Interviewer: It’s amazing. I’ve never heard of any attorney who refunded any money, so the fact that you’ve done that shows that in addition to wanting to help people you’re very sensitive to people’s ability to pay.
Brian Sloan: That’s basically what it is. I definitely want to help people. I can’t help absolutely everyone but if there is a certain situation that needs a little more help, I’m happy to do what I can. Ethically, an attorney is not allowed to take money for services they have not rendered. All attorneys should be refunding money if they have not done the services.
Is Your Defense Attorney Promoting a Plea Agreement?
Unfortunately, I think there are a large number of attorneys out there that will take the money and subsequently, they can either work really hard at filing motions and arguing motions and maybe going to trial or they can just push the plea agreement.
I think there’s too much pressure on an attorney to take the easy route and say, “Well, either I can work really hard or I can just encourage my client to take a plea agreement. Either way I’m getting paid the same. Let me just push the plea agreement.”
The way I set up my system is that my client doesn’t have to worry about that. They know what they’re getting into. There’s a different cost involved whether they decide to take the plea agreement or whether they want to fight the case.
Does Your Attorney Meet Your Expectations? What Will Transpire After You Retain Attorney Sloan?
Interviewer: When someone does agree to retain you, what can they expect to occur next?
Brian Sloan: It depends on if someone is dealing with a misdemeanor or a felony. It depends on specifically what court they’re in. Without question, I take over the case. I obtain a copy of the police report. I provide my clients with a copy of the police reports. I will email them usually, one, two, three, four page case review, laying out all the pros and cons, laying out all the issues that I see so. This way, my client can make a fully informed decision on whether they want to continue fighting the case, whether they want to accept a plea agreement that I’m able to arrange for them.
Most of the time when we’re dealing with misdemeanor DUI cases, I am able to appear in court without them. So they can continue working or doing going about their everyday lives normally and not have to worry about being in court and waiting around until the case is called.
My clients have the benefit of having access to me. They are given my personal cell phone number. They’re given my personal email address. They can call, text, or email me if they have any questions. Part of my representation is to be there for my clients. Defense involves more than just looking at the police reports, you must be available if anyone has questions. My clients are told this at the beginning, “If you have any questions, give me a call.”
Go to Trial or Accept a Plea Arrangement? Attorney Sloan Prepares a Report About Your Case Before You Decide How to Proceed
Interviewer: Not only do you tell your clients about the pros and cons of the case but also you actually write out a report that details the pros and cons before your clients make their decision?
Brian Sloan: Yes. It’s usually a one to four page email just laying all the details out. I specifically point out any merits that I feel the case has. If I do not feel the case has substantial merit, I include the plea agreement that I was able to negotiate. The best-case scenario is if I can indicate that I think I can possibly get this charge dismissed or this case dismissed.
There’s no reason for me to hide anything. I want my client to make an informed decision. I’m not here to run up a bill and I’ve tried to make that very clear in the way that I break down my contract into phases. I explain to clients up front, “This is what you’re getting from me.” As well as letting my clients know, “I am going to be the one representing you, not some subordinate attorney, not a paralegal, not a law clerk. You are going to get me and all my experience.”
Interviewer: How do people react to your case review when you send it? Do they just say, “Okay. great,” or do they react especially grateful or surprised?
Brian Sloan: I don’t think they really voice their appreciation for the case review. Most of the people have not had a criminal defense attorney or DUI defense attorney to deal with every year. They may just think, “Well, that must be the norm.”
Having the Facts in Front of You Can Help You Make an Informed and Beneficial Decision
People usually agree with my break down. It makes some people decide to take plea agreements where they were otherwise thinking that they wanted to fight it all the way. It may make some people fight it all the way where otherwise they were thinking of taking a plea agreement.
I think they do appreciate it even though they don’t really voice that opinion. I like to write it out because I want them to be able to read it on their own time. I know that an attorney generally speaks fast. These are concepts that the general public might not quite grasp or understand right away.
I think it’s easier to put it in writing. I stand by my work. I stand by what I write and I want my client to be able to read my evaluation of their case and understand it and then they can email me back or call me if they have any other questions.
Interviewer: The way you present the case to them and provide them with a written report they can read and absorb before they make a decision really seems much more advantageous than listening to an attorney talk in jargon you might not understand.
Attorney Sloan Doesn’t Capitalize on Your Confusion or Fear About a DUI Charge
Brian Sloan: This is a scary time in people’s lives. I don’t feel the need to prey on that fear. I don’t feel the need to run up a bill or say, “Well, I can probably get a couple thousand dollars because they’re scared and they’re confused.” I’m here to help people.
Attorney Sloan’s Case Review is a Valuable Tool That Is Not Offered By Other Attorneys
I put it in writing because I stand behind it and I do not want there to be any confusion in between attorney and client. I don’t want someone to come back and say, “You said that this was a great case,” and my notes and my review of the case, indicated, “No, this really wasn’t a good case. I didn’t recommend you go to trial.”
Interviewer: I just find this interesting. I haven’t heard of this concept from anyone else.
Brian Sloan: I think I’m the only one doing it, but I am not one hundred percent sure.
Interviewer: I believe this concept should be highlighted because I think it’s very impressive and very unique and I can see why it would really work.
Brian Sloan: My clients seem to be very happy with the representation that they get. They are especially happy with the price that they pay because I’m not charging extra for the honesty. Like I said, I’m charging half to a third of what other attorneys charge, and I tend to have more experience than those other attorneys.
They’re going on the premise that a high fee equates to high-quality representation. I don’t need to overcharge. I’m perfectly satisfied charging a reasonable rate for excellent representation.
Do Different Locales in Arizona Treat DUI Investigations in Different Ways?
Interviewer: Are there any differences that you see in people’s cases if they’re arrested in Peoria versus Chandler versus Tempe or Phoenix? What differences, if any, can you point out?
Brian Sloan: Tempe will do breath tests. Most of the other cities will do blood tests. Certain cities have ordinances where if you’re arrested for a DUD or arrested for an extreme DUI, your vehicle is going to get towed. Other cities don’t have such rules. Some officers are, I’ll say, more unpleasant toward people than others are. I will hear constant complaints about certain cities where the officers are always less than friendly.
It’s been awhile since I’ve heard anyone complain about being harassed or being injured, but every now and again you will hear people that say, “This police officer beat me up.” There’s no videotape but sometimes you’ll see some pictures of the person who’s arrested having black eyes and having bruises on them when they’re simply charged with DUI. There should never be a reason to have bruises for a DUI charge.