Law Office of Margaret Schmucker
Generally, clients seeking an initial consultation will need to come to the office for an
interview.  However, if you have limited mobility or are incarcerated, special arrangements
may be made.  
To Appeal or
Not to Appeal?
The Initial Consultation
How to Prepare for Your
Initial Consultation
Where to Go for Your
Initial Consultation
Not every court decision can (or should) be appealed.  Some cannot be appealed at all
and some can only be appealed within a limited time frame due to a controlling statute of
limitations.  You need to consult with an attorney to see if your case is appealable.  
The purpose of an initial consultation is for an attorney to advise you -- the prospective
client -- what, if anything may be done for you, and what the minimum fee will be for the
attorney's services.  The purpose is not to render a definitive legal opinion as it may be
impossible to fully assess a matter within the time frame allotted for consultation or with
the information or documents that you may be able to provide at the initial consultation.

You may call or
e-mail to request an appointment with Ms. Schmucker for an initial
consultation. The appointment will be limited to one hour. There is a non-refundable
charge for an initial consultation.  The consultation fee is due and payable at the time of
your consultation and must be paid by cash or check.  
You should collect and bring any documents, photographs, or other items that you
believe are important to the resolution of your case.  At a minimum this should include a
copy of any decision(s) previously rendered in your case.  If you have obtained a copy of
all or part of your case file from a prior attorney, bring that also.   Documents and
photographs will be copied and originals will be returned to you before you leave the
appointment.  Because you will need to fill out forms you should bring information about
the court, case number, the names of prior attorneys, names and contact information for
other relevant parties, etc.

We also encourage you to read the brochure promulgated by the State Bar of Texas
How to Select a Lawyer and the information About Fee Agreements located
elsewhere on the web site.  Your fee agreement will be tailored to fit the anticipated needs
of your case.  Most appeals are taken on a retainer fee basis.  No work will be done on
your case before a fee agreement has been signed and suitable arrangements are made
for the payment of fees, court costs, and related expenses.
Before you see a doctor, you have to fill out forms that provide basic information about
your medical history and your illness.  The doctor uses this information to diagnose and
treat you.  It is the same with attorneys.  Before you meet with an attorney for a
consultation you will be asked to fill out forms that provide basic information about you,
about the history of your case, about the type of assistance you require, and about how
you expect to pay the attorneys legal fees, court costs, and other case-related expenses.  
The attorney uses this information to determine what legal options, if any, exist to assist
you and the pros and cons of pursuing them.

You may also be asked to sign a Consultation Agreement which outlines the terms under
which the attorney will conduct the meeting.

The attorney will review your documents and ask you questions.  The attorney will NOT
give you legal advice at the Initial Consultation. The Attorney MAY conclude the interview
without making a decision about whether to accept your case.  It is often necessary to
obtain additional information before this is possible.  If the attorney decides to take your
case, you will receive a Fee Agreement that must be signed and returned along with the
agreed-upon payment before work can begin.
What to Expect When
You Arrive