Why Work With Next Phase Legal?

First, thank you for visiting our website and considering working with my firm.  It is not an easy task for any business owner to identify concrete examples that set one’s own business apart from the competition. Frequently, businesses make claims consisting of mostly empty phrases and buzzwords, such as:

  • Client-focused
  • Experienced
  • Trustworthy
  • We get results

Almost every attorney or mediator could likely describe his or her services with those exact same terms. So, what, if anything, makes Next Phase Legal & Dispute Resolution unique?

Over the years, I have worked with clients through the adversarial court process and through other forms of dispute resolution.  These experiences and observations have shaped the direction of my firm and my professional shift away from relying mainly on the courts to resolve matters of great importance to our clients and their families. I believe that in most instances, families are better served by avoiding the traditional adversarial legal battle.  Respectful and peaceful options to resolve conflict, guided by skilled professionals, are simply more effective paths to follow in my opinion.

Even in a high-conflict situation, perhaps marked by poor communications and other obstacles, adopting a problem-solving approach can lead to numerous benefits. Research is clear that family conflict is bad for children. In fact, the research is fairly alarming.  Thus, when parents work with me and my team through mediation, the collaborative process, or as a parenting coordinator, they are very possibly changing their children’s lives for the better.  As a side note, all of our attorneys at the firm are certified mediators.

Additionally, legal fees are expensive.  Litigation can have long-lasting negative impacts on a person’s or a family’s financesm, with costs soring into five figures (or more) in what can seem like the bling of an eye.  Hourly billing, although still the norm, continues to lose ground to more creative and modern approaches that tend to more closely align your interests with that of your mediator or lawyer.  Whereas a less scrupulous lawyer or mediator has a financial incentive to bill you for more hours to increase revenue, that is not good for your wallet.  Consider that many firms have enormous billable hour requirements to feed high salaries at your expense, and it is not at all difficult to see how hourly billing feels like a never-ending roller-coaster ride.

Many of our fees are project-based, meaning clients will pay a mutually-agreed upon fixed fee specific services or “projects”. For more complicated matters, our services may be separated into multiple phases, with a fixed price for each identified stage of the case or project.

For professionals focused on helping their clients, the tedious process of hourly billing and getting retainer funds replenished can unfortunately seem like the focus even more so than resolving a client’s situation. Many attorneys would probably not share this info on their website, but I think many would agree.  Moving to fixed fees is a significant change and one which I believe will help us zero in on what is most important to our clientele.

Another area where we continue to focus is adopting more of a project-management approach to our services. If you are getting divorced, or need to make changes to your parenting schedule, then there are certain steps that will need to be completed from initiation through completion. Communications are key throughout the process, and I think it is important for my clients to be involved in making decisions with my guidance and support.  Technology can help improve efficiency and improve communications. Clients appreciate their ability to access their case-related documents 24/7 through their client portal and reach us in a number of ways.

We look forward to helping you with your legal matter.

Stephen McDonough, Esq.

Divorce and family law attorneys and mediators serving the Norfolk, Medfield, Walpole, Westwood, Norwood, Natick, Walpole, Medway, Franklin, Dedham, Dover, Sherborn, and Millis, MA areas.  Norfolk, Mansfield, Sharon, Medfield and Norfolk divorce lawyers and mediators.