If you are the victim of an online attack, harassment, or defamation, your priority is likely to secure experienced legal representation. But finding and hiring an attorney can be an overwhelming process. Consulting with an attorney is typically the first step to figuring things out.
When approaching any law firm, it’s critical to understand their consultation policies. At Minc Law, we believe in educating every potential client about our firm’s attorney consultation policies. This is becomes every firm has different consultation policies. So it’s important to understand what a firm’s consulting policy is when seeking one.
At Minc Law, we generally charge a fee for legal consultations with an attorney. These consultations generally last for one hour and enable you to obtain legal advice, a thorough plan to address your matter, and answers to more in-depth questions. During the consult, your attorney provides specific legal advice based on your unique situation and the research they have already conducted on your matter prior to your meeting to prepare.
In limited circumstances, we offer free attorney consultations. But only in instances involving online news article removals, revenge porn or adult content cases, and shaming website content removals. However, these free consultations only last 30 minutes and are less in-depth than paid attorney consultations.
Given our extensive experience handling thousands of internet defamation, sextortion, and online harassment-related legal matters at Minc Law, we know billing questions are always top of mind for potential clients. We aim to empower you with the information you need to make the best decisions for yourself and your case.
In this article, we provide information about our intake process at Minc Law and what to expect from your attorney consultation. Then, we explain our consult policies and the difference between free and paid consults—along with what types of matters generally fall into each category.
What is Minc Law’s Intake Process?
Whether you call our office, speak with a Chat representative, or fill out our contact form, your first point of contact at Minc Law will always be with a member of the intake team.
Our firm’s intake process helps us ensure we are the right fit for your matter. Further, it is designed to not only optimize the time you spend with an attorney during your consultation but it is also to ensure that your time is not wasted and that you are able to speak to a dedicated attorney as soon as possible.
What to Expect During the Intake Process
Our intake specialists will listen to your concerns, ask questions to better understand your internet-related matter, and discuss your options with you. They will also answer questions about costs and the amount of time it takes to resolve specific issues or pursue certain legal remedies. In almost every case, intake specialists will ask potential new clients for the following information:
- Where the harmful content was published,
- When the harmful content was shared or published,
- Whether the content in question is internet-related,
- Whether the content is still live,
- Why do you want to hire an attorney for this matter,
- Your budget for legal services, and
- Your goals for working with us (identifying a poster, removing content, litigation, etc.).
It is important to understand that our intake team can answer basic questions about legal processes, but they cannot offer you any legal advice.
After an intake specialist has gathered important details about your matter and discussed your options, they will determine if we are a good fit for you and your matter. If we are a fit, we will discuss scheduling a consultation with a dedicated attorney.
If one of our intake specialists determines that Minc Law is not the best fit for your matter, they will let you know and strive to provide a referral (if possible), further resources, or direction on services that may be a better fit.
The intake specialist will also inform you of the price of the consultation if it is paid. Once again, all paid consultations at Minc Law are one hour long and start at $500. But for more complex matters the consult fee may be $750. This allows additional time for the attorney to review all details of your case, conduct necessary research, and reserve one hour for the consult.
Your Next Steps to Prepare For an Attorney Consultation
To enable our team to work on your case effectively, be prepared to provide our intake team with as much information as possible about your matter. The more we know about your internet issue, the better we can use the time during your legal consultation with a dedicated Minc Law attorney.
At a minimum, we request new clients to share the following information:
- Your internet-related problem,
- When the problem began,
- The website(s) where the harmful content was posted (with direct URLs if possible),
- Your budget,
- Any deadlines or time constraints under which you need your legal issue resolved,
- Your goals for working with our firm,
- Proof that you have legal authority to begin an attorney-client relationship (especially relevant if you are a minor or are calling us on behalf of another person or business), and
- Any other background information about your case, including screenshots and evidence of communication with the perpetrator.
We value client privacy at Minc Law, and are professionally and ethically regulated, so you can rest assured that all information you share with us is completely confidential.
