Professional consultation is a niche service in which Howard serves as a resource for other attorneys. In this regard, he provides confidential attorney consultation and advisory services without making an appearance as co-counsel in the case. Unlike neutral evaluation, in which the neutral typically meets with both attorneys and their clients, Howard’s professional consultation services are available exclusively to one party. The professional consultation can be a one-time consultation to discuss a particular legal issue or aspect of a case, or an ongoing process in which Howard will make himself available to discuss the case and offer his professional advice and guidance, based on his experience and knowledge of the law. This service is designed for the benefit of all attorneys, but may be particularly valuable to novice family law practitioners and those who typically practice outside of Buncombe County. Professional consultation is ideal for cases involving high net worth or complex legal issues.
Howard’s professional consultation services include, but are not limited to, assistance and support in the following areas:
- identifying legal issues and defenses;
- discussing strategic options;
- assessing the merits of the case and discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the case;
- making recommendations for experts;
- making recommendations on discovery requests and responses;
- reviewing and commenting on pleadings and legal briefs; and
- evaluating settlement options.
Attorneys who engage Howard’s professional consultation services remain fully and exclusively in charge of the case and their client. Charges for professional consultation are determined on a case-by-case basis and may be charged as a flat fee or an hourly rate depending on the nature of the engagement.