How to talk with a lawyer

Please be advised that we do not intend for any unsolicited communication to create a lawyer-client relationship or an obligation of confidentiality. Before sending us any information which you intend to be protected by a lawyer-client relationship or by an obligation of confidentiality, please contact us by means of a communication that does not reveal any confidential information, and do not send any confidential information until we have advised you to do so.

We receive e-mail and phone calls every day from individuals seeking legal advice. Some ask simple questions. Some are desperate pleas for help. We cannot answer questions, give legal advice, or quote fee rates over the internet for several reasons.

First, we provide legal advice to clients only. Several things would need to happen before Crone & Mason, plc, could agree to accept a new client. When a person calls for the first time, the firm must do a conflict check to see whether accepting the new client would present a conflict with any existing clients of the firm. To do this, we would need to know your full name and address and the identity of any parties adverse to you. It would also be necessary for you to tell us, without revealing any confidential information, the general nature of your situation. If our conflict check did not reveal any known conflicts, then we would be able to proceed.

Second, in order to answer questions accurately, we may need to ask you several questions or review documents, which cannot easily be done through the internet.

Third, because there is little security with internet communications, some authorities have suggested that this would be a violation of ethical restrictions. Also, we have no way to know whether or not the person is who he or she claims or is already represented by another attorney.

A “consultation” is a meeting with one of our attorneys to discuss possible representation or to obtain a legal opinion on an issue without further representation. Our attorneys often give valuable advice and render other important legal services during a consultation, even though there may not be a long-term attorney-client relationship. A consultation can last anywhere from half an hour to four hours or longer, depending on the circumstances and the complexity of the situation and applicable law. Some questions cannot be answered during a consultation because they may involve further factual discovery or legal research, but we will make every effort to answer every question you may have to the best of our ability.

A “telephone consultation” is just like a regular consultation, except for the fact that it occurs over the telephone. We usually only offer telephone consultations to people who live outside the Memphis, Tennessee, area. Whenever possible, we prefer to meet “face to face” during consultations, in part so that we can examine any important documents you may have with you and in part just so we can get to know you better. This also gives you an opportunity to see our offices and meet our support staff.

Whether the consultation is in person or via telephone, we must both be prepared in advance. You should gather all important documentary evidence of your situation and send a copy for us to review before the conference. The pre-consultation review will make the consultation more productive. These documents should arrive in our office at least 48 hours before the consultation is set.

An “initial client conference” is similar to a consultation but differs in that the potential client, even though visiting us for the first time, has already decided beforehand that he or she wants to retain our firm as counsel. If you are visiting us for an initial client conference, be assured that we appreciate the fact that you have chosen us to represent you and that you have placed your trust in our abilities. Please understand, however, that, even though you have chosen us, we reserve the unconditional right not to represent you. There are many reasons why we might decide not to represent you, but if we make such a decision, it should never be taken personally.

Finally, we do not bill for consultations for overtime matters. For other matters, we do bill for our time and advice on all consultations and initial client conferences. Understand that the time we spend in a consultation is time we are not spending on working on our existing clients’ cases. For unpaid or underpaid overtime cases, we almost always work on a pure contingency basis meaning that we charge a legal fee only after recovery for our clients. Feel free to inquire at any time before, during, or after the consultation about the consultation fees and/or the possible costs of any future representation. We want you to feel comfortable with the arrangements so that you can get the most out of your visit with us.

Please call us and ask to speak with Alan Crone’s assistant. After obtaining some basic information, we can assist you with any additional questions you may have regarding a free consultation. (Overtime questions are one of the few areas of the law with which we provide free consultations.) Then you can choose to schedule an appointment. During or after the consultation, you may decide whether or not you wish to proceed with engaging our firm as your legal counsel. We always encourage persons looking for an attorney to speak to more than one lawyer or firm. The most important concern is that you find the attorney that is right for you.


Transmission and receipt of materials, via this web site or directly to the firm’s attorneys do not create an attorney-client relationship. Persons who have not retained our firm’s services who elect to transmit e-mail to the firm or an attorney of the firm should have no expectation of any protected privilege, and Crone & Mason, plc, reserves the right to disclose said transmissions to other persons. We do not, and cannot, guarantee the security of internet communications.