CAMLAW: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog

The joy of being a lawyer representing holistic health and business professionals

A lawyer is a wordsmith who answers complicated questions with diligence and ease.

That is a sutra that just came to me.

I have made a one-hour, exploratory consult available (click on initial consult). The hour helps me explore whether I want to represent the client, and helps the client get to know me as well. We canvass the situation and assess whether a full-blown legal consultation will be helpful.

Sometimes people ask about an hourly rate, but many times these one-hour consults come after someone has paid tens of thousands of dollars for some educational holistic health training, certification, or presumed credential. And in the one hour, after they have spent years and drained their bank accounts, our assessment may result in a complete change of mind on their part about the proposed business model or even the business itself. To simplify, think of getting a green, yellow, or red light. Amplify this with all the legal caveats, disclaimers, cautions, and assessed risks.

Today somebody asked, "do I need the full hour if I have but two questions?" A good lawyer would answer that it depends on the questions. But I had a little fun with this. Because if the question is, "what is the good," that entangled philosophers for centuries. It took Plato a few hundred pages to answer the question, "what is the just society?" And that's only five words. Or, "what is love?"

It's all about complexity really. What a good professional does--an attorney, an architect, an engineer, a plumber--is help the layperson assess the level of complexity, and then tackle the problem in the most effective, efficient, and cost-effective fashion. That's what you're looking for when evaluating an attorney or any professional. And an initial consult is a good way to do it (understand the term "good" without reference to philosophical analysis). What may seem like two little questions may open up a lot more; on the other hand, a seasoned professional knows when a question is just a toss-away that can easily be framed and addressed.

Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen today.

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Michael H. Cohen, Esq.; 468 North Camden Dr. | Beverly Hills, California 90210 | 310-844-3173