The Ruthenberg-Marshall Law Firm’s Legal Coaching and Ghostwriting (LCG) is a reduced fee limited scope legal service. Our LCG is designed to bridge the access to justice gap for clients who cannot afford traditional full representation but also do not qualify for pro bono services. In LCG, clients represent themselves but have an attorney working with them in the background to help them on their case. The client decides how much work the attorney will perform, enabling the client to save money when the client does not need an attorney’s help.
Scope of Legal Coaching and Ghostwriting
Our Legal Coaching and Ghostwriting (LCG) is available in contested divorce, legitimation, modification, and contempt cases. In LCG cases, the client represents themselves, which is called pro se, and an attorney works behind the scenes giving the client advice, helping the client prepare documents, drafting pleadings for the client, and working on settlement negotiations with the client. Unlike in traditional full representation, the attorney does not communicate with the Court or opposing counsel, but the attorney can advise the client on communicating with them and even help the client by ghost drafting communications. The attorney is not the public face of the case, but the client still gets the benefit of the attorney’s expertise.
How Legal Coaching and Ghostwriting Can Help You
Through Legal Coaching and Ghostwriting (LCG) we help clients who could otherwise not afford an attorney navigate an unfamiliar process. Clerks and court staff cannot give parties legal advice, so they are limited in which questions they can answer. Through LCG, our staff can answer all your questions about the process and help you avoid costly mistakes. LCG lawyers are available to advise and counsel you on your case and help you make smart settlement negotiations and decisions.
We can help you prepare required financial documents for court, such as your Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit and Child Support Worksheet. We can review and advise you on pleadings and correspondence received from opposing counsel or the court. We can draft documents for you such as initial pleadings, responses, motions, and settlement documents.
We can help you respond to or issue discovery (requests from one party where the other party is required to provide information). Most importantly, LCG attorneys work at the client’s request, so the client determines what work the client wants to spend money on and what work the client can handle themselves.
All of our Legal Coaching and Ghostwriting (LCG) cases are billed at a significantly reduced hourly rate of $135, saving the client money. This is a substantial reduction from normal attorney rates. All of our LCG cases have a retainer of just $675 no matter what type of case they have or how complicated it is. This retainer is like a retainer for traditional representation except that it is much lower. The client pays the retainer in advance, and when the firm issues a billing statement, the amount of the billing statement is deducted from the retainer.
The client then replenished the retainer back up to $675. So for example, if a client incurs $200 worth of work in a billing cycle, $200 will be taken out of the existing retainer, bringing the retainer down to $475, and then the client will pay $200 to bring the retainer back up to $675. Keeping a retainer in trust ensures we are ready to work when the client needs us and do not need to delay work until the client makes payment.
Who Should Use Legal Coaching and Ghostwriting
Legal Coaching and Ghostwriting (LCG) is a good fit for clients who are confident in representing themselves but want expert advise to help them through the process. LCG clients should be organized and proactive about their case. Since LCG attorneys only work at the client’s request, clients take on the administrative case management that would normally be handled by our staff.
Clients are responsible for managing deadlines, filing pleadings with the court, moving their case forward, and attending all hearings and mediations. LCG is not intended for cases that are going to a final trial. Luckily, the majority of family law cases settle, so many people can use LCG to settle their case and avoid going to a final trial. If a case looks unlikely to settle, clients can upgrade to traditional full representation with sufficient notice in advance of trial.
There are no income requirements for clients who want to use Legal Coaching and Ghostwriting. Each client is in the best position to determine their own budget, so we accept clients in all financial situations. The only requirement to be eligible for Legal Coaching and Ghostwriting is that the client complete the Family Law Workshop in Cobb, DeKalb , Fulton, Griffin Circuit (Fayette, Pike, Spaulding, Upson), or Henry Counties. Other counties workshops may be approved on a case by case basis. The Family Law Workshop is a free hour and a half monthly seminar for pro se parties that addresses the basics of representing yourself. Attending the workshop helps clients determine if representing themselves with the help of LCG attorneys is a good fit for them, and helps prepare them to do so.
To learn more about Legal Coaching and Ghostwriting or retain us to help with your case, schedule an intake (30 minutes) here or call 678-435-9069. If you are unsure whether LCG or traditional full representation is right for you, you should schedule an initial consult (1 hour) to discuss both options.