What Happens During Your Consultation With a Minc Law Attorney?
After you have been pre-qualified by a Minc Law intake specialist, you will schedule a time to speak with an attorney. Before your meeting, the intake specialist will provide the attorney with your background information. The attorney will prepare to hear your questions and advise on your specific issues.
Below, we explain what happens during your initial meeting with an attorney.
What is a Minc Law Attorney Consultation?
Attorney consultations are essential starting points for having a successful legal relationship with an attorney that leads to a great result. Not only do they give our team a clear picture of your case, but just as importantly, they allow you and your attorney to decide if you would work well together.
At Minc Law, we conduct most attorney consultations over video conference using Zoom. However, if a client is more comfortable in person or over the phone, we are happy to accommodate your wishes.
Make sure that you please find a private place to talk with us. Most of our clients do not want anyone else overhearing the details of their legal matters. Even if you do not decide to hire our firm, the attorney-client privilege protects what you discuss with us during your legal consultation.
In your legal consultation with a Minc Law attorney, we will discuss your legal matter, your rights, and your available legal options. We will also discuss your case’s costs and what the expected timeline to address your matter may look like. If you decide to move forward with Minc Law, we will draft an engagement letter for your review and signature to then begin working on your case.
What is a Paid Consultation?
Paid consultations last for one hour and allow potential clients to obtain legal advice and answer more in-depth questions on complex matters. The attorney can review all relevant content, information, and background history more extensively. Instead of discussing your case generally, they can provide specific legal advice about your internet-related issue.
Our goal during these sessions is to evaluate your case’s potential and determine the best legal strategy if you proceed with us. If the attorney feels that moving forward with the case is not in your best interest, they will inform you. Our team strives to be honest with every potential client about their situation—and we want you to leave your attorney consultation with a clear picture of your available options.
In a paid consult, a Minc Law attorney can answer questions like:
- Do I have an actionable claim?
- Where is the jurisdiction for my claim?
- What are the potential hurdles I may face?
- What is the best option for my case?
Although attorneys at Minc Law charge varying hourly rates, paid attorney consultations across the firm are priced at a flat rate of $500 for one hour or $750 for two hours. If you retain us within two business days of receiving your engagement letter after a paid consult, your consult fee is deducted from the retainer payment.
At Minc Law, we aim to be as transparent as possible regarding pricing. We have compiled this comprehensive Pricing Page to help you better understand potential costs to resolve your internet or online reputation management issue.
What is a Free Consultation?
In limited circumstances, we offer free attorney consultations. Free consults are 30 minutes long and only offered in simple cases relating to online news article removals, revenge porn and adult content cases, and shaming site content removals. In these meetings, an attorney will inform you in general terms about how Minc Law can help and advise on any potential hurdles you may face.
We also aim to cover topics such as:
- Your case’s potential costs,
- The amount and type of retainer fee needed,
- Whether your case may need litigation,
- Potential courses of action for your matter,
- Your case’s statute of limitations, and
- Possible defamation defenses available to the defendant.
However, even in cases where a free consultation is appropriate, it oftentimes will be made into a paid consult because of its complexity or in cases where it requires more than 30 minutes to discuss. Whether a consultation is free or paid is something you will have to discuss with one of our dedicated intake specialists.
Types of Legal Matters That Require a Paid Attorney Consultation at Minc Law
Generally, most attorney consultations at Minc Law are paid. Below, we describe common matters that require a paid consultation at Minc Law.
Are We Dating the Same Guy? (AWDTSG)
“Are we dating the same guy?” Facebook groups allow members to share their experiences and suspicions about dating the same person simultaneously. While this group may serve as an outlet for discussion and support, it also carries the potential for defamatory attacks and doxxing.
Accusations within the group could harm a person’s reputation without substantial evidence, leading to both personal and professional consequences for the victim.
Our firm is well-equipped to assist with such matters. We provide expert legal guidance to ensure group members understand the implications of their statements and the importance of responsible online behavior. We can work to protect individuals’ reputations and rights.
