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                                                 February 17, 2010
Consulting an attorney:
Lawyers usually charge by the hour and are expensive, so a client needs to organize all the documents
and important points before visiting a lawyer, not during the visit. A client should prepare a written
statement of what he/she sees as the as the central problem, what the desired and acceptable outcomes
would be, and a chronology of events. Any files should be well organized as the lawyer will eventually
need to look through them. If a proposed contract or administrative form is sufficiently straightforward
(many are available on the Web), the client should make a first draft for the lawyer to review. Whenever
there is a task which the client or the attorney could do, the client should do the task if time permits. Also,
a client should learn as much as possible about the applicable law as time permits, from books and the
A client needs to be direct about possible legal fees. Ask what the lawyer’s hourly charges are and
whether the initial meeting will be free or not. Find out whether the lawyer will require any security for
payment of thee fees. Expenses, such as photocopies, filing fees and outside service providers, are also
put on the bill, so ask what will be charged for, apart from the lawyer’s time. Try to get an idea of the total
cost involved, including a best case and a worst case. If a dispute is involved and litigation is possible for
the client to obtain an award of money, the client and the lawyer may prefer to agree on a contingent fee
arrangement, in which the client is responsible for expenses and the lawyer receives a percentage of any
recovery or settlement (frequently 30 – 40%) instead of an hourly fee.
Since most SCORE clients have limited funds, they will be looking for free or less expensive lawyers.
Typically, smaller law firms, especially solo practitioners, are less expensive than larger law firms. Smaller
law firms, especially solo practitioners, may try to cover too many areas of law, however, so it is important
to try to find smaller firms that specialize in the area of concern. Typical areas of concern for SCORE
clients are choice of business entity and business entity formation, intellectual property (trademarks,
patents, copyrights, trade secrets), and real estate (leases) and commercial contracts (supply
agreements, franchises, etc.).
Free legal services: For business matters, there are two possibilities. On and, lawyers will help sort out issues and provide initial advice. The lawyers at these sites
may or may not be licensed in the state of Washington, so there may be a limit to how far they can
proceed. The sites also include a positive feedback rating on the individual lawyers to guide the client’s
The other source of free legal service for businesses could be pro bono programs at law firms. Typically
these exist at larger law firms. The firms that offer such programs are selective about this use of their
resources, however, and may require extra time to review the request and may not be interested in very
basic situations.
Smaller law firms: Smaller law firms frequently list themselves on lawyer-finding websites. I have looked
at several of these sites and have the following comments.

        Sites Recommended:
        1. – This site includes feedback on attorneys from their clients. A SCORE counselor
            had very positive experience using this site.
        2. – Also ha feedback.
        3. – No feedback but good categories to focus your search.

        Sites not recommended:
        1. – A search for an intellectual property attorney in Seattle turned up one in
        2. This didn’t return any attorney names.
The following smaller law firms have been provided by other lawyers or have offered to help SCORE

