This Individual Access Retainer Agreement (the “Access Plan,” or the “Agreement”) is between the interested party (the “Access Client”) and Tingen & Williams, PLLC, a professional limited liability company located at 1801 Bayberry Court, Suite 203, Richmond, Virginia 23226 (“Tingen & Williams,” the “Firm,” or the “Attorney”). The Access Client and the Firm may be collectively referred to as the “Parties” for the purposes of this Agreement.
This Agreement is offered by the Firm as an affordable true retainer for certain legal services to be provided by a Tingen & Williams Attorney, and the Access Client desires to retain such services.
Accordingly, the Parties agree as follows:
Article 1 – Definitions
1.1 Definitions. The capitalized terms defined in the preamble of this Agreement have the meanings assigned to them, and each of the following terms have the meaning set forth below:
- “Access Client” means 1) the individual who subscribed to this Individual Access Retainer Agreement, 2) the individual’s spouse, and 3) the individual’s child up to the age of 26, if living in Virginia.
- “Access Plan Year” means either a monthly payment towards the Access Plan, paid by the Access Client, for a consecutive 12-month duration from the initial Access Plan purchase, or a single payment period lasting 12 months before the need for renewal.
- “Detained” means to be restrained, searched, or deprived of immediate liberty by a Law Enforcement Officer.
- “Law Enforcement Officer” means any representative of any federal, state, or local law enforcement agency while that representative is acting in some official capacity or any private security personnel acting in the course of such individual’s employment.
- “Member Discount” means a deduction of 25% from the Attorney’s standard hourly rate in all legal matters not included or provided for in this Agreement, unless otherwise noted.
- Notice: This deduction does not apply to contingency fee matters or flat fee arrangements. Tingen & Williams shall claim a reduced 30% contingency fee from all earnings awarded to the Access Client absent of trial proceedings, and a 35% contingency fee from all earnings awarded to the Access Client as a result of trial proceedings.
- “Pre-existing Conditions” means those acts or events which result in the issuance of a citation, ticket, or filing of a criminal charge and which are alleged to have occurred prior to the initiation of Access Plan services.
- “Pre-Trial Time” means Attorney time rendered in representation of a covered lawsuit as it occurs outside of courtroom proceedings. This includes, but is not limited to, time rendered prior to the date of jury selection (in the case of a jury trial) or opening statements (in the case of a bench trial), between jury empaneling and opening statements, settlement conferences, telephone conversations, pre-trial conferences with the tribunal or judge, depositions, discovery, preparation of pleadings, or motions and briefs, including motions for summary judgment.
- “Professional Judgment” means the application of relevant training, knowledge, and experience, within the context of the legal profession, in making informed decisions when addressing all matters relating to the relationship between the Attorney and Access Client.
- “Trial Time” means Attorney time rendered in representation of a covered lawsuit from the date of and including jury selection (in the case of a jury trial) or opening statements (in the case of a bench trial) to the date of verdict or bench decision.
- “Uncontested Divorce” means a divorce where counsel does not individually represent the Access Client or the Access Client’s spouse and all issues are agreed upon by the parties, in writing, without negotiation by the Attorney, and net marital assets of the marriage are under $500,000 (US).
- “Uncontested Civil Annulment” means an annulment where counsel does not individually represent the Access Client or the Access Client’s spouse and all issues are agreed upon in writing by the parties without negotiation by the Attorney.
- “Uncontested Name Change” means a name change where all required consents are obtained and the name change is not contested or challenged.
Article 2 – Access Plan Purchase
2.1 The Exchange. Tingen and Williams shall make available to the Access Client all services incorporated herein and shall provide all unincorporated or excluded services at a discount price, as provided within this Agreement, upon the Access Client’s purchase of the Access Plan services.
2.2 Payment Period. The purchase of Access Plan services shall renew on a monthly or annual basis, depending on the selected payment option.
2.3 Payment Method. The Access Plan fee shall automatically be renewed either every 30 days, or every 365 days, depending on the selected payment option, following the date of initial payment.
