Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I find out whether the services you offer are the services I need, and are offered at a cost I can afford?

Harrison Sheppard law & Conflict Resolution offers a free initial consultation with potential clients of up to one hour precisely to answer this question, and related questions. A client’s relationship to his or her or its lawyer must be built on confidence, trust, and clear mutual understanding. An additional purpose of an initial consultation is to help both the lawyer and the client decide whether they can work together comfortably and effectively to solve the client’s problem as efficiently and harmoniously as possible. In reaching a satisfactory outcome for a client, the client is a necessary partner in the search for an acceptable solution. Harrison Sheppard Law & Conflict Resolution offers each of its clients the opportunity to participate closely in the effort to resolve the client’s problem, rather than just being informed of their lawyer’s progress with monthly billing statements, or getting copies of legal pleadings.

Q: Why should I choose Harrison Sheppard Law & Conflict Resolution over other law firms if I think I need the services of a lawyer?

After nearly 40 years of legal practice I have developed consistently economical and successful techniques for rapid, satisfactory resolution of most client situations, especially as compared to typical experiences of law clients with other firms. Harrison Sheppard Law & Conflict Resolution is consciously designed to reflect, as much as possible, “What’s right with lawyers.”

Q: On what basis do you consider the services that you yourself provide as examples of “What’s Right with Lawyers?”

The model I follow is one of peacemaking and economical dispute resolution, not legal battle. My services are entirely client centered. To help minimize client costs, I do my best to provide my services as efficiently as possible, with no more legal formality than may be strictly necessary. I work closely with each of my clients to achieve results that are in the client’s best, long-term interests. I see my practice as primarily providing the professional services of a legal counselor who aims to achieve justice for his clients, not as a business. And I always return client phone calls promptly. Unless I am out of town, it is highly unusual for me not to return client calls the same day, if not within the hour.

Q: I hear you have a high hourly rate–why should I pay so much?

My hourly rate is not high for an attorney of my experience and record. I pride myself on the cost efficiency of my services. The peacemaking model of legal practice I follow usually saves my clients a great deal of money compared to the costs they would typically incur from the warmaking model of practice, especially from large law firms. I may also adjust my fees at times in consideration of the particular circumstances of a client, and offer flexible payment plans where that is necessary.

Q: What are the kinds of matters you handle most?

Matters involving actual or potential legal disputes with another person or firm or insurance company that may be negotiated to a satisfactory conclusion, in almost any field except tax law. Most of my clients are small business people in the greater San Francisco Bay Area to whom I give ongoing legal advice, and regularly provide legal and counseling services, such as contract drafting and negotiation, lease review, and dispute resolution. I also represent clients involved in family disputes relating to private trust interests, and intellectual property (copyright and infringement) matters for visual artists. (In 1978, I founded an international visual arts agency, and continue to be involved in international arts projects.) I like to help my clients find solutions for almost any kind of dispute that may involve a legal issue, and also help them discover and resolve the elements of the problem that led to the dispute and that may really have nothing at all to do with a legal battle.

Q: In what geographical areas do you practice?

I am admitted to practice in all California courts, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, and before the United States Supreme Court. I have also made appearances in Nevada and Massachusetts State Courts. My clients have included residents of Washington State, New York, Nevada, Massachusetts, England, Canada, Mexico, and Cuba, in addition, of course, to Californians throughout the state.

Q. How may I contact you to decide whether to make an appointment for an initial consultation?

Please use the contact form at the bottom of the home page.