Litigation matters tend to be more complex in procedure and substance and, therefore, require a paid consultation. Potential clients often have more questions about the process, timeline, and expected outcomes. Also, the attorney must review possible jurisdictions, relevant case law, and all documents related to the client’s case before the consult.
Litigation consultations can have many root causes, from social media disputes to anonymous reviews on your business page.
For example, Jane discovers that a former friend, Stacy, posted untrue statements about her on Facebook. Stacy claimed Jane is a convicted felon who should not be around children. Since Jane knows Stacy’s identity and has the evidence to prove her statements are false, she may be able to file a defamation suit against Stacy.
The most common litigation matter at Minc Law is a John Doe lawsuit, where it is necessary to uncover an anonymous poster’s identity before bringing a defamation claim like the one described above.
Sextortion is a heinous form of online extortion that has profound and lasting effects on its victims. It typically involves coercing individuals, often through the threat of sharing explicit or intimate content, into complying with the blackmailer’s demands – often by paying a monetary sum. This traumatic experience can lead to severe emotional distress, anxiety, depression, and even self-harm among victims.
At Minc Law, we understand the gravity of these situations and are committed to helping victims combat online extortionists.
We provide comprehensive legal support, leveraging our expertise in cybercrime and internet laws to identify and pursue perpetrators. Through a combination of legal action, evidence collection, and collaboration with law enforcement, we aim to hold those responsible accountable for their actions. Our goal is to ensure victims can regain control over their lives and find justice in the face of such reprehensible acts.
Public Knowledge Sites
The First Amendment, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and each state’s public record laws allow public records to be published and accessed online. Many third-party sites like Leagle, PacerMonitor, and Spokeo publish public records for general access.
However, many of these sites simply comb the internet and repost available information. This data can easily be (and often is) outdated or inaccurate. If these sites repost incorrect and harmful information about you, it can damage your professional or personal reputation.
Because of the protection afforded to this information, removal options vary. Before your legal consultation, a Minc Law attorney must spend time researching your options and determining whether you must file an additional motion to seal or expunge court records.
Other Attorneys Calling For Advice
Minc Law has a reputation for excellence in the legal field. As a result, many other attorneys often seek advice and counsel from our experienced team. These consultations are invaluable opportunities for legal professionals to tap into our specialized knowledge, strategic insights, and extensive experience.
While we are committed to fostering a collaborative legal community, we do require these consultations to be paid since they require the dedicated time and expertise of our attorneys. This compensation not only ensures our clients receive the utmost attention and resources but also recognizes the value and quality of our guidance. It also allows us to continue delivering exceptional legal services and maintaining the high standards our firm is known for.
Untruthful and damaging statements on social media—otherwise known as social media defamation—can devastate your reputation if left unchecked. At Minc Law, we understand the significance of a positive online reputation.
Our legal team can help remove damaging posts from various social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok. We typically send a demand letter to the poster asking them to remove the content instead of a lawsuit. We have considerable experience navigating social media flagging and reporting processes and filing suit (if necessary).
Litigation is often the best option for removing damaging posts about you on Reddit and similar discussion forums. If the poster is anonymous, you may need to file a John Doe lawsuit to unmask their identity before holding them accountable.
The internet is a vast sea of information from social media accounts to public knowledge sites. It is easy to find information about anyone.
Doxxing (or doxing) is the process of publishing private or identifying information about you online, usually maliciously. Doxxers often target celebrities, government officials, and those in the public eye. They also may use doxxing to harass private individuals at the center of online controversies.
Our team at Minc Law can navigate the complexities of online harassment and internet privacy issues. We offer online reputation management, Digital Risk Protection plans, and legal services to help clients fight back against doxxing and other invasions of privacy.