2.4 Billing. The Access Client shall be notified via email after each renewal of payment.
Article 3 – Access Plan Services
3.1 Consultation Services. Access Plan includes services relating to personal consultations with an Attorney and are limited to the following:
- Telephone or Online Consultation. The Access Client shall be entitled to telephone or online consultations of up to 3 personal legal matters per month. Consultations shall be available to the extent the Attorney considers it necessary to adequately advise the Access Client on the legal matter at hand up until the duration of one-half hour has been met. Additionally, the Attorney, in his or her own Professional Judgment, may provide up to one-half hour of legal research concerning the matter.
- Exemption: The duration of the entire telephone consultation shall not exceed one hour, collectively (consultation and legal research), per legal matter. If the consultation exceeds one hour, the Access Client shall be notified by the Attorney and shall have the option to discontinue the service being provide towards their legal matter or continue with the service under the Member Discount.
- Letter or Telephone Call. If the Attorney, in his or her own Professional Judgment, determines from a consultation with the Access Client that either a letter or telephone call would be beneficial to the Access Client, then an initial letter or telephone call, for each unrelated legal matter, shall be written or made on behalf of the Access Client.
- Exemption: Any additional phone calls or letters from the Attorney beyond the initial call or letter shall be provided under the Member Discount.
- Document Review. Following consultation, the Access Client shall be entitled to submit for review any personal legal document of 15 pages or less relating to the consultation. The Access Client shall provide a copy of the document to be reviewed to the Attorney. The Attorney shall then review the copy and advise the Access Client by telephone or online consultation on any areas of concern and the legal implications of those provisions and their conformity to state and federal law.
- Exemptions: Document Review does not include review of any document for use in ongoing court proceedings or lawsuits, such as petitions, complaints, requests or motions for court order. Additionally, any negotiations concerning any document included in Document Review shall be available under the Member Discount.
3.2 Motor Vehicle Incident Services. Access Plan includes services relating to motor vehicle incidents. In the event the Access Client, while driving any Licensed Motor Vehicle, with the consent of the Licensed Motor Vehicle’s owner, if applicable, shall become involved in a motor vehicle accident or be charged with a moving traffic violation, the Access client shall be entitled to the following services from the Attorney, in the court of original jurisdiction.
- Defense of any moving traffic violations that do not result in misdemeanor or felony charges.
- Notice: Traffic tickets must be submitted to the Attorney at least five working days prior to the appearance date to receive Motor Vehicle Incident Service. Additionally, this service is subject to, and not exclusive from, Schedule 3.6.
- Geographical Scope: Representation for these moving violations will be limited to the following jurisdictions: Chesterfield, Henrico, Richmond, Petersburg. Representation in other jurisdictions shall be available under the Member Discount.
- Assistance up to, but not including, the filing of a lawsuit to collect all property damage claims of $ 5,000 (US) or less. These services shall be available for property damages incurred as a result of the Access Client driving, being a passenger in, or being struck by any motor vehicle.
- Exemption: Assistance is limited to a duration of 2.5 hours per property claim. Assistance beyond the initial 2.5 hours shall be available under the Member Discount.
- A total of 2.5 hours of Attorney assistance in the following situations:
- When the Access Client has been denied a driver’s license or a driver’s license has been cancelled, suspended, or revoked by the issuing authority in a situation where a right to appeal is provided by statute.
- When legal assistance is needed to reinstate or maintain a driver’s license because of job-related matters or for medical reasons.
- Exemptions: Motor Vehicle Incident Services do not include the following:
- Pre-existing Conditions which are otherwise provided under these services.
- Any matter in which it is alleged that the Access Client is under the influence of or impaired by the use of alcohol, intoxicants, controlled substances, or medicines, whether prescribed or otherwise.
- Any matter where, in the Professional Judgment of the Attorney, a claim, defense, or legal position cannot prevail in court.
- Any matter associated with the Access Client driving a vehicle for commercial or income-producing purposes.
