our online process has proven very popular with clients because it is flexible and unrushed and the client has a written email record of advice given. Consultation fees are detailed below.
New Cases Accepted through the Website Only. The internet has revolutionized the way many law firms do business and we are no exception. All new clients and new cases are now accepted exclusively online through the website. We do not accept or discuss new cases by phone or by in-office meeting. Sorry, no exceptions. We handle all new clients and new cases this way.
Sorry, No Free Pre-Consultation Phone Calls. Some inquirers seek a free phone call before committing to a paid consultation. However, such calls inevitably involve attorney time as well as legal advice, so we view them as consultations. Offering legal advice in exchange for payment is our core business. We regret that we are unable to offer any free attorney time at all, whether online, in the office, or by phone.
Online Consultations Occur in Two Phases: (1) an email exchange so we can gather basic facts and obtain copies of relevant documents; and (2) a follow-up phone or video call as needed. We do not jump straight to a phone call. Step one is mandatory. Our attorney wants basic facts and documents in front of him before he answers questions on a phone call. Sorry, we do not vary this process.
Concise Summary. We will need a concise summary of your case or circumstances, a list of questions, and copies of all relevant background documents, if any. Your summary should include: What is your case about, briefly? Who are the parties involved? Where does it occur? In Texas? Which city or county? When does it occur—what is the timeframe/timeline? Why are you seeking legal assistance? A consultation? Document preparation? A lawsuit?
In-office Consultations. All new clients are accepted exclusively by means of an online initial consultation. Thereafter, in-office consultations have very limited availability and are restricted to only the most complex cases. At our discretion, we may determine that certain matters will be offered as an online option only and decline in-office services for that matter.
Duration of Consultations. Online consultations automatically conclude after expiration of the allotted time or three days, whichever occurs earlier. The goal is to allow ample time for thorough Q&A.
Initial Consultation Required in Complex Cases. An initial consultation is always recommended when beginning to work with a new lawyer. It is, however, required before our firm will accept or proceed with a complex case, especially a complex entity-structuring or asset protection case. Any complex proposed plan of action must be thoroughly discussed, examined, and approved by our attorney before we will agree to commence work on it. We reserve the prerogative to decline to implement asset protection plans that do not meet our standards.
Document-Intensive Consultations Are a Special Case. Some cases arrive with many background documents that need to be carefully reviewed. The time it takes for us to read and analyze your documents is included in the attorney time allotted to your consultation. If your situation involves numerous or lengthy documents or is very complex, one hour will likely be insufficient. It may take more than one hour for the attorney just to read your documents before the consultation can even begin. In such cases, multiple billable hours may be required. Not every legal problem can be analyzed and solved in a one-hour consultation.
Our Response Time. We are usually available to promptly begin with a consultation after receiving a summary of basic facts, copies of supporting documents, and payment from the client. Most consultations begin and conclude within a couple of business days (three-day maximum duration). This may vary somewhat with the complexity of the case and our pending backlog. We try to be flexible and ask that you be flexible as well.
Limit on Attorney Time. Our goal is to thoroughly discuss your legal issues. However, all law firms impose time limits on consultations. Different types of consultations have different specified duration (usually 1, 1.5, or 2 hours). The maximum available attorney time for an online consultation may be spread over up to three consecutive business days, after which the consultation automatically concludes. By way of clarification, this is not a three-day consultation. Our policy permits a consultation to be spread over that period up to the maximum allowable or specified attorney time. This is a courtesy and accommodation to the client in order to facilitate thorough discussion of the case.
Policy Limitations on Consultations:
(1) Online Capability Required. Because of the nature of our online consultation process, all clients are required to have full online capability for emailing from a keyboard device and transmitting documents electronically.
(2) No Texting. We do not offer consultations or any other legal services by text. While texting may be suitable for quick personal communications, the texting of sentence fragments and one-liners is not a professional way to discuss a nuanced legal case. Please use a keyboard device and take your time.
(3) No Group Consults. We do not offer group consults with multiple persons at different email addresses. While group legal discussions are fine in an office conference room, they quickly become chaotic by email. Our policy is to work with one client at one email address.
(4) No Tax Advice. We do not offer tax, accounting, or bookkeeping advice. We do not have a CPA on staff. Always consult a qualified CPA in conjunction with seeking legal advice on business and real estate matters.
