Answers to these frequently asked questions will demonstrate why The Massaro Legal Group is the right choice for you, whether you are located in the greater Indianapolis area or need out-of-state assistance.
- What type of law do you specialize in?
- How many years of experience do you have?
- How much actual courtroom experience do you have, including trials?
- How does a retainer work and how do you bill?
- Do you belong to any professional or community organizations?
- What resources does the firm have compared to larger firms?
- Will you be handling my case yourself?
- How important is rapport with my attorney?
- How long do you typically take to get back to clients?
- How do you typically communicate with your clients?
- Why is the appearance of the firm’s website and office important?
- What can I expect from your staff and legal assistants?
What type of law do you specialize in?
While Jason practices in the area of general civil litigation, he focuses his practice in the areas of complex business, contract, and real estate law and litigation. His experience ranges from counseling individuals as well as emerging, small, local, and midsized businesses in a variety of matters including contract issues, real estate matters, closely held and minority shareholder disputes, limited liability company (LLC) and partnership disputes, document and contract drafting, negotiations, corporate and partnership structuring, and corporate compliance.
How many years of experience do you have?
Jason has almost two decades of courtroom, and litigation experience. This experience is not just in file management or litigation theory. Jason is at home in the courtroom and has developed his craft in the crucible of the courtroom litigating before both juries and the bench in both state and federal courts.
How much actual courtroom experience do you have, including trials?
Jason has tried over 20 cases to juries and over 10 cases to the bench. Many of these cases involved complex fact patterns and high dollar stakes. In addition, Jason has conducted countless evidentiary hearings and oral arguments.
While every effort is exerted to reach a favorable settlement, a true litigator simply cannot be unprepared, unwilling, or unable to actually try a case. The simple fact is that experience matters. It matters a lot. For example, if you needed to have surgery, you would be more confident in a surgeon with numerous years actually spent practicing and perfecting his or her craft. Certainly that would not be the time to entrust your health to a recent graduate or someone who merely sat on advisory boards. It is the same way in the legal profession. When practicing law, generally, and when litigating, specifically, as with anything in life, there is simply no substitute for real-life experience.
How does a retainer work and how do you bill?
A “Retainer Fee” is a form of pre-payment that is usually based on several factors such as our hourly rate, the complexity of your case, the nature of the services to be performed, as well as other matters specific to the nature of your case. All retainer funds are placed in the law firm’s trust account (also known as an IOLTA account) where we use those funds to pay fees, costs, and other expenses associated with the services that are rendered on your behalf. All IOLTA accounts are fiduciary accounts and are closely monitored by the Indiana Disciplinary Commission. The Retainer remains your money until earned by the firm. If your matter is resolved prior to the exhaustion of the Retainer, the balance is returned to you after all outstanding balances have been paid. However, if the fees, costs, and expenses go above the Retainer amount, you must replenish the Retainer according to the terms of the Retention Agreement. The Retainer Fee is just an initial estimate based upon our experience.
The Massaro Legal Group bills by the hour in one-tenths of an hour (six-minute increments). We will never bill you in one-quarter hours (15-minute increments) as we believe that to be excessive and unfair. We utilize sophisticated software developed and designed specifically for the needs of the legal community. Moreover, all of our bills, which are sent out monthly, contain both an Operating Ledger as well as an IOLTA/Trust Ledger. Furthermore, we use very detailed verbiage in describing the work performed for any given entry so that our Invoices can be as easy to understand as possible. In addition, we have each client sign a clear and concise yet detailed Retention Agreement that clearly spells out what can be expected in the scope of representation, what is billed and how, and what he or she as a client can expect to receive from us.
Do you belong to any professional or community organizations?
Leadership roles in legal and community organizations are crucial. It allows for greater exposure to both other attorneys and the general public. This establishes a great deal of rapport, trust, and respect with colleagues and others, in general. It also serves to foster a greater likelihood of an out-of-court dispute resolution in that the attorney’s skill, dedication, and acumen become a more known quantity and are already established at the outset of a dispute.
In addition, a lawyer who has chosen to be involved and active within the legal community is not only exhibiting a genuine interest in his areas of focus but is also more likely to be current with the most recent legal updates and trends within the legal community. Jason’s professional and ethical accomplishments as well as his legal and community involvement include the following:
- AV Distinguished* Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell
- Listed as one of Indiana’s Top Rated Lawyers
- Rated by Superlawyers.com
- “Superb” rating from Avvo in the areas of litigation and real estate
- Chair, Litigation Section, Indiana State Bar Association
- Committee Member, Business Law Section, Indiana State Bar Association
- Executive Board Member, Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana (DTCI)
- Chair, Business Litigation Section, DTCI
- Past Chair, Trial Tactics, DTCI
- Member, Indianapolis Bar Association
- Master, Indianapolis American Inn of Court
- Member, American Bar Association
- Committee Member, Indianapolis Rotary
- Member, Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce
- Former Committee Member, Hamilton County Habitat for Humanity
- Speaker at numerous seminars and continuing legal education presentations. To read more Click here.
