How Much Time Will Attorney Aaron Bortel Dedicate To You?
Interviewer: Do you deliberately limit the number of cases you take? How much time do you spend on a case, on average?
Aaron: Absolutely. I never tried to figure out exactly how many hours I spend on a case. I can tell you that I spend an awful lot on all my cases. That is a very good question.
I do limit myself when I am getting too many cases, when I feel I am not able to get back to my clients as quick I want to. If it is not as quick as I told them when we first talked, I will refer new cases to other attorneys. That happens sometimes.
It is something I am very cautious of, especially when I have a number of very serious DUI felony cases that take up a lot more of my time.
Sometimes when I have a number of those, I bring in another attorney who has been working with me for years. This attorney may help work on a felony case so that it does not take away from all of my other clients; because the felony case can take so much more time.
Typically I do every aspect of the case myself. It begins when the client first calls and asks me questions such as: Why should I hire a lawyer? Do I hire a lawyer if I am guilty or if I am over the limit? Why do I need a lawyer?
We talk about what the offenses are and how I can help them in all the different areas we are talking about. Then I go to court. I set the hearing with the DMV, and I conduct the DMV hearing.
I do the hearings in court, and I do the trials in court. All the communication with the client is through me. I think it is very important that the client knows who is representing them and what I can do for them.
The last thing I want is a client saying “Hey, you told me when we first sat down that you could do this or that, and you would do this or that, but it didn’t get done.” Usually when things don’t get done, it is because there are two or three attorneys who are handing a file off. They are not communicating in larger offices or corporate firms, and that is just not okay. My clients get to know me very well.
Interviewer: How about all the appearances and hearings? Is it just you who goes? Do you have other people fill in?
Aaron: It is just me. Every once in a while if I am just continuing a case and I need to be in a couple different counties at the same time, I might have an attorney who works closely with me in the courtroom to continue a case for me.
Sometimes at an arraignment, at a court appearance, a client might call me on a Friday and say they have court on Tuesday. They waited a little while; or in some counties, court comes very quickly after arrest. Sometimes it is within 10 days to two weeks.
In case I am elsewhere, I will always be able to find an attorney who can stand in for me just to plead not guilty; get the police report and set a new court date that I give them. Other than those rare occasions, I do it all myself.
By Aaron Bortel
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