- Any matter associated with hit-and-run-related charges, leaving the scene of the accident, or similar charges.
- Any matters, tickets, or violations which do not adversely impact a driving or insurance record.
- Any matter associated with charges that the Access Client is driving without a valid operator’s license, statutorily required insurance, proper registration, inspection, or properly working equipment.
- Any appeal or any other post-judgment relief action, including any matters or actions that must be filed in a different court for reconsideration or review.
3.4 Family & Domestic Services. Access Plan includes services relating to family and domestic legal matters and are limited to the following:
- Uncontested Divorce or Annulment. The Access Client shall be entitled to approximately one hour of services relating to an Uncontested Divorce or Uncontested Civil Annulment. If, in the Attorney’s Professional Judgement, more than an hour of time is required in order to adequately address the matter, services beyond the first hour shall be available under the Member Discount.
- Exemptions: If, in the Attorney’s Professional Judgement, an Uncontested Legal Separation or Uncontested Civil Annulment becomes contested, services shall then be available under the Member Discount. Additionally, division of retirement benefits, determination of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), or preparation and filing of documents affecting the property ownership or encumbrances on property are not included but shall be available under the Member Discount.
- Prenuptial Agreements. The Access client shall be entitled to one hour-long consultation with an attorney regarding the drafting of a prenuptial agreement. Further attorney services relating to the drafting of a prenuptial agreement shall be available under the Member Discount.
- Uncontested Name Change. The Access Client shall be entitled to approximately one hour of services relating to an Uncontested Name Change. This service includes the preparation for and attendance at the initial hearing to receive the change in name.
- Exemption: Preparation of any required publication notice and any governmental documentation such as fingerprints and criminal history checks shall be available under the Member Discount.
- Notice: Family & Domestic Service described under this section only becomes available to the Access Client after three consecutive monthly payments are made towards Access Plan services. Additionally, services under this section are excluded from any proceedings that have already been initiated prior to the third payment towards Access Plan services.
3.5 Estate Planning Services. Access Plan includes services relating to the management and transferring of estate assets and are limited to the following:
- Last Will & Testament (“Will”). The Access Client shall be entitled to the preparation of a Will by the Attorney. The Will may include a codicil or amendment and may include the creation of a testamentary children’s trust. Additionally, the Access Client is entitled to up to one hour of the Attorney’s services in modifying the any Will, whether prepared by the Attorney or otherwise, once during each Access Plan Year.
- Questionnaire Requirement. The Access Client desiring a Will must complete a Will questionnaire, provided by Tingen & Williams, and return it to the Attorney before preparation may commence.
- Exemptions: This service does not include the preparation of any provisions concerning the planning for estate taxes, complex distributions (including the distribution for any assets outside of the United States), and special needs trusts. These services, along with any modification services beyond the first hour, shall be available under the Member Discount.
- Notice: Services relating to the preparation and maintenance of the Access Client’s Will shall be subject to the condition that the net worth of all assets involved passes outside of probate. Additionally, execution and storage of the Will shall be the sole responsibility of the Access Client.
- Power of Attorney. The Access Client shall be entitled to the preparation of a Power of Attorney by the Attorney, according to the Access Client’s instructions and conforming to state law. Additionally, the Access Client is entitled to up to one hour of the Attorney’s services in modifying any Power of Attorney, whether prepared by the Attorney or otherwise, once during each Access Plan Year.
- Exemption: The services relating the preparation of the Power of Attorney, and those relating to the modification, shall each be limited to a duration of one hour for a total coverage of two hours per Access Plan Year. Services beyond these two hours shall be available under the Member Discount.
- Notice: Execution and storage of the Power of Attorney shall be the sole responsibility of the Access Client.
- Medical Directive. The Access Client shall be entitled to the preparation of a Medical Directive form by the Attorney which conforms to state law. Additionally, the Access Client is entitled to up to one hour of the Attorney’s services in modifying any Medical Directive, whether prepared by the Attorney or otherwise, once during each Access Plan Year.
