About The Firm
Based in Cleveland and serving Northeast Ohio, the partners at Wolf and Akers are known nationally as a premier family law practice. Combining many years of experience with a sophisticated knowledge of the field, their prominence is in representing clients in complex matters.
Assessing and refining her approach to each case according to the needs and wishes of her clients is Mrs. Akers-Parry’s emphasis. Although she has an aggressive litigation practice and over 30 years of trial experience, in appropriate cases, Mrs. Akers-Parry encourages her clients to resolve their divorce, custody, support, property division and other family law matters by the collaborative process, in which she is trained, or by mediation or other method of alternative dispute resolution. Mrs. Akers-Parry practices all aspects of family law as listed in the Areas of Practice portion of this web site. Among all other aspects of her family law practice, Mrs. Akers-Parry is skilled in drafting prenuptial agreements, rendering divorce tax advice, drafting assisted reproduction agreements and representing professional athletes.
Committed to the principle that each matter is unique, the touchstone of Mr. Wolf’s representation of a family law client is the recognition that each client requires varied and diverse skills to accomplish the client’s objective. Known as a tenacious litigator who is also a creative negotiator, Mr. Wolf’s approach is to prepare for the courtroom if such resolution becomes necessary while searching for ways to reach a favorable result for the client. Preparation for trial permits him to access the issues, provide parameters for what the client can reasonably expect to achieve and construct a strategy for negotiations without abandoning the ability to conduct litigation if settlement becomes unachievable.
The Attorney And Client Relationship
Wolf and Akers measures its success by the satisfaction of its clients. Over the course of decades of practice, Wolf and Akers has instituted policies for the enhancement of the relationship of its lawyers with each client.
Consultation, Retention, Billing and Other Policies
Wolf and Akers requires that the client and the firm enter a fee agreement, which sets out the terms of the law firm’s employment by the client, explaining the billing process and other matters. The lawyers expect their clients to carefully review the agreement, and they encourage their clients to ask questions before signing the agreement.
Mrs. Akers-Parry and Mr. Wolf encourage telephone consultation prior to the first meeting in the office in order to determine whether a meeting is appropriate. Clients are requested to bring to the initial consultation sufficient information for the attorney to give preliminary guidance with regard to the process and possible results of the case. During the initial consultation, the attorneys will also generally advise on such matters as processes available to the client that are compatible with his or her particular circumstances and safeguards against certain actions on the part of the other spouse. Processes that will be discussed include traditional litigation, principled negotiation and formal and informal collaborative procedures.
Wolf and Akers makes available on all matters a paralegal and an associate for limited appropriate services according to the individual case. The services of these employees are billed at a substantially lower rate than the services of the principals. However, unless the client desires and arranges specifically with Mrs. Akers-Parry or Mr. Wolf for the associate to play a substantial role in that client’s particular matter, the client may be assured that Mr. Wolf or Mrs. Akers-Parry will be accessible to the client and in attendance at all stages of the matter.
Retainer fees and hourly rates vary in each case according to several factors, including but not limited to the time and labor required; the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved; the skill requisite to perform the legal service properly; the fee customarily charged in the locality for similar legal services; the amount involved and the results obtained; the time limitations imposed by the client or by the circumstances; the experience, reputation, and ability of the lawyer or lawyers performing the services. The firm sends invoices for services rendered and expenses of litigation on a bi-monthly basis; however, an invoice will usually be generated within 48 hours of a special request by the client, so long as the lawyer is available to review and approve the invoice.
Mrs. Akers-Parry and Mr. Wolf encourage communication by telephone, email and mail, in order that both the client and the attorney are constantly up to date on necessary information. The firm issues correspondence itemizing the documents required for the attorney to properly prepare the case and regularly sends notice letters to each client for court hearings and other important events.
The lawyers at Wolf and Akers are committed to representing every client diligently and promptly.
Preparation For Court Appearances, Depositions and Meetings
In the event that a case proceeds with a traditional filing in the courthouse, the client will be thoroughly prepared in advance for each court appearance and deposition. In all matters, preparation for meetings is emphasized. The cooperation of the client in timely providing documents and other information is key to the success of the case. We recommend that the client visit the courthouse, in advance of any court date, in order to become thoroughly familiar with parking facilities, the time required to arrive, security procedures and the location of the courtrooms. For any court appearance, meeting at another attorney’s office or similar event, Wolf and Akers’ staff will provide directions to minimize the inconvenience and stress of these occurrences.
Telephone Calls and Emails
Mr. Wolf and Mrs. Akers-Parry advise at the beginning of every case that telephone calls are their communication method of choice. They therefore take the scheduling and returning of telephone calls very seriously. This is because so much more information can be properly understood in live conversation than by email or facsimile. In furtherance of this policy, in the event that the lawyers are not immediately available when a client calls, Mrs. Akers-Parry and Mr. Wolf ask that the client set up a phone conference that will be placed upon the firm calendar at the earliest available time, most preferably on the same day, insofar as possible. Wolf and Akers’ staff is trained to set these calls. In this way, the client has a definite understanding of when he or she will speak with the attorney, and Mr. Wolf or Mrs. Akers-Parry will have a calendar notation to assure that, in the absence of another urgent situation, the attorney is available for the call.
On the other hand, email is often the most efficient way to convey certain specific information between attorney and client, and Mrs. Akers-Parry and Mr. Wolf respond to their email promptly, subject to their trial and meeting schedules.
The lawyers at Wolf and Akers encourage their clients to openly communicate their feelings and opinions about the conduct of their cases. Based upon the belief that it is only with maximum frank communication that a positive, productive and healthy attorney-client relationship can be maintained, the attorneys welcome their clients’ comments, expecting that clients will offer their comments at a constructive time and in a respectful manner.
Links of Interest to Wolf and Akers Clients
American Bar Association Section of Family Law Home
American Bar Association Family Law Publications
Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court
Erie County Domestic Relations Court
Geauga County Domestic Relations Court
Lake County Domestic Relations Court
Lorain County Domestic Relations Court
Lucas County Domestic Relations Court
Mahoning County Domestic Relations Court
Portage County Domestic Relations Court
Summit County Domestic Relations Court
Trumbull County Domestic Relations Court
Wood County Domestic Relations Court