First Office Conference

What should I bring with me ?

-- All Court Orders / Judgment Entries filed in the case that we'll discuss.
-- Any Motion and Affidavit that been filed in court and scheduled for a hearing.

Can my best friend or relative be with me during our office conference ?

No, because of the necessity to protect attorney-client confidentiality,
the privacy of our communications,
and to protect your friend / relative from being subpoenaed and Court-Ordered to repeat what s/he heard.

a) But my friend / relative has information about my case.

You could bring a letter from him/her with full name, address, phone number, best time to call and e-mail address. Or I could speak to him/her after our attorney-client conference.

b) But my friend helps me remember and s/he speaks better than I do.

It is your case, and I need to evaluate your ability to testify.
If you need to testify, I'll help you prepare to do so.

c) My family is going to help pay my legal fees and court costs so,
s/he is entitled to attend our conference, right?

Wrong. You still have rights to confidentiality and privacy.
However, IF you wish, I'll answer his/her questions after our conference.
I will ask her/him to co-sign our written Fee Agreement.
In most cases, Ohio law requires attorney and client to have a written Fee Agreement.

I've heard "time is money." How can I save both ?

If there is a history or background that you want your attorney to know, you may type up to 5 pages double-spaced and, bring them with you.

Focus on events that may be relevant to current issues / disputes, and detail Who, What, When, Where -- all from your own personal knowledge.

Be very accurate. In the future, your attorney may ask you to testify about these facts.

Be clear in your use of pronouns. Who is s/he?

IF some details are based on what someone told you, name that person and, your relationship. When did s/he tell you and, under what circumstances?

All people make mistakes. You can't swear to what another said they saw.

Avoid guessing what someone was thinking or why s/he did something.
Focus on facts but, feel free to write your reasons why you did or said a thing.

Emotional stress impairs memory so, list your most important questions on 1 page and, take notes during your conference.

When your attorney gives you forms, answer all questions legibly.
IF you're unsure, write "estimate" -or- "unsure".

What forms will I need to fill out ?

Various forms are required by the court, depending on the type of case. These forms also vary from court to court, depending upon the county in which the case is filed.

Click here for Montgomery County

Click here for Greene County

Click here for All other Ohio Counties

You may complete those forms and, bring them with you. I'll help you with any questions about which you are unsure.

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Diane Kappeler DePascale

Diane Kappeler DePascale, J.D.

Attorney and Counselor at Law