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Technology & Entrepreneurial Ventures Law Group, P.C.
25 Years of Trust.     25 Years of Bonded Team Relationships.     25 Years of Excellence.

 

 

 
 


Frequently Asked Questions
Client Engagement FAQs


Thank you for your interest in our law firm.  We bring our knowledge and depth of experience to our clients.  We always do our best for our clients.  And, as progressive as we are, we stand behind our work in a traditional manner.  Whether you're already a successful enterprise, or you're just getting started, we work with you to improve your chances to grow your business and become a success! 

If you have any questions whatsoever, contact us, or see our About Us page.  Also, please feel free to search our site for even more content!


Table of Contents

  1. Who is Zegarelli Law Group ?
  2. How do I engage Zegarelli Law Group ?
  3. To whom do I make checks payable?
  4. What are my payment options?
  5. What is the difference between a retainer and an advance?
  6. What if I am out of state?
  7. Are there differences in engagement rules for litigation matters versus other matters?
  8. Are the "volume" discounts for guaranteed volumes of legal work?
  9. If I pay any money in advance, how is it handled?
  10. Where can I get assistance with website?
  11. We saw a personal injury commercial on television, will the firm take litigation matters on a "contingency" so that there is no fee unless there is recovery?

Who is Zegarelli Law Group ?

Our firm name represents our focus.  It is formally the Technology & Entrepreneurial Ventures Law Group, PC., or more succinctly stated as TEV Law Group, PC.  (The firm is sometimes known as, or marketed as, the Zegarelli Law Group, based upon the community reputation of Gregg Zegarelli, Esq., the founding shareholder.)

Our law firm can represent you in virtually all aspects of entrepreneurship, including, but certainly not limited to, growing your business, raising capital, real estate, copyrights, trademarks, patents and trade secrets, labor, restaurants and liquor licenses, international, contracts and ventures.  We also protect your rights in federal and state litigation, as well as alternative dispute resolution. 

We really believe that we have a lot to offer you, and we really are different.  Please contact us if there is anything that you do not understand about engaging the office, or your engagement with the office.  We want to know whether we are accomplishing our goal of providing you with the finest legal services.  See more at our Introduction Contact us for details.

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How do I engage Zegarelli Law Group ?

It's easy.  Just contact us, preferably by e-mail or by telephone 412-833-0600.  Why do we prefer email?  Because emails "get to the team" immediately.  It's simply the fastest way to get the result you intend!

We will send you a letter confirming that you have engaged us, and we get started helping you to achieve your goals.   As a rule, engagements are always reduced to writing.

If it suits you, we even have a private online engagement form to help you get started immediately.  You must contact the firm, however, to obtain the link to the form.  See more about contacting us.

Your first business decision is to pick your team.  You have heard of our law firm because we have gained an excellent reputation for quality legal services.  We assure you that you will be joining many other successful entrepreneurs in engaging our firm to assist you. 
Contact us for details.

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What are my payment options?

We offer traditional and non-traditional methods of compensation.  To help you, we offer various payment structures: cash, credit card, payment plans, retainers, etc. 

Retainers can offer a significant discount for services and make a great choice if you need a certain number of hours within a certain period of time.  For example, if you know you will need a certain hours of legal services each month over the next six months or one year, we offer a "volume" discount.  This structure only makes sense if you need at least 5 hours of legal services per month on a reasonably consistent basis.  
Contact us for details.

For certain types of clients, we will even entertain taking a minority equity position in the company instead of regular compensation; that is, we will share the risk with you to get you started!   Quality legal services are expensive; however, for example, if we think your idea is exceptional, we will sometimes entertain reducing all or a percentage of our fee for an equity interest in your company.  You need to request this service, we do not suggest it.  We have even structured relationships where clients had little or no funds, and so gave us authorization to establish an entire executive team solely for equity compensation!   Whatever engagement structure works for you, we will reduce the entire relationship to writing so you are perfectly comfortable with the deal.

The goal, of course, is to offer you choices, and to work with you to get your deals done. 

Just ask about payment structures, and we will work with you to make sure you get the services you need for your venture. 
Contact us for details.

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To Whom Do I Make Checks Payable?

Please make payments to "TEV Law Group, PC."  Attorneys do not accept checks made in their respective personal names.  If you are sending moneys to be held in our firm escrow account, then please make checks payable to "TEV Law Group Escrow Account."

