We have compiled a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions in an effort to better assist you. If after reviewing this list you are unable to find the information you’re looking for, we’ll be happy to answer questions over the phone, or via email.

How will you keep me informed about my case?

You will receive copies of all documents in your case.  Correspondence from adjusters or the opposing counsel will be copied for your information.  When the other side seeks information, a conference with you will be scheduled either by telephone or in person to ensure a complete response.  Prior to any appearance at which you have to testify, you will be prepared.  Because cases are backlogged, there may be periods in which there will not be any substantial activity in your case.  The lawyers at Johnson, Toal & Battiste, P. A. welcome your questions about the status of your case and will answer them.

How long will it take for my case to settle or go to trial?

Each case is different.  The answers often vary.  Criminal trials are scheduled by the solicitor’s office. If it is appropriate, a motion for a speedy trial can be obtained.  This can reduce the amount of time before trial.

Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation cases can be settled or tried only after you have reached the maximum medical improvement status.  At that time, the insurance company will receive all of the medical information.  They may choose to make an offer of settlement.  If you elect to take the offer of settlement, the average time to receive the settlement check is about (10) ten to (14) fourteen days unless a court appeal is required.  If no offer is made or one is made and has not been accepted then the suit will be filed.  For all workers’ compensation cases the average time for receiving a hearing date is approximately (90) ninety days.  Cases in Common Pleas are taking nearly (1) one or (2) years depending on the county in which the case is to be heard.

Social Security has a huge backlog of cases.  The personnel to handle them are limited.  Accordingly, you and the lawyers of Johnson, Toal and Battiste, P. A. will at times be frustrated with the length of time that it may take for your case to be decided.  Your attorneys will promptly answer any inquiries from Social Security.  This will ensure that a delay will not be as a result of information not being given to the administration which is needed to decide your case.

Probate cases must take at least (8) eight months to complete.  This is because of the time period allotted when creditors may file their claims.  Various complications may extend this time period.

Medical malpractice, product liability, and nursing home cases have many complex issues which may take an extended period of time to settle or resolve.

Can your firm devote the neccessary time and energy to my case?

We will aggressively represent you.  Our staff is highly-skilled and it consists of paralegals, legal assistants, and law clerks that assist the lawyers with research and case preparation.  We will not accept your case if we cannot devote the time and energy that it requires.

Are your lawyers experienced?

Johnson, Toal and Battiste, P. A. is one of the most experienced and respected law firms in the state of South Carolina. Three of the lawyers have more than thirty-four (34) years of experience each and have been listed in The Best Lawyers in America.  The remaining lawyers have more than ten (10) years of experience each.  All of the attorneys are experienced, knowledgeable, and considered to be among the best in their areas of practice.  The lawyers at Johnson, Toal and Battiste, P. A. are often referred cases by other law firms and associated to assist other firms with cases.  The lawyers at Johnson, Toal, and Battiste, P. A. have a passion for the law and compassion for their clients.

Is there a fee for the initial consultation interview?

There are no fees for initial consultations, with the exception of domestic cases.  There is a small consultation fee. 

How much will it cost me? What is your fee arrangement?

Clients are naturally interested in the fees charged by lawyers.  At Johnson, Toal, and Battiste, P. A., our fees are reasonable and within the financial means of the clients we represent.  The type of fee and the amount of the fee for our legal services are based on the type of case, our expertise, our experience, our reputation, the time and labor required, the likelihood that accepting a case will preclude other employment, time limitations imposed by the client or the circumstances, the outcome achieved, and the fees charged by other law firms for similar legal services.  Special pride is taken in the wide variety of cases we handle.  Our abiding creed in the service of our clients is “if you are too big to handle the little cases, you are too little to handle the big case.”

In addition to the attorney’s fee, clients are responsible for paying costs.  Costs, sometimes called cash advances or out of pocket expenses, are monies paid by the law firm on behalf of the client.  Examples of costs include filing fees, recording fees, deposition fees, process server charges, photo copies, long distance calls, fax costs, travel, and mailing costs.

What types of fees are there?

FEES

Clients are naturally interested in the fees charged by lawyers. At Johnson, Toal & Battiste, P.A., our fees are reasonable and within the financial means of the clients we represent. The type of fees and the amount of the fee for our legal services are based on the type of case, our expertise, our experience, our reputation, the time and labor required, the likelihood that accepting a case will preclude other employment, time limitations imposed by the client or the circumstances, the outcome achieved, and the fees charged by other law firms for similar legal services. Special pride is taken in the wide variety of cases we handle. Our abiding creed in the service of our clients is “if you are too big to handle the little cases, you are too little to handle the big cases.”

In addition to the attorney’s fee, clients are responsible for paying costs. Costs, sometimes called cash advances or out the pocket expenses, are monies paid by the law firm on behalf of the client. Examples of costs are filing fees, recording fees, deposition fees, process server charges, photo copies, long distance calls, fax costs, travel and mailing costs.

TYPE OF FEES

CONTINGENCY: You pay no attorney’s fee unless money is obtained for you. The attorney’s fee is a percentage of what you are paid. This type fee arrangement is used in most personal injury cases.

FIXED FEE: The total amount of the fee is set in advance. The type fee arrangement is used in most criminal cases. You will be responsible for costs incurred.

HOURLY RATE: The amount of the fee is based on the hourly rate of the lawyer and paralegal working on your case. Generally, we require a non-refundable retainer when taking a case on this fee basis. You will be billed on a regular basis and will be responsible for any costs.

RETAINER FEE: A fee that is charged at the time the lawyer-client relationship is established in order to obtain the services of the firm and to cover certain specified legal services.

The fee arrangement that is made will be one agreed to by you in writing. You will be given a copy for your records.

What type of cases do you handle?

Johnson, Toal and Battiste, P. A. primarily practices criminal defense, family law, and civil litigation.  We represent clients charged with crimes in magistrates’ court, circuit court, and federal court.  Our civil litigation practice encompasses automobile, boat, plane, and train accidents; commercial litigation; defective products; medical and nursing home malpractice: wrongful death; and workers’compensation.