February 17, 2009

Legal Services in an Economic Downturn

by Katherine E. Howes, Esq.

There is no doubt that both New Jersey and the nation are in a full-fledged recession.  The need for legal services is blind to the economic realities of the day.  Howes & Howes was born in a recession.  We know how to provide effective and efficient legal services without taking the client’s last dollar.  We know how to settle cases when it is in the client’s best interest.  And if a legal matter must go to trial, we know how to do that too.

The economic news continues to be bad.  The stock market is down.  The bubble under real estate prices has burst.  The private sector is laying off workers at all levels.  The New Jersey state government teeters on the brink of bankruptcy.  Despite the economic downturn (or perhaps because of it), people still need lawyers, but because most people don’t have the money that they used to have, they can’t afford extravagant legal bills.

That leaves the consumer of legal services on the horns of a dilemma:  Do I hire a less known, less experienced attorney who charges less or do I hire a more experienced and better known attorney who will cost me money that I don’t really have?  As always, there is a third option.

Howes & Howes opened its doors in 1992 in a family-owned building.  You may recall that in those days, New Jersey and America were both in a recession.  Indeed, that recession cost a president and a New Jersey governor their jobs.  We began on a shoestring without institutional clients.  We learned how to provide effective services without a large staff and without marble floors.  In those early days, we did not have the benefit of large, well-healed clients.  In short, we learned how to provide good value.

How do we do it?

(1) We do all of our own work.  We do not use subcontractors or associates.  As such, there is no redundant work.  Research and analysis are done by the same attorney who represents you in court.  You do not pay our firm to have one attorney do the work, then explain it to another attorney who will then represent you.

(2) We know how to settle cases when it is in the client’s best interest. That involves being prepared and communicating effectively with the court, with our adversary (the other side’s attorney) and with our client.  Kathy Howes is an experienced mediator and panelist on the Somerset County Early Settlement Panel.  She knows how to get to “yes”.  Tim Howes has taken enough cases to trial that he “knows when to hold ‘em and knows when to fold ‘em.”

(3) Our hourly rates are competitive. Our hourly rates reflect the twenty years of experience that both of us have.  Our hourly rates reflect our low overhead.  We don’t have the highest rates in New Jersey.  We don’t have the lowest.  And more importantly, it doesn’t take us as many hours as most other firms to get to a good result.

The attorney-client relationship is a personal one.  You should do some research before making your decision.  We would be honored to represent you.

This article can be found on the web at: http://www.njcases.com/index.php/121/

If you need legal help in matters similar to those described in this document, call Howes & Howes for a prompt, confidential consultation.

Howes & Howes

26 Anderson Street

Raritan, New Jersey 08869

Telephone: (908)704-0037

email: info@njcases.com