(5) No DIYers. We occasionally encounter inquirers who want assistance doing their own legal work. This is not part of our business model, nor does it meet our standards of professionalism. Accordingly, we decline such representation.
(6) No Obligation to Accept Your Case. All consultations are offered with the understanding that our firm is not obligated to accept or handle the case going forward.
Transmission of Your Supporting Documentation. We will need to see your background documents in order to thoroughly advise you, so after retaining us (not before please, since we will not yet have set up your file), you should electronically transmit copies of supporting documents by email or by fax to (832) 201-5327. Please do not send documents in the physical mail. Emailed documents should be sent as standard attachments in pdf, Word, or WordPerfect. Use our general office email address, LoneStarLandLaw@aol.com.
Send Relevant Documents Only. Please provide only documents that are directly relevant to your case. Sending us a hundred-page title company file when we’ve requested only a three-page warranty deed would be an example to avoid. This adds to download and handling time and may increase your fees. Also, for reasons of legibility and clarity, please avoid jpeg or i-phone photos of documents.
Encrypting Your Communications to Us. We need immediate and easy access to your documents in order to do our job. Please avoid barriers such as passwords or encryption; read-only attachments that cannot be downloaded or printed; or requiring that we first go to a third-party document site, obtain a password or register in order to enter; etc. We request that you not do this. If you are not comfortable with the security of our process (there are no security risks on our end) then ours is not the law office for you. We would suggest that you consult another law firm, at their offices, where you can present your documents in person.
Flat Fees for Consultations. Initial consultation fees are non-refundable flat fees that are not subject to hourly accounting. There is no partial-hour accounting in consultations and there are no partial refunds. When hourly billing does apply to a case (by our prior mutual agreement) attorney time is accounted for in quarter-hour increments. Our determination of time expended is final.
Payment Policies for Consultations. Advance payment is required. We offer a variety of payment options on the website including credit/debit and Paypal as well as wire transfer and direct deposit to our operating account at Wells Fargo. If you require an invoice prior to making payment, please let us know. Files go into our queue in the order in which payment is made. However, please do not make payment until we have confirmed that we are able to accept your case.
Refunds for Consultations. If it is determined early in the process that your legal matter is not within our area of practice, then a refund (by means of a law firm check sent by U.S. Mail) will be provided. However, there is no refund of any part of an initial consultation fee once the attorney expends time and effort examining a file and discussing it with the client. Similarly, there is no refund if the legal advice is unfavorable to the client or our firm declines to handle the case beyond the initial consultation.
No Credit toward Future Fees. Consultations are stand-alone value-added legal services and are not credited toward future fees.
Doc Prep Not Included in a Consultation. A consultation does not include free document preparation, nor does a document request include a free consultation. These are separate items in a flat-fee system. One does not include the other.
Itemized Statement Available before Proceeding. If you would like to have a no-obligation itemized statement prior to making payment, we will gladly provide one. We will need the name and mailing address of the person or company to be billed, as well as the type of document(s) or consultation you are requesting, the address of any real property that is the subject of your inquiry, and other basic relevant details so that we can generate a proper invoice.
Appointment Times. Our online consultations do not usually require a fixed appointment time, although phone or video calls do require an appointment on a business day during business hours subject to our posted vacation schedule.
Business Hours for Consultations. Subject to prior commitments, we are generally available on business days during normal office hours (Monday through Friday, 8-5 CST). On any given day, there may be cases in front of you and our response time may vary. We are not available evenings, weekends, or holidays. Emails received at these times are considered received on the next business day. For instance, a Friday night email is considered received on Monday morning.
Courtesy Required. We realize this is the internet. However, inquirers who are rude to staff, overly entitled, insulting, demanding, disrespectful, or belligerent will not be responded to and will be blocked from further contact with us without refund. Uncivil behavior is contributing to the breakdown of our society. You are dealing with a law firm. Please be courteous and professional. We promise to return the favor.
Terms of Service Apply to All Clients. Please read our firm’s policies at the Fees & Policies page of the website. Our terms of service apply without exception to all inquirers and clients in place of individual fee agreements.
