Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to many of our most frequently asked questions. For questions not covered here, please contact us for a telephone consultation.

General FAQs

FAQs Regarding Attorneys Fees

General FAQs

A contractor I hired has damaged my property, or failed to perform according to his contract. What can I do?

If you cannot resolve the dispute with the contractor, consider suing in small claims court for physical and monetary damages less than $5,000. For larger cases, please call for a phone consultation to discuss your options.

I’m a contractor who did work for someone who will not pay. What can I do?

If you cannot resolve the dispute, consider suing the customer in small claims court for disputes of less than $5,000. For cases involving larger dollar amounts, please call for a phone consultation to discuss your options, including filing a lien where the statutory notice requirements have been met.

I am a landlord and need help evicting a bad tenant. What do I do?

We can help with filing an unlawful detainer action to evict a tenant who has not paid rent or who is otherwise in breach of the lease. We can request a writ of restitution requiring the tenant to vacate the premises, and which can be enforced by the sheriff.

I’ve received a Notice and Order, what do I do next?

Call us for a phone consultation regarding this.

Can you help me with my business needs such as reviewing contracts, starting a corporation, buying a business or selling a business?

Absolutely. We’d love to help and have over 100 years of combined experience with these types of legal business matters and transactions.

Do I need an attorney to write a will or do estate planning for me?

An experienced attorney can help ensure that your will is clearly written and properly executed, which will reduce the likelihood of expensive litigation by heirs to contest the will. In addition, for those with significant assets, an attorney can help with an estate plan to reduce or eliminate taxes on your estate.

The following scenarios can sometimes increase the complexity of your estate plan, and may indicate an increased need for review by an attorney:

  • multiple marriages;
  • owning a business;
  • significant net worth;
  • real estate outside Washington;
  • disinheriting a spouse or child;
  • complicated family dynamics or history; etc.

An estate planning attorney can also prepare powers of attorney and health care directives (living wills) to simplify matters for family members when one becomes incapacitated or otherwise unable to handle his or her own affairs.

Can you help me buy or sell commercial real estate?

We have many years experience helping clients with negotiating and drafting contracts for both residential and commercial real estate transactions.

I am getting sued; do I need an attorney?

Although individuals are permitted to represent themselves, the law requires that you be held to the same standard as a licensed attorney. This means that you would be required to know all the court rules and procedures and be able to find and effectively argue the law in support of your position. If you have been served with a summons and complaint, you should contact an attorney without delay to ensure that your right to defend is preserved.

Can I handle probate without an attorney?

Although individuals are permitted to represent themselves, the law requires that you be held to the same standard as a licensed attorney. This means that you would be required to know all the court rules and procedures applicable to the probate. A standard, uncontested probate is generally not complex. Our attorneys would be happy to help you through the probate process.

What geographical areas does Dickson Frohlich cover?

We practice law throughout the state of Washington and have offices in Tacoma and Seattle. Our attorneys have appeared in court in multiple counties. We are most often in Pierce, King, Thurston, and Kitsap counties.

FAQs Regarding Attorney Fees

How much does it cost to have a Tacoma or Seattle lawyer help me with a legal problem?

When you are hiring an attorney, make sure you ask him/her how much their work will likely cost for the legal matter you are facing.

Generally, legal issues that involve disputes between two or more parties (such as construction disputes, real estate disputes, etc.) are much more expensive than matters that don’t involve a dispute (such as reviewing a contract, uncontested probates, forming a business, writing a contract, certain types of loan modifications, etc.).

On complicated legal matters where the attorney can’t give a good estimate on how much work he/she will have to do and how much it will cost, you can and should request frequent status updates to find out what progress has been made and how much it is costing you.

You can also set budgets and require status updates at specific cost thresholds. Remember that you hired your lawyer and they are working for you.

Do you charge for an in-person consultation regarding litigation (i.e. I want to sue someone or am being sued)?

Yes. Although we do not charge for the first 15 minutes of the initial phone consultation, we do generally charge for consultations in the office. The charge is based on the time spent and the attorney’s hourly rate. Our minimum charge $250 for an in-person consultation at our office.

How much does it cost to sue someone (or to sue a business)?

It is nearly impossible to predict how much a lawsuit will cost in terms of attorney’s fees. All litigation is billed based on the time spent and the attorney’s hourly rate. How much time the attorney needs to spend is dependent upon the complexity of the case and the actions of the opposing party or attorney.

Contact Us for a free 15-minute phone consultation!

    our firm

    Thomas L. Dickson

    Tom is an experienced litigator and the founding partner of the Dickson Frohlich. For over 30 years, he’s helped clients prevail in their real estate, construction, and business law matters.

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    Robert P. Dickson

    The core of Rob’s legal practice is civil litigation, with an emphasis on construction, real estate, and business law. He represents a wide range of clients, from large construction companies to individual homeowners.

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    Mark S. Johnson

    Mark’s legal practice focuses on civil litigation, real estate law, business law and family law. He works tirelessly to help his clients achieve the outcome they are looking for.

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    Daniel J. Frohlich

    Dan’s legal practice focuses on civil litigation, real estate law, business law and probate law. He has more than 10 years of experience as an attorney serving clients throughout Western Washington.

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    Chris Lindemeier

    As an associate at Dickson Frohlich, Chris practices in a wide range of areas, including business law, real estate law, civil litigation, and intellectual property law.

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    Daniel Pizarro

    As an associate at Dickson Frohlich, Daniel is active in the firm’s civil litigation department. His practice is mainly centered around real estate law, landlord-tenant law, construction law, and probate law.

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    Alexander Wisbey

    Alexander Wisbey comes to the firm with 5 years of experience as a litigator and trial attorney. He has first chaired several jury trials and has extensive experience handling arbitrations, mediations, depositions, and settlements.

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    George Knight

    George is an honors graduate of Emory University School of Law. While there, George served on the Emory Law Journal as an Articles Editor.

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    Reed Speir

    Born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, Reed Speir has lived in the Tacoma area since 1994. Reed earned his law degree from Seattle University School of Law.

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    I highly recommend Dickson Frohlich and if I ever need a lawyer again they will be my first call.

    - Jeremy H.

    I can’t even tell you how much I appreciate this firm! These guys helped me through one of the most challenging legal situations I’ve faced in my life. Their skill and expertise literally saved my business. I’ve dealt with other counsel in the past but the Dickson firm was by far the most competent and tactful counsel I’ve ever received. I would recommend this group to anyone!

    - Keith D.

    It’s a pleasure to work with the guys at Dickson Frohlich. One of the first things that stood out to me was how down to earth and friendly everyone at the firm is. I would definitely recommend them.

    - Den L.