Why I Charge What I Do
It has never really been my approach to compare what I charge or how I handle license restoration appeals to the way any other lawyer does them. It has been passed on to me, however, that others lawyers, offering more or less “discount services,” have tried to contrast their fees with mine by claiming that my fee structure, with my first time win guarantee, is "equal" to their cut rate package with the cost of a second appeal built in. Their twist on things is that if you take the gamble with one of them and win on your first try (remember, I have a guarantee - they don’t), you’ll save money over what you’d pay me for winning the first time.
To me, that’s just a backhanded way of saying that you can do the quick and cheap twice for the price of doing it right the first time. That's like comparing custom-made furniture to the kind of particle-board stuff you get in a flat box and have to put together yourself. The whole point of my guarantee and the way I do things is to make sure we win the first time. I earn my fee by getting you back on the road this year, not next year. To start, I’ll spend 3 hours with you at our very first meeting, which is more time than most of the quick and cheap operations will spend on your entire case.
Here’s where the old saying “you get what you pay for” really comes into play. As I noted, your first meeting with me will last about 3 hours, which is really only enough time to begin to plan things out and get the ball rolling, if it's going to be done carefully and thoroughly.
It takes those first 3 hours for me to properly prepare you just to have your substance abuse evaluation completed. Because that document is really the foundation of a license appeal, I absolutely require that we meet before you get it done (and for 3 hours, no less). It is this commitment of time and effort that separates true superstars in any endeavor from everyone else; those who are successful at what they do prepare and practice and then practice more and spend countless hours to get things perfect. That’s how I do things, and that's why I win the first time, and guarantee it.
There is really no undertaking where going with the low bidder and cutting corners is a recipe for success. I don’t “build in” the cost of next year’s appeal because there is almost never a need for one. I make my money doing it right the first time, but doing it right takes a lot of time and effort, none of which you will get for a bargain. Ever.
Of course, it might just be much cheaper for you to simply not drive again, and take the bus everywhere, rather than own a car and put gas into it and pay for insurance on it and otherwise maintain it, so if saving money is all you’re worried about, then maybe you should re-think the whole license thing in the first place Or, if you prefer looking for a bargain, you could save yourself a lot of money by purchasing a really old, beat up car and not carrying any collision insurance on it, but how appealing is that?
Beyond money, I am unlike any other lawyer I know in that I absolutely require a potential client to have really quit drinking before I’ll take his or her case. All the talk about high standards is just talk if a lawyer will just take any old case as long as someone is willing to pay the fee.
I don’t. My integrity is not for sale.
No matter how much money you offer, I won’t take your case if you’re still drinking. A necessary component of a winning license reinstatement case is having a sober client. As I’ve noted before, I do things right and I play by the rules. I’m not interested in taking a case for anyone who has not really and truly stopped using alcohol. To do so is not only dumb and greedy, but just plain wrong.
If you’ve ever bought a high-end brand of just about anything, you realize how much better it is than something made by the discount or “knock off” competition. In just about everything you can think of, less-expensive alternatives are inferior because of materials and workmanship. “Made in the USA” isn’t just about patriotism. Haven’t you felt a surge of disappointment if you’ve looked and seen that something has a “Made in China” sticker on it? In a license appeal, the better product begins a client who is genuinely sober. While I'm really good at what I do, part of my success is the result of starting with better materials in the first place.
Winning back your driver’s license comes down to telling the story of your recovery, of making the transition from drinker to non-drinker. If you’ve had formal help through counseling or treatment or AA, then you realize the importance of speaking with someone who understands and converses in the language of addiction and recovery.
I do. Beyond having just spent more than 25 years in this field, I have completed a formal post-graduate, University level program of addiction studies, including the most modern approaches to recovery. I speak the language of counselors who do substance abuse evaluations, and I speak the language of the hearing officers, who are lawyers, and ultimately decide each and every license appeal that's filed. I make sure that everything “translates” into a winning appeal, and I do it so thoroughly that I guarantee a win, and I count on not having to come back next year.
If you didn't have much formal help in getting alcohol out of your life, then you’re going to need someone who can explain the facts of your case and your journey from drinking to abstinence in both clinical and legal terms. I stand alone in that regard. I can argue about recovery principles that other lawyers don’t even know exist. I bring the lawyer’s knowledge to the clinical side of things, and the clinical understanding to the legal aspect of your case. This is certainly not the area of expertise of the discount lawyer.
The real “cost” of losing a license restoration or clearance appeal has less to do with legal fees and more to do with being denied for another whole year, and having to bum rides for the next 12 or more months. In addition to that, you’ll have to fix whatever went wrong the first time, and that can set you back way more than just another year. Some of the costs of losing the first time are financial, of course, but they also include all the other problems associated with being dependent on (and a burden to) others for transportation, a lack of independence and the inability to really move forward in your life and career. Not having a license is often job limiting. That's why winning the first time is the best investment you can make.
Losing, therefore, brings incalculable costs.
These aren't concerns if you hire me. My fee doesn’t figure in another appeal in case you lose - it makes sure you don't lose, and that you win your case the first time around, so that you can get back on the road, where you belong.
If you’re sober, and you’re really serious about getting your license back, then we should talk. Call me when you're ready to win.