Online Consultations

Explanation & Instructions

Our goal with a consultation is to promptly and thoroughly discuss your legal matter and then provide first-rate legal advice. We have worked with over a thousand online clients (in addition to decades of office practice) and have an established process we ask that inquirers follow. The feedback we receive is quite positive.

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. The introductory online consultation fee for most new clients is $250 for the first hour. This covers general real estate and asset protection matters but excludes review of earnest money contracts and cases where there are judgments or litigation.

Instructions for Proceeding with an Initial Consult

(1) Step One: Inquire. Please complete the client inquiry form on our contact page. We will need a concise summary of your situation, including: 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 of events? Why are you seeking legal assistance? A consultation? Document preparation? A lawsuit?

(2) Step Two: Confirm Availability. If you have submitted your initial inquiry, then please confirm that the matter is within our expertise and we are available to consult. This may already be clear. We may have already offered or recommended a consultation.

(3) Step Three: Payment. Advance payment is required. Select the appropriate consultation option and then make payment. The system will send a payment confirmation by email and your case will be placed in our queue. No appointment is necessary.

(4) Step Four: Q&A. Please be prepared with a list of specific questions you may have. After an initial email exchange and discussion, a phone call is available if needed. You will call a number that we provide.

(5) Step Five: Conclusion. The consultation may last up to the prescribed time limit (usually 1 hour) over a period not to exceed 3 consecutive business days, when it automatically concludes.

How the Consultation Process Works

No fees are incurred at the initial inquiry stage. After our response to your inquiry, there are two paths forward: (1) you may order documents at posted flat fees (and bypass an initial consultation) if you know exactly what you need; or (2) you may request a consultation to discuss your case. We may require a consultation before proceeding with complex document orders.

We begin with an email exchange and discussion so our attorney can gather basic facts and copies of relevant documents. Afterward, an optional follow-up phone or video call may be scheduled if needed. We do not jump straight to a phone call without first gathering basic facts and documents by email.

Pre-Consult Phone Calls with Our Attorney

Some inquirers seek a free phone call with our attorney before committing to a paid consultation. Such calls inevitably involve legal questions and attorney time, so we view them as consultations. We regret that we are unable to offer any free attorney time, whether online, in the office, or by phone.

We First Ask for a Concise Summary by Email

Your summary should include: What is your case about, briefly? Who are the parties involved? Where does it occur? 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?

If you are a real estate investor, what is your business model? What type of transactions do you do? Who are the participants and what is your entity structure? Any future goals?

Scheduling and Duration of a Consultation

(1) Appointment Times.Online consultations do not require a fixed appointment time,although phone or video calls do require an appointment during business hours (Monday through Friday, 8-5 CST) subject to our posted vacation schedule.

(2) Response Time. We are usually available to promptly begin work after receiving a summary of basic facts, copies of supporting documents, and payment. This may vary with the complexity of the case and our pending backlog. We try to be flexible and ask that you be flexible as well.

(3) Business Hours Apply. Subject to prior commitments, we are available to discuss your case during business hours. Afterhours and weekend emails are considered received on the next business day.

(4) Three Day Limit. The online consultation is intended to substitute for the same time one would have with an attorney if one went to an office and discussed the case for an hour.

Three consecutive business days following payment is the outer limit for online consultations. Our policy permits a consultation to be spread over that period up to the maximum specified attorney time.

(5) Beyond the Introductory Consultation. Nearly all of our legal fees are flat fees rather than hourly billing (see our fee schedule). However, if hourly billing is appropriate, our $450 hourly rate usually applies.

(6) Automatic Conclusion. Our intention with an online consultation is to allow time for thorough Q&A but also apply a reasonable time limit. Online consults automatically conclude after expiration of the allotted attorney time (usually one hour) or three consecutive business days, whichever occurs earlier. We will of course extend this time if our responses are delayed for some reason (by an unusually heavy workload, for example).

