How We Communicate
We generally strive to respond to emails by close of the next business day. However, this timeframe can be extended depending on things like an attorney or staff member’s schedule.
We recognize that email is an emerging technology and not everyone uses email in the same way. Some spend most of their work day in front of a computer screen answering dozens of email messages per day. Others may only check their email a few times a month, if at all.
Realizing this, we try to adhere to few guidelines to help make email communication work for everyone:
1. If you communicate with us by email, we will assume that you use or check it regularly (once a day or once every two days), and assume that it is a preferred method for our communications with you. If you do not use email regularly or do not feel comfortable using it as a regular or primary means of communicating with us, let us know and we can discuss the use of email in more detail.
2. We recommend using a single email address for communicating with us. Having multiple email addresses and having to determine which email to use in which circumstance rarely works smoothly.
3. Keep privacy in mind. As attorneys we have a duty of attorney/client confidentiality to people who have engaged us as clients or sought legal advice from attorneys at the firm. It is important to keep in mind that the privilege can be waived if a client discloses the communication to third parties. Even so, when privilege does not apply to communications, privacy is always a good thing to keep in mind. Be cautious about using email accounts that are owned or monitored by third-parties (such as your work email). If you are a client, and therefore our communications are potentially subject to attorney/client privilege, disclosing the contents of an email to third parties (by using email that third parties have access to) may waive your ability to claim attorney/client privilege.
4. As attorneys, we are often not in a position to read or respond to email messages immediately. We are often out of the office in meetings or in court, in which case we may not have access to email for most or all of the day. Often times we may set aside a specific portion of the day, outside of our other duties, to respond to emails. The bottom line is that we may not always be in front of our computers, in a position to respond, once you hit send. Keeping this in mind may help prevent some frustration.
5. Email can be good for sending documents, confirming routine details, and other simple communications. It can be less useful for other types of communications. Consider the position of an attorney who receives an email from his or her client that says “Do you have any updates about my case?” An attorney’s response could potentially be a two-page essay. Therefore, more complex issues may be better dealt with in a phone call or in-person meeting.
Mail or In-Person Delivery to Our Office
Mail and deliveries should be sent to our Kingstowne office: Yetter & Mays, PLC, 5680 King Centre Drive, Suite 600, Alexandria, Virginia 22315. If signature for a delivery is required, staff are available weekdays between 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to sign. Please note that all mail and deliveries should be addressed to the Kingstowne office. While we do have client meeting locations in other areas – we do not accept mail or deliveries at any other location outside of the Kingstowne office.
Our main number is (703) 665-0836. Inquiries from potential clients and other general information can be addressed by using this number. This main number is answered by receptionists during regular office hours between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on weekdays. Attorneys have direct lines that are generally answered only by that attorney.
Scheduling calls with an attorney work best. Trying to catch an attorney out of the blue is most often ‘hit or miss’ and can lead to frustration.
While our office does have the capacity for text messaging, it is not a preferred way of communicating with anyone – (whether it be clients or non-clients). Generally speaking we reserve text messaging for existing clients only to use in very limited circumstances (e.g. an attorney texting a client ‘We are in courtroom 7A this morning’). We do not address substantive legal matters through text messaging. If you are inclined to do so, email works better.
Our office may maintain a ‘social media presence’ on various third party websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. Often these websites or apps may have a messaging capacity or other means of communicating within the app or website. Please note that we do not monitor such communications. Therefore, we ask that no communication with our office be made through social networking websites or apps. Chances are, we will not even know you are trying to communicate with us. Phone or email work best.
For purposes of representation in a potential client’s legal matter, an attorney-client relationship is not created unless and until a signed engagement agreement has been executed between the potential client and the firm. Our office may also require additional terms be satisfied, such as payment of a retainer or fee, before representation can commence.
For potential clients interested in learning more about the firm and how we might be able to represent you, you should contact our office by phone at (703) 665-0836 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an initial consultation. At the initial consultation we can discuss potential representation in detail and how our firm might be able to help you. Typically, at the end of the consultation, arrangements for an engagement agreement can be made, or if appropriate, the firm may decline representation. Once a potential client has engaged our services, additional details will be provided regarding communications with the firm.
Our main fax number is (703) 483-9981.