Select the consultation option that is right for you:
Real Estate Law/General Business Consultation (up to 1 hour): $450, then $450 per hour thereafter. This is the most common category. It includes most general legal matters, routine residential and commercial real estate cases, and most trust and business issues, but excludes entity-structuring or asset protection advice. Entity-structuring and asset protection are specific, separate categories of consultation that are described below. Again, all initial consultations with new clients are handled exclusively online, not in the office.
Review/Comment on Residential Real Estate Earnest Money Contracts (up to 1 hour): Fees are $450 flat fee for a sales price of up to $499,999; $550 for a sales price of $500,000 to $999,999; $650 for a sales price of $1M to $1.499M; $750 for a sales price of $1.5M up to $1.99M; for a sales price over $2M, fees are $850 and up – inquire. This paragraph-by-paragraph review/comment is available online for unsigned TREC and TAR contracts only. Trust transactions or other complex transactions may incur additional fees for review/comment. Extended services in this area past the review/comment are available at our $450 hourly rate, although representation in the entire transaction (strongly recommended) may be offered at a flat fee – inquire. Note that just the attorney performing the review uses up most of the available hour, so if extensive questions are anticipated, then two hours should be booked. At our discretion we may choose to decline partial representation (e.g., stand-alone contract review/comment) and offer full representation in the entire transaction only.
Entity-Structuring Consultation: (up to 1.5 hours): $550, then at our regular $450 hourly rate thereafter, although most subsequent options (e.g., LLC formation) are at posted flat fees. This category pertains to clients who want an in-depth exploration of different options for developing or improving an asset protection structure. Includes analysis of relevant LLC and partnership options. Not available to those with judgments or pending or threatened litigation – see asset protection review below. Currently available online only.
Asset Protection Review or APR (up to 1.5 hours): Fees are $750 for issues up to $1.5M; $1.5M to $2.5M – $950; $2.5M and up – $1,250. If seeking guidance to protect assets when a judgment or litigation (pending or threatened) is involved, this is the appropriate consultation option. Asset protection advice is at our regularly $450 hourly rate thereafter. However, clients needing extended guidance beyond the APR should consider a flat-fee asset protection retainer for 30 days ($2,500), 60 days ($3,500), or 90 days ($5,000). The APR is currently offered online only with phone and video conferencing available after the initial email exchange.
Litigation Review (up to 1.5 hours): $750. Includes a review of the status of a pending court case related to real estate law. This is a review, comment, and suggestion process that discusses the substantive and procedural issues raised by the lawsuit. It is not an asset protection review (see above) and does not address asset protection issues. It is not a retainer or agreement to act as attorney of record in the pending case. Available online only.
If you have not already done so, please complete the client inquiry form on the contact page of the website. We will need a concise summary of your situation, including the following: What is your case about, briefly? Who are the parties involved? Where does it occur? In Texas? Which city or county? When does it occur—what is the timeframe/timeline? Why are you seeking legal assistance? A consultation? Document preparation? A lawsuit?
Note that our initial no-charge response to your inquiry is preliminary and general in nature and not a thorough analysis or formal legal opinion upon which anyone may rely.
If you have already submitted your initial inquiry and would like to proceed with one of the consultations described above, then your next step would be to:
(1) confirm first that we are available to handle your case (please do not make payment until we have confirmed that we are able to accept your case);
(2) select the appropriate consultation option; and
(3) make payment on the website at https://lonestarlandlaw.com/payment/ Your case will be placed in the queue and the system will send us both a payment confirmation.
Thank you for your interest in consulting with our law firm. We look forward to resolving your legal issues.
“When it comes to service, Mr. David and his entire staff are on point and very professional. Communications, follow up, responses to my questions – everything was right on point from start to finish. I cannot ask more. I would definitely recommend him to anyone.”
“Words cannot express how grateful my family and I are for Mr. Willis’ work . . . Initially, we were a bit hesitant, seeing as the only method of contact with this attorney would be online. However, his professionalism, knowledge, experience and interest he showed in our case quickly changed our minds. He truly made us feel as if we were his only clients, which really made us feel at ease in this very stressful and difficult situation . . . Mr. Willis did a lot more for us via online then the attorneys we did meet in person.”
“I have used the services of David Willis for over 10 years now for my real estate needs. He is the most accomplished attorney I have found. He has developed creative but sound solutions to many potential problems that I have encountered. He responds rapidly and as you know doing real estate improperly can cost you a ton. David Willis prevents those problems and assures you do it correctly.”