- Exemption: The services relating the preparation of the Medical Directive, and those relating to the modification, shall each be limited to a duration of one hour for a total coverage of two hours per Access Plan Year. Services beyond these two hours shall be available under the Member Discount.
- Notice: Execution and storage of the Medical Directive shall be the sole responsibility of the Access Client.
3.6 Civil Trial Services. Access Plan includes services relating to trial representation in a court of law. Trial Services are only available for the Access Client or the Access Client’s immediate family member (spouse or dependent child of minor age). If the Access Client or his or her immediate family member is a party in a covered civil action filed in a state general district court, services shall be provided according to the following schedule. The number of hours presented in the schedule are available for use on all covered lawsuits filed during that Access Plan Year.
- First Access Plan Year: 40 hours of Trial Time, of which 2 hours may be used for Pre-Trial Time if, in the Professional Judgment of the Attorney, such allocation of time is necessary to the success of the trial.
- Second Access Plan Year: 40 hours of Trial Time, of which 3 hours may be used for Pre-Trial Time if, in the Professional Judgment of the Attorney, such allocation of time is necessary to the success of the trial.
- Third Access Plan Year: 40 hours of Trial Time, of which 4 hours may be used for Pre-Trial Time if, in the Professional Judgment of the Attorney, such allocation of time is necessary to the success of the trial.
- Hour Stipulations: The following stipulations apply to all hours contained within the above schedule.
- If more than one covered lawsuit is filed against the Access Client or the Access Client’s immediate family member in a given year, the hours remaining at the conclusion of the first lawsuit may be used for any following lawsuit.
- Hours that are not used during the Access Plan Year expire at the end of the Access Plan Year.
- Exemptions: Civil Trial Services do not include the following:
- Defense of any criminal charge.
- Any lawsuit involving alcohol, drugs, substance abuse, or the use of medicines, whether prescribed or otherwise.
- Any lawsuit involving hit-and-run charges or leaving the scene of an accident.
- Any matter where, in the Professional Judgment of the Attorney, a claim, defense, or legal position is not likely to prevail in court. While the suit may be excluded from Trial Services, the Attorney may, under his or her discretion, provide assistance under the Member Discount for a possible resolution of the matter or other appropriate services.
- Garnishment, attachment, collection, appeal, or any other post judgment relief action, including any matters or actions that must be filed in a different court for reconsideration or review wand any arbitration, mediation, administrative proceedings, or other disputes, matters and actions outside a court of law and before a third-party decision maker.
- Counter claims where the Access Client initiated the lawsuit.
- Any matter where the Access Client is acting on behalf of another party (executor, administrator, guardian, trustee, etc.).
- Any matter against the Access Client which arises as a result of business matters or interests, or employment matters are excluded under either this service or the Member Discount.
- Class actions, amicus curiae filings, or interventions filed in which the Access Client is a party or potential party are not covered under either this service or the Member Discount.
- Notice: The Access Client must continue his or her Access Plan while any covered action is pending in order to continue receiving Trial Services
Article 4 – Termination
4.1 Tingen & William’s Right to Terminate. Tingen & Williams shall be entitled to the right to terminate this Agreement for the following:
- Reasons of fraud;
- Non-payment of Access Plan fees; or
- if the Attorney determines, in his or her Professional Judgment, that the Access Client is unable, unwilling, or incapable of accepting or understanding legal advice and services.
4.2 Email Notice. Tingen & Williams shall notify the Access Client via email in the event the firm decides to terminate this Agreement.
4.3 Access Client’s Right to Terminate. The Access Client shall be entitled to the right to terminate this Agreement at any time by notifying Tingen & Williams.
4.4 Limit on Reimbursement. Following the termination of this Agreement, and upon request, the Access Client shall be entitled to reimbursement of the unused portion of the Access Plan fees paid towards this Agreement. This reimbursement is only available to Access Clients who purchased Access Plan services under the annual payment period option. Additionally, the amount owed in reimbursement shall be calculated on a pro-rata basis over the payment period.
