In 1985, I opened my first office at my present location in Rocky River. In 1989, I joined another attorney in the area to form Taft, Farah & Associates, Co. LPA. Finding that particular structure beneficial to neither my clients nor me, I left and founded my present firm in 1991. In 2006, Kelly L. Roberts joined me as a part-time associate. In 2007, John J. Miller (1934 to 2009), formerly of Childs, Miller & Associates, Co. L.P.A, affiliated of Counsel.
The firm serves clients primarily in the areas of Estate Planning (including Wills, Trusts, General Powers of Attorney, Health Care Powers of Attorney, and Living Wills), Probate, working with owners and their businesses in formation and contractual needs, and transactional Real Estate matters including the purchase, sale, and lease of realty.
I recently assisted business owner buy a 184,000 square foot manufacturing plant for him to expand his business. The negotiation of the agreement and ultimately the closing of the transaction went relatively smoothly, with both my client and the seller of the property getting what they needed to make the transaction work. Immediately afterwards, I assisted my client in the negotiation of a lease of a portion of the property to a third party.
I represented a local businessman in the initial formation of his company, assisted him the merger of another entity into his business, and continue to assist with his company's contractual needs. The company grown dramatically over the years has several times been recognized as "flourishing" and "successful" company by the local media. Most recently I completed a major revision of the company's shareholder agreement, in conjunction with the company's accountant and insurance agent.
I have provided counsel to another local company over the past two decades as it has grown from a company with sales of less than $100k to one with sales in excess of $3m, with growth occurring partially through acquisition, and despite major contraction in the client's industry.
1154 Linda St.
Cleveland OH 44116-1877
Yes, I offer a free initial consultation. I do not charge to sit down and chat to understand what a client's situation is and to evaluate how we might be able to help him or her, or whether my involvement is even necessary. If a person comes in with the purpose of me helping him or her at the initial meeting, I will likely charge for my time.
I try to specify flat fees where practical. I will organize an LLC, corporation, or partnership on a flat fee basis, but what that fee will be depends on the client's situation, and is something that I can better determine after first meeting with a client. Similarly, I will frequently prepare a lease on a flat fee basis.
Other matters, such as negotiating, documenting, and closing a business acquisition has many variables and I am less inclined to quote a flat, but will provide a ball park estimate once I know what I am getting into.
My hourly rate ranges from $175 to $225 per hour depending on the complexity of the matter and other factors.
Generally the office is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday 8:00 a.m. to noon, but I work by appointment and may be able to accommodate other times.
I enjoy working with people and helping them through their particular matter, providing another set of eyes for their problems, a sounding board for their ideas, and guidance from my (and other client's) experience. I have had an interest in business since college and continue to be fascinated by the growth, and occasional failures, of my clients.
I believe in education, and encourage a client to understand the issues affecting his or her matter, whether through self-education, or by engaging me to assist them with their matter.
I will review a document prepared by a client BUT: the client must understand that it will likely take more time for me to review what they have prepared than for me to prepare documents utilizing the systems I already have in place, and will likely cost them more money.
In my own practice I have always tried to fully understand and implement the technology used in operating my law practice. As time has progressed and complexities increased, I am becoming more willing to seek out, use, and pay for a consultant's expertise.
I identify with a client who wants to learn and understand what is going on in their matter, and why things need to be done. But there are certain efficiencies in deferring to the expert. As I have deferred to my consultants because ultimately it is far too costly in time to learn all that I need to learn, it may be more effective for a client to rely on my expertise.
On simple matters, I am willing to coach, and times during an initial consultation suggested to people that they really don't need to engage my services and explain how to handle the matter themselves. On complex matters, I am less inclined to do so.
Upon graduation until 1985, I was an associate at Steuer, Escovar & Berk, Co. LPA, in downtown Cleveland. Since 1985, I have practiced in Rocky River, either through my own firm or in partnership with another attorney. Other jobs I've held, primarily while in school, have included furniture delivery, dishwashing, pumping gas, working as a messenger for a law firm, and law clerking.
My style of practice is probably heavily influenced by my father. He was a doctor, a solo practitioner with offices in a poorer area of the city. He treated everyone he could who walked in the door and would spend whatever time was necessary to serve his patients. His prices were not high, and he usually, but not always, got paid, at least eventually.
Life and society are different now, and there are complexities that did not exist in the '50s, '60s, and early '70s, but I still like the model of helping people when I can, in a relatively low overhead environment.
I try to make clients comfortable. I practice out of what was at one time an old house that has been converted into offices. When we sit down to chat, it is like sitting at the dining room table. I also use a fair amount of humor to take the edge off of what at times might be difficult conversations.Personal interests:
Spending time with my wife and when they are around, my children. I also enjoy music (both listening to and trying to play), technology, travel - particularly by train, and riding my motorcycle.
I am also involved in a fraternal organization, recently having served as its local presiding officer, whose goal is to improve its members and society as a whole.
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