Robert Good has spent the last 20 years building up a legal practice that focuses on assisting the communities of Ashland, Medford and the greater Rogue Valley region. His practice specializes in the typical legal issues that surface for many people at some point in their lives, from family law matters such as divorce, child custody and support, to matters surrounding caring for loved ones after you are gone, including setting up wills and trusts. Robert Good rounds out his practice with a focus on business law, as many of the same clients with family law and estate planning matters also need assistance in setting up and running their small businesses. Robert Good assists with drafting and reviewing contracts and also setting up corporations and other business entities.
If you are unsure whether your legal issue is one that would be a good fit for Robert Good to handle, please call the office or email us and we can help you figure that out, or refer you to someone who can.
▶ My legal issue seems simple enough. With all kinds of forms and do-it-yourself help available out there on the internet and everywhere these days, why would I hire an attorney?
With many legal issues – getting divorced, drafting up a will, etc., of course you can handle it yourself. There are lots of resources everywhere you look that can assist you in these matters very inexpensively. If money is really an issue for you, and you have the time, this may very well be a good option for you. However, if you have the means to hire a lawyer, it can save you lots of time and headache, for even the “simplest” legal matter. It is quite typical that Robert Good’s office receives calls from people who tried to do their own divorce and either couldn’t deal with the motherlode of paperwork involved or did make it through the paperwork but did it incorrectly and are now suffering the consequences. Lawyers are here to make sense of the confusing maze of laws and processes that make up our legal system, and to help lead you through it in the most comfortable way possible. Again, sure you can do it yourself. But the lawyer will 9 times out of 10 do it better.
Many lawyers offer free consultations as a way of getting potential clients in the door. Robert Good offers a reduced-rate consultation in family law matters (e.g. divorce, custody, parenting time), but not a free consultation. The reason Robert Good charges for this consultation is because the advice and guidance the potential client receives during this initial meeting is actually quite valuable. In many cases, the questions clients have about their legal matters can be answered during this consultation, and there is no need to hire the attorney for legal representation. With the phrase “you get what you pay for” in mind, you can rest assured that what you get during a (not free) consultation with Robert Good will be of great value.
The first time you meet with an attorney is often referred to as a “consultation.” At this initial meeting, or consultation, you will typically go to the attorney’s office to meet face-to-face to discuss your legal issue. This first meeting is very important, as it is your chance to determine whether or not you and the attorney are a good fit for each other. Many factors play into that determination: Does this attorney have enough experience handling my kind of case? Does this attorney have the time/capacity to effectively represent me? Do the attorney and I get along/are we a match personality wise? Do I get along well with the lawyer’s staff? Do they respect me and treat me well? Could I see myself working comfortably with the lawyer and office staff for what could be a length of time? All of these are really important questions to ask. It’s also important to know that coming in for a consultation does not commit you to a long-term relationship with a lawyer – it’s ok if you decide not to hire the lawyer, and it may also be the case that all of the legal advice you needed you received during that consultation.
▶ I have no experience with the legal field and the whole process of finding and hiring a lawyer is intimidating. How does this process work?
It can be very intimidating to try and find a lawyer, let alone a good lawyer that is a great match for you. When you are in the midst of a difficult legal issue in your life, the last thing you want is the added stress of finding the right lawyer for you.
The first thing you should do is make sure that your legal issue is one that the lawyer you are considering meeting with specializes in. It will end up saving both you and the lawyer a lot of time and money if you hire the lawyer to do something he or she has expertise in. Next, call and make an appointment, otherwise known as a “consultation.” At this consultation, the lawyer will ask you a lot of questions about your legal issue. At this point an “attorney-client” relationship has formed and everything you say to the lawyer is required to be kept confidential. A lot of topics will be discussed during this initial appointment, such as the different legal options you may pursue, how long your issue will take to be resolved and how much it is likely to cost. As all legal matters are unique, it is really hard to gauge the cost or the time it will entail until you and the lawyer talk your matter through in detail. You are not required at this point to hire the lawyer, but if you feel that the lawyer is a good fit for you and your case, you may hire or “retain” the lawyer. You will likely be asked to produce a “retainer” fee. This retainer fee is essentially proof to the lawyer of your personal commitment to your case, and also guarantees you that the lawyer will set aside time to get your case going and file whatever needs to be filed.
Pick up the phone and call our Ashland office and schedule an appointment, or fill out the contact form on the website and we will call or email you the same business day to set up your appointment. We will first do a conflicts check to make sure we have not represented an adverse party to you (e.g. your spouse) previously. At your first appointment, or “consultation,” we will have you fill out a one-page new client information and fee agreement form and then you will see Mr. Good. The two of you will discuss your case and both of you will determine if you are a good match as client and attorney. If you are, you will discuss exactly what Mr. Good will do for you in your case, how much time it will take and how much it will cost, and what you need to do to get your case started and retain Bob. Typically we will ask for a “retainer,” which is a fee that you will pay to “retain” Mr. Good as your lawyer. This will be used to get your case started and pay whatever filing fees may be required. We accept cash, checks and credit cards. Even though the office is in Ashland, Bob sees clients from Medford, all around the Rogue Valley, and beyond.
▶ My spouse and I have no kids, no property and very few assets. We agree on the divorce but just need some guidance in filling out the paperwork, and don’t want to spend a lot of money. Do we really need an attorney?
In your situation, you certainly can do a “do it yourself” divorce. There are many inexpensive forms available over the internet, and Jackson County Circuit offers some limited guidance on its website, along with packets of forms you can fill out for free. It is definitely possible to get divorced without a lawyer, especially where you have no kids or property and little money to divide, and both of you agree that you should get divorced and on how to divide everything. However, filling out the forms is time-consuming, can be confusing and complicated, as they are filled with legal jargon and references to laws and rules that you may not be able to easily access. You do not need an attorney in this case, but even in what seems like the simplest of divorces, hiring an attorney to file the paperwork for you and to answer the questions that always seem to inevitably arise can be a great investment for a lot of people in similar situations. Even the simplest divorce can have long lasting consequences for the naive, so investing a little bit in the near term can benefit you greatly over time.
▶ I was thinking of just creating a handwritten will or possibly doing one over the internet. I don’t want to spend a lot of money on this. Is that a good idea? Will it be enforceable?
As with divorce, there are a lot of “do it yourself” options out there for making wills. You certainly can do a will yourself – even a handwritten one can be enforced in court. However, the truth of the matter is that an attorney will nine times out of ten do a better job than you will. Since all situations are unique, it may be wise to arrange an initial consultation with an attorney like Bob Good to help determine the best course of action in your particular case.
▶ My spouse and I are both young and have young children. We don’t have a lot of money or property. Do we really need a will?
A common belief amongst young people is that they do not need a will because well, they are young and wills are for people who are old and going to die. The truth is that it is not fun to think about creating a will and can be very hard to even get around to setting up an appointment to make a will because let’s face it, who wants to think about making a will and dying? The reality, however, is that especially if you have young children, it is so important that you have a will because without one, your children may be left in a terrible lurch if there is no clear indication from you who you would like to take care of them if you are gone. Creating a will is one of the most responsible and important acts you can do as a parent.