Types of Legal Matters That Qualify For a Free Consultation at Minc Law
A free consultation is a brief conversation with an attorney to discuss whether Minc Law can help you and what the scope of representation may be. We offer free consultations to individuals and businesses that:
- Can provide accurate and complete information during the intake process,
- Are genuinely interested in exploring our services and are ready to proceed right away,
- Have not already received a free consultation from Minc Law within the last calendar year, and
- Have an internet-related matter that qualifies for a free consult.
The primary type of matter that qualifies for a free consult at Minc Law involves content removal. Most of our clients need the following types of content removed:
- News articles,
- Revenge porn or adult content, and
- Shaming site content.
Disclaimer: While the above three types of content removal may qualify for a free consultation, our intake specialists may determine that your matter requires a paid consultation after speaking with you and obtaining more information.
We discuss each type of legal matter in greater detail below.
While the First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech protections to the media, there are some situations in which news articles harm individuals’ lives and reputations.
In many of these cases, our legal team has successfully removed unwanted and harmful new articles from the internet. We have extensive experience filing editorial requests for retraction or corrections, and we can also submit de-indexing requests to remove outdated search results from Google.
While most of these cases are relatively straightforward, we may request a paid consultation depending on the context and volume of the content in question.
Revenge Porn, Adult Content, & Image Removal
Being a victim of revenge porn—or the distribution of your intimate images without consent—is a highly distressing and isolating experience. It is also unlawful. We have extensive experience drafting DMCA takedown requests, removing harmful content from search results, and working with sites to remove unauthorized content.
We also have proven experience removing revenge porn from the most popular adult content sites, including:
- XHamster.com, and more.
For image removal matters that require litigation or the unmasking of an anonymous perpetrator, a paid consult will be required.
Shaming Sites & Cheater Sites
If your information has been shared on a popular shaming website like TheDirty, ShesAHomeWrecker, or ComplaintsBoard, our team can help you remove these unwanted and hurtful posts. Your attorney can discuss your removal options, ensure that you have identified all damaging posts online, and work to secure the removal of these links.
However, if you want to sue the perpetrator or file a John Doe lawsuit to unmask the anonymous poster, the consultation will be paid. To prepare for legal consultations in these cases, the attorney must research elements specific to your case, such as:
- The statute of limitations,
- Applicable jurisdictions, and
- What types of content may be actionable.
Your Next Steps After the Consultation
If you choose to retain Minc Law, we will send you an engagement agreement shortly after your consultation. Once you sign the engagement and pay the retainer fee, our team will begin work on your case immediately.
Sending the Engagement Agreement
We aim to send an engagement agreement within 24 hours after the consultation.
An engagement letter is a legally binding contract that clearly establishes the terms, scope, and cost of our service. These letters help clarify expectations in the attorney-client relationship and help avoid misunderstandings later.
Minc Law primarily uses a retainer fee payment structure for hourly and litigation matters. A retainer fee is an upfront payment that allows our team to start working on your matter right away.
The fee amount varies depending on the type and complexity of your matter. Once you pay the retainer fee, we place those funds in a separate account. Then, our team bills against that balance as we perform hourly work.
To learn more about the specific types of retainer agreements we use at Minc Law, see our in-depth article: “The Different Types of Retainer Fees We Use”.
Get Started With Your Internet-Related Issue Today
At Minc Law, we understand how overwhelming and stressful it can be to navigate finding an attorney in the midst of an internet-related attack. We hold transparency and trust as paramount and strive to ensure that all potential clients know what to expect when reaching out. We also aim to make the process as painless as possible.
“Attorney Dorrian Horsey at Minc Law represented me in a content removal effort and was successful. She was very open with me about the process, and helped me understand the approach that she took. She was great to work with and very supportive of my effort. Thank you!”
August 11, 2023
If you are the target of internet defamation, sextortion, online harassment, or another internet-related privacy issue, and want to explore your options to resolve it, reach out to get started by calling us at (216) 373-7706, speaking with a Chat representative, or filling out our online contact form. One of our dedicated intake specialists will be in touch to help within 24 to 48 hours.