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Frequently Asked Questions


What is “land use”?

“Land Use” involves the laws that govern how you may legally use your property under zoning ordinances and comprehensive plans. Oregon land use law is complex and if you are in a forest or agricultural zone you may need a conditional use permit to build a house. Land Use also involves partitions and subdividing property.

How much will it cost to do a “simple” will?

We do not have a price list for services at our office. All of our work is charged on an hourly basis. Even “simple” wills vary from situation to situation so it is virtually impossible to give an estimate ahead of your initial consultation.


Do you work on a contingency fee basis?

We rarely take a matter on a contingency fee basis. We charge our current hourly rate for most matters. However, feel free to ask if your matter might be one of the few exceptions.

If I’m injured in a car accident can you help me?

The lawyers in our office do not handle personal injury cases, but we would be happy to refer you to an attorney who can help you.

How do you determine if you will represent someone?

When you initially contact our office, you should be prepared to provide details of your case, including the names of all of the people involved, to the front office staff. This information remains confidential. Our staff will check all names against our conflict file to assure that representation will not violate Oregon State Bar rules. Your case will then be discussed with the attorneys to consider your timeline and the attorneys’ schedule and to be sure that your case falls within the attorneys’ areas of expertise. You will then be contacted and, if we are able to represent you, an appointment will be scheduled.

What can I do to keep expenses down?

The more information you are able to provide, the less we will have to bill you for our time spent gathering it. Before your initial consultation, gather up all paper work you have that’s related to your case. For land use and real estate matters, include deeds, maps, surveys, loan documents and any other documents you have that pertain to your specific situation. Make copies for the lawyer and keep a copy for yourself. Make a list of questions you have for the lawyer. Make a timeline of events if that is relevant to your case. Any time you call your lawyer, keep your conversation brief and to the point.

How do you calculate the fees you charge?

Our work is billed on an hourly basis, charged in one-tenth hour increments. Please call our office for our current hourly rates. In addition, we charge for long distance telephone calls and faxes, copying, postage, mileage and other costs we incur working on your case. You are expected to pay court filing fees, recording fees, publication fees and surveying costs.

Why should I use a lawyer instead of a Stevens Ness form?

Stevens-Ness forms are helpful and we sometimes use them, but each case is fact dependent and your case may not fit into the specific situation the form was designed to address. An experienced attorney can help you determine if there is a better way to address your case and protect yourself by customizing your documents.

Do you offer free consultations?

No, we do not. A consultation with an attorney in our office will generally last approximately one hour and the consultation fee will be based on our current hourly rate. During the consultation you and the attorney will be able to determine if more work will be required and can discuss the possibility of future representation.