1. Smaller firms:

Elizabeth J. Berns                                     Email:
Business law, intellectual property.         
10940 NE 33rd Place, Suite 204
Bellevue, WA 98004                                     Roger J. Kindley
425-292-7040                                           Resolution of business disputes
Email:                               (Source: Darlene Robbins; Bob Dorse)                                 Ryan Swanson & Cleveland PLLC
                                                       1201 3 Avenue, Suite 3400
Thomas A. Barkewitz                                    Seattle, WA 98101-3034
Leasing and other real estate matters.                 (206) 654-2218
(Source: Frank Cordell)                                (206) 652-2918 (fax)
 Alston Courtnage & Bassetti LLP                       Email:
1000 2 Avenue, Suite 3900                    
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 623-7600                                         Matthew P. Smith
(206) 623-1752                                         Business law.
Email:                          (Source: Frank Cordell)                                        Fikso Kretschmer Smith Dixon
                                                       2025 1 Avenue, Suite 1130
Dean A. Craine                                         Seattle, WA 98121
Intellectual property                                  (206) 448-1818
(Source: Ekhard)                                       (206) 448-3444
9 Lake Bellevue Drive, Suite 208                       Email:
Bellevue, WA 98005                           
(425) 637-3035
(425) 637-9312 (fax)                                   Danny Bronski
 (206) 953-3035 (cell)                                 Business law, intellectual property (especially
Email:                               trademarks).                                      (Source: Robbin Block)
                                                       The Grand Central Building
Matthew L. Fick                                        216 First Avenue South, #210
Business law; business acquisitions and sales.         Seattle, WA 98104
(Source: Frank Cordell)                                206-281-0795
Mundt MacGregor LLP                                    206-774-0430 (fax)
271 Wyatt Way NE, Suite 106                            Email:
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110                  
(206) 624-5950
(206) 624-5469                                         Marc Kittner
Email:                              Business law, business acquisitions and sales.                                       (Source: Mark Hutcheson)
                                                       803 Lake Washington Boulevard South
Robert Paul Meier                                      Seattle, WA 98144
Business law, real estate, business acquisitions       206-940-0738
and sales, finance, franchises.                        Email:
(Source: Frank Cordell)                      
Ryan Swanson & Cleveland PLLC
1201 3 Avenue, Suite 3400
Seattle, WA 98101-3034
(206) 654-2214
(206) 652-2914 (fax)
Roger M. Townsend                                       Lawyer Referral Service
Resolution of business disputes.                        Business law, real estate, resolution of business
(Source: Bill Anderson)                                 disputes.
Breskin Johnson & Townsend                              King County Bar Association
1111 Third Avenue                                       206-267-7010
Seattle, WA 98101                                       Email:
206-652-8290 (fax)                                      Note: Client should ask KCBA what
Email:                           qualifications it has required for lawyers to be                                        included on its service.

The following larger law firms might be more expensive but are large enough to have specialists on staff
and might engage in pro bono work. I have used most of the firms listed.

2. Larger firms

Brian D. Endter                                         Brian W. Esler
Business law, business acquisitions and sales,          Intellectual property, resolution of business
licensing of intellectual property.                     disputes. (Source: Frank Van Dusen)
(Source: David Lundsgaard)                              Miller Nash
Graham & Dunn                                           4400 Two Union Square
Pier 70                                                 601 Union Street
2801 Alaskan Way, Suite 300                             Seattle, Washington 98101-2352
Seattle, WA 98121                                       206.622.8484
206-340-9601                                            206.622.7485 (fax)
206-340-9599 (fax)                                      Email:
                                                        R. Thomas Olson
Patrick J. Franke                                       Business law, business acquisitions and sales.
Business law, business acquisitions and sales,          (Source: Frank Van Dusen)
licensing of intellectual property.                     Miller Nash
(Source: David Lundsgaard)                              4400 Two Union Square
Graham & Dunn                                           601 Union Street
Pier 70                                                 Seattle, Washington 98101-2352
2801 Alaskan Way, Suite 300                             206.622.8484
Seattle, WA 98121                                       206.622.7485 (fax)
206-340-8779                                            Email:
206-340-9599 (fax)                            
Email:                                      Franklin D. Cordell
                                                        Insurance coverage disputes with insurance
Anne Krepick                                            companies.
Business law, business acquisitions and sales,          (Source: Bill Anderson)
taxes.                                                  Gordon Tilden Thomas & Cordell
(Source: David Lundsgaard)                              1001 Fourth Avenue, Suite 4000
Graham & Dunn                                           Seattle, WA 98154-1007
Pier 70                                                 206-467-6477
2801 Alaskan Way, Suite 300                             206-467-6292 (fax)
Seattle, WA 98121                                       Email:
206-340-9599 (fax)
Kaye D. Fleming                 Garry G. Fujita
Patents                         State and local taxation
(Source: Mark Hutcheson)        (Source: Mark Hutcheson)
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP       Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
1201 Third Avenue, Suite 2200   1201 Third Avenue, Suite 2200
Seattle, WA 98101-3045          Seattle, WA 98101-3045
206-757-8075                    206-757-8046
206-757-7075 (fax)              206-757-7046 (fax)
Email:      Email:           

Heather M. Colburn
Intellectual property
(Source: Mark Hutcheson)
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
1201 Third Avenue, Suite 2200
Seattle, WA 98101-3045
206-757-7021 (fax)

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