ROBERT K. ALLEN, AAL, ALC

Frequently Asked Questions
Some frequent questions are addressed below.  If you don't find an answer to something you've been wondering about, feel free to email or call.  

 
Why aren't you in the yellow pages?
If you look closely, you will find that I do have a small listing that came with my business line. I have not purchased a large ad because listings are very expensive and contribute to much of the overhead that clients of other firms must underwrite by paying inflated hourly fees. This is especially true now that there are so many different directories. Fortunately, most of my clients come through referrals from other attorneys and prior or existing clients.

What is the "Order of the Coif?"
The Order of the Coif is a national law honors society. About 75 law schools nationwide have chapters. The award in conferred on graduates of those schools who attained academic distinction.

Where is your office located?
For the last several years I have worked exclusively from home.  At different times over the last 20+ years I have had offices in Hilo, but a home-based practice best suits my particular work preferences.  Meetings with client are arranged on a case-by-case basis at locations determined mutually convenient.

Do you do criminal cases?
I am not presently accepting adult clients, but I continue to represent minors in Juvenile Court where they may be accused a conduct that would be a crime if committed by an adult.  

Should I hire an attorney for my child if he or she is accused of a crime?
A minor is entitled to a free attorney in juvenile proceedings, irrespective of a parent's ability to pay.  In most cases, the minor will be referred to the Office of the Public Defender.  If the Public Defender is unable to represent the minor, the Family Court will appoint a private attorney (like me) to represent the minor at no charge to parents.  A parent always has the option of retaining an attorney of his or her choosing instead of accepting the free attorney that is available.  Whether or not it is necessary or reasonable to hire a private attorney will depend on the facts and circumstances of each particular case.  If in doubt, make a few calls to attorneys to get some input into the decision.  

How much do you charge for your services?
Hourly fees vary, depending on the type of case.  I believe my rates are competive, but feel free to contact as many attorneys as you like before making a decision about retaining any particular attorney.

Do you require a retainer?
No, but I do require an advance in most cases.  A retainer is a non-refundable payment made to an attorney to secure his or her services.  I do not require that.  In most cases, however, I require clients to deposit funds as an advance against services and costs.  If the services and costs are less than the advance, the extra money is returned.  If the services and costs are more than the advance, an additional advance may be required or you may invoiced for payment as your matter continues.

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