Remember that you can pay advances, retainers or invoices online by credit card.  Because payments made by credit card can be for invoice payments as well as advances and retainers, any payment made on credit card is initially deposited by the banking institution into our separate law firm escrow account.  If the credit card payment is for an invoice for services already rendered, then the funds are immediately transferred to the firm's operational corporate account; otherwise, the funds remain held in the escrow account.  In accordance with the Rules of Professional Conduct, client funds are never commingled with the firm's operational funds. The money remains yours until earned.  Contact us for details.

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What is the difference between a retainer and an advance?

Sometimes, there is no difference; it depends upon the usage. 

An advance payment is generally a payment required in advance of legal services being performed.  When services are performed, the advance payment is applied against the invoice balance.  A retainer can be a fixed payment for a certain consistent volume of services, or it is sometimes traditionally described as paying a certain amount per month for an unlimited volume of services.  Sometimes an advance is commonly described as a retainer or an advance retainer.

At our law firm, we generally take modest advances for new clients, as well as all clients for litigation matters.  The firm also has retainers for guaranteed volumes of legal services. 

Just ask about payment structures, and we will do our best to tailor a payment program for you to get the services you need for your venture.  Contact us for details.

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What if I am out of state?

First and foremost, just contact us to discuss how we can help you.  Because the practice of law is a licensed profession, sometimes the best answer is one that occurs through a voice discussion.  Having said that, following is additional information.

Attorneys at our law firm have licenses spanning Pennsylvania, Illinois and Washington, DC (a "Licensing State").  As a general rule, the firm will only accept engagements with persons having a connection with a Licensing State.  This is because the practice of law is a licensed profession and the firm may only service persons having a "connection," or "nexus," with those jurisdictions.

Although not an exact science, the "connection" with a Licensing State can be established in a variety of ways, such as residence, employment, business address, situs of claim or injury, or location of property.  If you, your business or property are located in Licensing State, then we are generally able to represent you without much analysis or discussion; otherwise, we need to find another connection with those jurisdictions. 

The logic for this traditional rule is under much scrutiny in the legal profession, because of the frequency with which commerce and traveling traverses the states within the United States.  The essence of the law relates generally to each state's respective "police power" to regulate the practice of law within the state.  It is also one of protectionism, so that attorneys in one state do not take business from attorneys in another state.

You are inside a Licensing State, but the transaction is outside of a Licensing State.  (E.g., you live in a Licensed State location of Pittsburgh, but your business deal occurs in New York.)

There is an important distinction to be made regarding the location of the client versus location of the transaction.  For example, as a general rule, a client of the firm who is located in a Licensing State (or has property, a business or other nexus with a Licensing State) can use our firm with regard to transactions throughout the world. 

That is, once an engagement is proper because the client has a proper nexus with a Licensing State, then our firm can represent the client even for transactions occurring outside of the state.  As you might expect, this situation is quite common.

There are two primary exceptions.  The first is if there is a court proceeding outside of a Licensing State, for which our firm must be admitted to the court "pro hoc vice," or, basically, to be admitted to the court of that jurisdiction for that case only.  The second is in the unusual situation where a formal legal opinion is to be rendered with regard to the interpretation of laws of non-Licensing State.

You are located outside of a Licensing State, but the transaction is within a Licensing State.  (E.g., you live in Wyoming, but your business deal occurs in a Licensed State location of Chicago.)

Our firm can represent client who have a nexus with a Licensing State, which can be satisfied by transactions occurring in a Licensing State.  The more common example, however, is really the converse of the rule stated immediately above.  Our firm can be hired as "local counsel" for litigation occurring within a Licensing State.  For example, where our law firm is engaged for clients who are located out of state is when they are sued in Pennsylvania even though they live in another state.  That is, if a Califoria business performs services in Pennsylvania, and that California business is sued in Pennsylvania, then it can retain our firm because the connection is the transaction itself and the lawsuit. 

All in all, contact us for details, we will be glad to explain any details regarding your engagement.  In 99% of the cases, the analysis is not complex. 

The goal is to get you where you want to be.  Contact us for details.

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Are there differences in engagement rules for litigation matters versus other matters?

Generally, no, but there are some exceptions.  The primary exception revolves around the fact that litigation is part of one of the most formal social proceedings and come with it a plethora of precise rules. 