- Exemptions: Any enrollment fees and all fees considered applicable towards the month in which cancellation occurs are considered earned. Earned fees shall not be refunded should this Agreement be cancelled by the Access Client.
4.5 Limit on Services. In the event of cancellation by Tingen & Williams, services shall only be provided for those matters reported to the Attorney during the eligible period in which this Agreement is in effect.
Article 5 – Dispute Resolution
5.1 Arbitration. All disputes or claims relating to Tingen & Williams; this Agreement; provided services; any claims or causes of action between any Access Client, Tingen & Williams and any Tingen & Williams attorneys or employees, whether in tort or contract; shall be settled totally and finally by arbitration according to the Commercial Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association.
5.2 Mutual Exemption. The Parties are entitled to agree upon the use of other processes to settle disputes or claims.
5.3 Claim Limitation. If the Access Client files a claim or counterclaim against Tingen & Williams or any of its attorneys or employees in any such arbitration, he or she may do so only on an individual basis and not with any other member or as part of a class action.
Article 6 – General Provisions
6.1 Anticipated Costs. All services which may require payment of any anticipated cost (filing fees, printing costs, travel expenses, etc.) not covered by this Agreement, shall be paid in full by the Access Client. All determinations of anticipated costs to be incurred shall be the sole discretion of the Attorney. When applicable, eligibility for receipt of services under this Agreement is contingent upon payment of such retainers and anticipated costs prior to commencement of legal representation.
6.2 Examination Right. While the terms of this Agreement shall be made available on Tingen and Williams’ website, the Access Client shall have 10 days after the initiation of this Agreement to review its terms and rescind his or her decision. Upon the Access Client completing the online cancellation process within this 10-day period, he or she shall have the paid Access Plan fee refunded.
- Exemption: In the event the Access Client seeks legal services as provided in this Agreement within 10 days after its initiation and then proceeds to rescind his or her decision, refund of fees for that month’s services are unavailable.
6.3 Duplication of Coverage. The Access Client shall not secure services from the Attorney for the same matter under more than one Agreement and may not secure the services of more than one attorney on any given subject.
6.4 Exemption of Native American Legal Issues. Native American legal issues are excluded from services. Such issues include legal matters before federal, tribal and/or state courts, administrative bodies, arbitration panels or arbitrators, tribunals and/or hearing panels, judges or officers.
6.5 Reinstatement Procedure. The Access Client may seek to reinstate this Agreement after cancellation if the Agreement is still offered by Tingen & Williams at the time reinstatement is sought. Tingen & Williams, at its sole discretion, may reinstate this Agreement upon payment by the Access Client of the appropriate fee. Services shall then become available to the Access Client on the date the reinstatement is accepted and processed by Tingen & Williams. Services are not available for any act or occurrence during the lapse period between initial cancellation and reinstatement.
6.6 Change in Fees. Tingen & Williams reserves the right to change the established Access Plan fee for this Agreement. Changes in the membership fee shall only occur after the current payment period has expired and the Access Client shall be notified of the change 30 days before the change takes place, via email.
6.7 Severability. If any provision of this Agreement is deemed invalid or unenforceable in any respect, such provision shall be, to the extent possible, reformed to make it effective. If any provision is deemed invalid and incapable of being reformed, it shall not impact the validity and enforceability of all other provisions of this Agreement, which shall remain valid and enforceable.
6.8 Subrogation. If Tingen and Williams or its Attorney makes a payment under this Agreement and the person to or for whom payment was made has a right to recover damages from another, Tingen & Williams shall be subrogated to that right.
6.9 Release of Information. In order to promote customer service, any Access Client submitting a concern about an Attorney authorizes Tingen and Williams to disclose to all other partner Attorneys all communications between the Access Client and their Attorney. Additionally, all Access Clients’ personal information is electronically stored in a secure network by Tingen & Williams. This network is accessible by all Tingen & Williams employees.
6.10 Geographic Scope of Retainer. The services contemplated by the retainer agreement are limited in geographic scope to legal issues in the state of Virginia.
Last Updated: 10/28/2020