- Frequent author of published articles on a variety of legal topics. To read more Click here.
What resources does the firm have compared to larger firms?
Technology has become the “great equalizer.” One thing consistent in the larger firms is that overhead is a constant. However, technology has greatly changed the playing field for law firms, attorneys, and how they can serve their clients. Gone are the days when it was necessary to have in-house and carry as overhead, IT specialists, computer graphics professionals, forensic review experts, and audio and visual specialists able to make complex cases much more understandable to judges and juries. Small, boutique firms like The Massaro Legal Group can go toe-to-toe with even the largest firms and litigate successfully and more efficiently. Intelligent access to trained and trusted professionals levels the playing field and allows us to operate at the highest level. We know this because we do it every day.
Will you be handling my case yourself?
All clients receive direct contact with Jason with whom they have developed a rapport. Our clients are guaranteed to work with Jason from the initial consultation through the resolution of their case. No client’s case will ever be handed off to another attorney. Every client receives Jason’s full attention and extensive litigation experience. This practice not only provides client confidence and consistency but it also eliminates unnecessary “multiple levels of review” resulting in unwarranted double or triple billing for client services that is all too common in other law firms.
How important is rapport with my attorney?
Business relationships and litigation, especially, require that the interactions and the ability to communicate between client and counsel be on the level of true trust, transparency, disclosure, and comfort. This is why we feel very strongly about an initial consultation where not only a general case assessment can be made but you can meet with us and gain a feel for how we will handle your case. Seeking counsel in a time of crisis is not a time to feel judged, discredited, or battered. While honest assessment of the situation is always warranted, your attorney is your advocate. That advocate is the resonating and powerful voice you lack.
How long do you typically take to get back to clients?
We fully understand that your case is extremely important to you. In most instances our clients can expect to receive a response to an inquiry that same day and, if not possible, no later than 24 hours. The stresses of litigation mandate consistent and prompt communication. Unlike other firms where days can pass without so much as a cursory response, we place a very high emphasis on timely and substantive client communication.
How do you typically communicate with your clients?
We typically communicate with our clients by phone or email. This allows us to reduce costs, maximize efficiency, and keep our clients in touch with their case in real time. All of our client’s files are as complete as ours unless directed otherwise. This ensures that the client can be kept fully apprised, be an active participant in their case, and get a real feel for the work that is going into their matter.
Why is the appearance of the firm’s website and office important?
You can only make one first impression, and we know this. Whether it’s our first impression to you as a client, a judge, opposing counsel, or someone across the negotiating table, we sweat the small stuff and pay attention to detail. Not only do we take tremendous pride in our work product, we also take pride in the appearance of our website and our office space. We encourage you to spend some time reading and browsing our website. As a law firm, we take great care and devote a lot of energy to maintaining a fresh and informative website. We believe this to be indicative of our mission to be extremely attentive to your legal needs, as well.
The same is true for the office space. When you visit The Massaro Legal Group’s offices you will note several things. You will also not note several things. We had our offices designed by a professional interior designer to provide a calm, professional, and assertive theme. Our offices are always clean, professional, and organized. However, opulence translates into overhead that, as a truism, must be borne by clients. We made a conscious decision not to take that needless route so we could provide the highest quality legal representation in the most cost-effective manner.
What can I expect from your staff and legal assistants?
Whether it’s a call to our offices or a physical visit, you will always be greeted by someone who emulates professionalism, care, and concern. After all, if we do not care enough to properly meet and greet you when our money is at stake, that mindset will never change when it is your money, life, future, blood, sweat, and tears that are at stake.
While it is true that when you hire Jason, he will be the lead attorney on your file, not all litigation tasks require the skill of an attorney — or the hourly rate. As such, our legal assistant, Trish, whom every client will also meet, is an excellent asset to the firm. Trish is extremely diligent, thorough, and detail-oriented. She works closely with Jason, as well as our clients, to ensure smooth forward progress and premier legal assistance, file organization, and critical calendaring that are second to none.
*AV Preeminent and BV Distinguished are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.