|Jeanne M Browne, Attorney|
Areas Served: Sonoma County incl. Santa Rosa CA, Windsor CA, Mark West CA, Sebastopol CA, Rohnert ...
Services: family law attorney, mediation, collaborative law, child representative. divorce or ...
Jeanne M Browne, Attorney Company ProfileThe Sonoma County firm of Jeanne M Browne in Santa Rosa CA is a family law office with a 24 year history of giving clients a full range of options including cost and collaborative mediation as an alternative litigation but with the courtroom experience to litigate if it becomes necessary for family law cases including divorce, separation, child custody, child and spousal support and more.
Attorney Jeanne Browne in Sonoma County: Giving Clients More Control Over Costs
Attorney Jeanne M Browne gives clients choices that allow them to control how much they spend during the divorce or other family matters. She says, "We never pressure our clients to litigate, and that gives our clients the freedom to choose the less expensive options of settlement or mediation. When they go that way, they get to control how long mediation sessions last, so they have full control over their fees. And they can pay a reasonable hourly rate as they go for mediation, so there are no expensive up-front retainers."
Other attorneys don't fully disclose how their billing works and clients are surprised at mounting costs from being billed a set additional amount for every piece of mail or phone call.
Unlike those attorneys, Jeanne Browne offers full disclosure on how billing works, and she's fair when it comes to those charges. Instead of invoicing a pre-set minimum time for small tasks, Jeanne only charges for actual time spent. She says, "I also don't charge clients extra for every email, or to send them a document or review something I've already received. I give them representation at a fair price, and I believe it isn't right to increase billing by nickel and diming clients."
Better Results From Mediation with Attorney Jeanne Browne in Santa Rosa CA
Some lawyers increase their billing by pushing for aggressive litigation even when it's not necessary. Others are inexperienced in a courtroom and so settle cases even when they shouldn't. Unlike one-track lawyers that don't truly give clients options, Attorney Jeanne Browne gives clients an informed choice among options including mediation, collaborative dissolutions, and litigation.
Having a full range of options means her clients get satisfying solutions to meet their individual needs. Jeanne Browne explains, "When a case goes to trial, the client's power over the process is surrendered to someone else. But mediation and collaborative process allow them to retain control and give them the most input on the outcome. If mediation doesn't work you still have litigation as a fallback option. So I help my clients choose among all of the options, and let them see that by choosing litigation first, they're often limiting themselves."
Jeanne Browne explains that even with litigation, the outcome is often decided outside the courtroom anyway. She says, "It's not uncommon for judges to hear a case and then tell the two sides to go outside and figure it out rather than giving a decision, or the judge says they're thinking of ruling and give both sides a chance to meet out of court to negotiate before they hand down the judgment. But that's after clients have already spent money fighting the case, and they could have gotten better results for much less if the parties went through mediation in the first place."
What about cases involving domestic violence or situations where there are bad feelings? Jeanne says these clients can still choose mediation instead of more expensive litigation. She explains, "The attorneys can meet with the clients separately, so the two parties never have to be in the same room during the mediation process. We can also supply both sides with coaches, counselors and mental health professionals who attend the mediation sessions to help both sides feel safe and in control of their decisions."
Attorney Jeanne Browne in Santa Rosa CA: Putting Families First
Clients in the emotional heat of a divorce can't always foresee the emotional toll of a legal battle, emotional wounds that can last long past the legal decision, especially when children are involved. Jeanne Browne shares, "We give clients the tools to know when it's good to stand firm for their rights and when it's best to come to a mutual resolution that's better for their entire family."
In some cases, this may mean a spouse defers support payments to go directly to children's extracurricular activities, education, or other needs. Jeanne says this often lets the client be generous with their children the way they want to while removing the worry that an ex-spouse might waste the money. Others may involve putting the children's needs first when coming up with visitation schedules. Attorney Jeanne Brown tells us, "Many visitation schedules move the kids between houses every few days, and while the time may be split fairly between the parents, what is it really doing to the kids? I help clients understand the developmental stages of their children so they can see that what seems fair to them as parents doesn't always translate into what is gives their children the brightest future, so clients can make the decisions that are best for everyone in the long run."
Jeanne Browne is a graduate of Sonoma State University and the Empire College School of Law. She's a member of the Family Law Committee for the Sonoma County Bar Association, the CCRE (Collaborative Council of the Redwood Empire), Sonoma County Women in Law, and a Board Member of Bethel Children's Center.
Family is important to Jeanne. She and her husband of 30 years live in Petaluma CA, where they raised two daughters together. As an adoptive parent, she's especially qualified to help clients dealing with issues surrounding adoption or special needs children. Those close to her describe Jeanne as outgoing, kind and supportive, and clients describe her as caring and dedicated to getting them the best outcome. Clients who visit her office find it comfortable, organized and sunny. She meets clients by appointment and can make evening appointments when necessary.
A client named Jim summed it up during a research call for this article when he said, "Jeanne Browne saved us a lot of headaches and taught us a lot about the family court system. She's very helpful and one of the nicest people I know. Having to talk to an attorney isn't really something you want to have to do, but if there's one you want to talk to, it's Jeanne."
—Lauren Bongard Schwarz
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