Supporting Documentation

(1) Supporting Documents. 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 send your supporting documents by email to or by fax to (832) 201-5327.

Attachments should be in pdf, Word, WordPerfect, Excel, or other established software. Please do not send documents in the physical mail. Also, for reasons of legibility and clarity, please avoid jpeg or i-phone photos of documents.

(2) Send Directly Relevant Documents Only. 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.

(3) Document-Intensive Consultations Are a Special Case. Some new cases arrive with many background documents that need to be reviewed before anything can be done. The time it takes for us to read and analyze your documents is included in the attorney time allotted to your consultation. In complex cases, multiple billable hours may be required. Not every legal problem can be analyzed and solved in a one-hour consultation.

(4) Encryption. 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.

(5) Identification Required. The requirement of government-issued photo ID is now universal at law firms, medical offices, and other professional firms everywhere.

Payment Policies

(1) Flat fees. Initial consultation fees are advance, non-refundable flat fees that are not subject to hourly accounting during the first hour. There is no partial-hour accounting in initial consultations and there are no partial refunds.

(2) Payment Options. 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. However, please do not make payment until we have confirmed that we are able to accept your case. Advance payment is required for all legal services. We do not send bills after the fact.

(3) Itemized Statement. If you would like 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, the address of any real property that is the subject of your inquiry, and other basic details so that we can generate a proper invoice.

(4) Consultations and Future Fees. Consultations are stand-alone value-added legal services and are not credited toward future fees. Also, a consultation does not include other services such as document preparation, nor does a document request include a free consultation. These are separate items in a flat-fee system.

(5) Refunds. If it is determined very 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 promptly provided. 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.

(6) Legal Fees Generally. We seek to provide full transparency as to consultation fees and our overall schedule of fees and legal services.

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 Please. We do not offer consultations or any other legal services by text. While texting may be suitable for quick and casual communications, 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) 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) 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) DIYers. We occasionally encounter inquirers who want assistance doing their own legal work. This is not part of our business model.

(6) Handling Your Case. Consultations are offered with the understanding that our firm is not obligated to accept or handle the case going forward.

Other Types of Consultations

In addition to the introductory consultation we offer:

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.

Contract review/comment by the attorney uses up most of the available hour, particularly in complex transactions. Extended services past the first hour are at our $450 hourly rate.

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 beyond the APR 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). Available online only.

Litigation Review (up to 1.5 hours): $750. Includes a review of the status of a pending court case related to real estate or business law.
This is a review, comment, and suggestion process that focuses on the substantive and procedural issues raised by the lawsuit. It is not an asset protection review. It is not an agreement to act as attorney of record in the pending case. Available online only.

General Hourly Rate: $450

Other Important Terms of Service

(1) Disclaimer. Our response to your initial 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 as legal advice or to be a substitute for a consultation.

(2) No Guarantees. We offer no guarantees of law or legal outcome in connection with a consultation. We do not guarantee that we will be able to assist with a legal problem or that we will be able to resolve it.

(3) Courtesy Required. We realize this is the internet. However, inquirers who are rude to staff, overly entitled, insulting, demanding, disrespectful, or belligerent (yes, this happens) will be immediately terminated. Please be courteous and professional.

(4) Terms of Service Apply to All Clients. Please read our firm’s complete policies at the Fees & Policies page of the website. These terms of service apply without exception to all inquirers and clients in place of individual fee agreements or engagement letters.

 “David Willis is an excellent attorney. His online process was very efficient and easy. He is by far the easiest attorney I’ve ever dealt with. I give him my highest possible recommendation without reservation.”

“It was a delight to work with David via the online process. He is straightforward, very knowledgeable and very responsive. I received quality legal documents from him. His fees are very reasonable as well. I would recommend him in a heartbeat!”

Our online legal expertise saves valuable time while preserving first-rate quality.

Board-Certified, Top-Rated Attorney with 40 Years Experience in Texas Real Estate Law and Asset Protection