PROFESSIONAL PHILOSOPHY

Hugh Duvall emphasizes working collaboratively with each client. At the heart of this process is the goal of empowering the client to make informed decisions that are the correct decisions for that client. The initial phase of this process generally involves three stages:

First, obtaining “discovery” from the prosecutor; this “discovery” usually consists of at least one police report, but may includes various other kinds of material such as photographs or audio tapes;

Second, reviewing this material with the client to identify possible inaccuracies, and considering whether any investigation or research might be able to correct such inaccuracies; and

Third, reviewing all discovery and products of investigation in light of existing statutory and appellate law to consider whether the case should proceed to trial, or whether a negotiated settlement (plea bargain) should be considered.

This initial phase might be accomplished in a few days, or might take weeks. Under certain circumstances an alternative course of action might be needed (for example, where the client is currently the target of an investigation, but has not yet been charged). However the case proceeds, the goal remains the same: To assist the client in making decisions which are right for that individual.

FEES

Criminal defense attorneys fall into two camps when it comes to charging for their services. Many criminal defense attorneys charge "flat" fees. That is, the client will agree to pay one set fee for the attorney to handle the entire case from beginning to end (or broken down into segments, such as a set fee for pretrial preparation, and another set fee if the case proceeds to trial). Other criminal defense attorneys charge by the hour. There are a number of advantages and disadvantages for both attorney and client under each system.

Mr. Duvall generally prefers to charge by the hour. His minimum fee to meet with a new client is currently $75, and if an agreement is reached that he will continue to assist the person, he charges $225 per hour. Every case is different in both seriousness and complexity. It is rare that total fees and costs are less than $750–$1000. Common retainer amounts range from $1500–$5000. More serious or complex cases can reach into five figures.

© 2002 Hubert G. Duvall, Jr, Attorney at Law