Once our firm "appears" in court for a client, we take responsibility for the client's activities in the court until the court expressly permits us to withdraw our appearance.  That is, once attorneys appear for a client, they cannot just leave their clients in the middle of a lawsuit.  Courts like dealing with trained attorneys much better than dealing with unrepresented laypersons.  Therefore, the appearing attorney can only withdraw upon substitute counsel or an Order of Court.  This fact, makes practicing law sometimes a risky business for the business of lawyering.  The most common reasons for attorneys to withdraw their appearance is that either communication with the client has become difficult or there is a payment problem. 

Therefore, in litigation matters, all law firms risk being required to continue to perform legal services for the client, even if the client, for example, is not paying for the services--at least until the law firm can obtain a court order permitting the withdrawal.  As a result, our firm generally will require modest minimum reserve advances; that is, keeping minimum advance funds in our firm's account until the matter is finally resolved.

As a result, contact us for details.

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Are the "volume" discounts for guaranteed volumes of legal work?

Yes.  Our firm calls these structures "retainer" clients.  Our firm's retainers make a lot of sense for our clients who can generally guarantee at least 5 hours of legal time per month for a minimum period of 6 months.  We have a proprietary "Retracker" software product that calculates savings and status.  If you believe that your company needs consistent legal services, you should contact us for details.  Our retainer system is neatly tailored to the needs of our progressive business clients.  Contact us for details.

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If I pay any money in advance, how is it handled?

Pursuant to the Rule of Professional Conduct, any money received by a law firm prior to performing services, must be deposited into a separate attorney trust account.  Those funds may not be commingled with the law firm's general operational funds.  Accordingly, our firm maintains a separate trust account for client funds.  Only after services are performed, or for expenses, are the funds released.

Some examples of circumstance in which our firm receives monies for escrow include: advance payments for services, funds held during financings, real estate transactions and liquor license transactions.

Attorney trust accounts bear interest, but the interest is required to be paid into a state Client Protection fund.  Therefore, from a client's perspective, the escrow funds do not bear interest.  Contact us for details.

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Where can I get assistance with website?

The firm can help you get started on the worldwide web.  If you need an immediate web presence, the firm will entertain, on a case by case basis, placing a small website under its www.zegarelli.com website.  For example, if a client name is "KleanerClub," we could establish www.zegarelli.com/kleanerClub as a website.  This is merely a temporary solution to help our valued clients get started. 

Contact us for details.

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We saw a personal injury commercial on television, will the firm take litigation matters on a "contingency" so that there is no fee unless there is recovery?

Great question!  First of all, you need to understand the difference between personal injury litigation and most other types of litigation.

In personal injury litigation, attorneys will often "front" the legal fees and expenses because they have assessed the case and have calculated that an insurance company will pay the claim.  If there were no insurance companies to pay the claim, the dynamics of personal injury litigation would be significantly different, and, to a large extent, would operate like other types of litigation.  Personal injury attorneys can think, "We can settle today with little effort for $50,000, or go to trial after a huge amount of fronted costs and effort for $100,000."  So, to some extent, the personal injury attorney controls the law firm risk/reward.

Generally not so with commercial litigation.  Why?  Because insurance coverage is generally not applicable for contract and most other commercial disputes.  Therefore, the litigation must make business sense like any other expense.  That is, that there is a probability of the recovery, the amount of potential recovery makes sense relative to the legal fees, and collection of the judgment amount is reasonably likely.  For example, after winning a larger verdict, if the defendant in commercial litigation files bankruptcy, then there is no money to collect.  As a result, our firm generally only accepts representation for commercial cases on a time plus materials basis.  We believe that this is the general rule for all commercial litigation cases.   

However, you should certainly contact us for details, possibly your case is an exception to the general rule.

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Contact us today!  Our firm can assist you with understanding and applying the law to your particular situation.  We Represent the Entrepreneurial Spirit® If you would like to obtain our other firm publications, please go to our mailing list page.


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Upper St. Clair Administrative and Postal Office:
2585 Washington Road, Suite 134
• Summerfield Commons Office Park
Pittsburgh, PA  15241-2565 USA

Pittsburgh Office:
301 Grant Street, Suite 4300 • One Oxford Centre
Pittsburgh, PA 15219-1407 USA

Voice: 412.833.0600
Fax: 412.833.0601

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