900 S. Gay Street, Suite 600
Knoxville, TN 37902
Knoxville Family Law Attorney
(865) 546-7770


How do I start the process to become a client?

To become a client, please first contact our firm by telephone or complete the Contact form online. One of our professional staff will have a confidential conversation with you to gather just enough information to ensure that no one in our firm has represented anyone else associated with your case.

After we have completed a conflicts check, one of our attorneys will call you for a brief initial consultation about your legal needs. We will answer questions, explain our fee structure, and help you schedule a consultation with the member of our legal team best suited for your specific legal needs.

What should I expect at my consultation?

During your initial consultation, you will meet with one or more of our attorneys at our office on Gay Street in downtown Knoxville. If you happen to live outside of Knox County or one of the surrounding counties, we can also arrange for you to have a consultation via telephone or video conference if you would prefer.

Our attorneys will learn about you and your family, as well as your particular legal needs. We will advise you about the law in Tennessee and how it applies to your case. We will formulate and discuss with you a legal strategy based on our extensive knowledge and experience that will put you in the best position for a successful outcome.

At the consultation, you will also have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about your case or what you may be able to expect as you navigate the legal system. Our attorneys each have years of experience working for clients in courts throughout East Tennessee and can provide insider knowledge that can make the difference for your case.

What should I bring to my consultation?

What you need to bring to your consultation is dependent upon where in the process your case may be. If you already have an ongoing case or if you have been served, please bring any paperwork you may have already received.

If there is not yet an active case, please bring any documents that are relevant to the issues you may be dealing with. This may include financial statements, copies of communications with the opposing party, calendars, photographs, etc.

If you are a divorce client, it will be helpful for you to compile a list that inventories your assets and debts. This will allow us to more specifically answer your questions and tailor our advice to your particular situation.

If your case involves modifying or enforcing an existing court order, please bring your existing order as well as whatever documentation you have that demonstrates the basis for enforcement or modification of that order.

How do I retain Sobieski, Messer & Elledge to represent me?

If you and your attorney mutually decide to move forward with your case, we will provide you with an engagement agreement that spells out the terms of our representation and the attorney-client relationship.

You must sign and return your engagement agreement prior to work commencing on your case. As Abraham Lincoln (may have) said, “The purpose of an engagement letter is so the client knows he has a lawyer, and the lawyer knows he has a client.”

Is my information confidential?

All verbal and written information you share with our law firm is strictly private and confidential. In fact, your information is protected by attorney-client privilege, meaning our law firm has a legal and professional obligation to not disclose any of your information without your permission.

We also use the most advanced digital security tools to ensure your information is kept safe, secure, and confidential as you interact with us. We even have the ability to communicate with clients via encrypted email when transmitting confidential, personal information.

What is your fee structure?

We require a retainer fee prior to the initiation of every case. We hold the retainer fee in our firm’s trust account while the case is ongoing.

Attorney and paralegal time spent on a case is billed per set hourly rates. All activity is itemized in detail on each monthly invoice, to be paid in full each month. In limited circumstances, we can arrange for a monthly payment plan to fit your budget.

Is my retainer fee refundable?

Yes. At the conclusion of your matter, we will refund the full amount of the retainer fee, less any remaining monthly charges. We will refund the retainer once one month has passed with no charges after your case has concluded in order to ensure that there are no trailing issues for which you need our assistance or any remaining costs charged by the court.

What methods of payment do you accept?

We accept debit and credit cards, cash, check, money order, or cashier’s check. There is a 3% convenience fee charged by the card processor on debit and credit card payments.

How closely will my lawyer and I be working together?

Family law is a unique field in part because it demands a particularly high level of mutual respect and cooperation between the attorney and the client due to the sensitive nature of the issues involved. You and your attorney will be working closely from the beginning of your matter to its resolution. Our firm also has a policy of consistent and respectful communication with clients – we will not wait days to return your emails or phone calls. We understand how important it is for a client to feel that their interests are being looked after, and we make sure you know we are doing just that.

Call, email or chat with us to schedule a consultation.