Frequently Asked Questions for Watts Law Offices, P.C. and San Diego Attorney Ethan Watts

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Mr. Watts provide a free initial consultation?

Yes. If you are a potential new client and Mr. Watts determines he may be able to assist you, Mr. Watts will provide an initial free telephonic or in-person consultation.

How do I hire Mr. Watts as my lawyer?

Please contact Watts Law Offices, P.C. at or 858.509.0808 to provide a general description of the legal services you are interested in or the nature of the dispute or potential dispute in which you are involved. (But please do not send or provide any confidential or sensitive information.) Before accepting a new client, Mr. Watts generally needs to know the names of any potentially adverse parties (e.g., persons or companies with whom you are negotiating or have a dispute). Mr. Watts must first complete a conflicts of interest check to verify that he does not represent those persons or companies or have other conflicts. If there are no conflicts and it otherwise appears as though Mr. Watts may assist you, typically the next step will be to schedule an initial consultation. If Mr. Watts is able to represent you and accept you as a client, you will need to enter into a written legal services agreement with Mr. Watts.

How does Watts Law Offices, P.C. charge for legal services and representation?

The most typical arrangement is an hourly fee, plus reimbursement of expenses (such as court and governmental filing fees), billed on a monthly basis. Mr. Watts may also offer flat fees for certain services or contingency fee arrangements for representation in certain cases. Mr. Watts also takes on certain work and cases pro bono.

What is civil litigation?

Civil litigation is a term that describes the broad area of non-criminal actions in law. For example, business litigation refers not only to trial proceedings in Court, but also to all phases of civil business disputes (e.g., breach of contract), such as pre-lawsuit actions, the filing of a lawsuit or initiation of alternative dispute resolution procedures (such as arbitration), discovery, pre-trial proceedings and motion work, post-judgment proceedings, etc.

What is legal "transactional" work?

A "trasactional" attorney performs transactional work, which refers to non-litigation aspects of the practice of law relating to business, money and commerce. Transactional work can include providing legal services to businesses and entrepreneurs (and other individuals) such as legal business entity formation, contract negotiation and drafting, corporate governance and compliance, real estate purchases, sales or leasing, and intellectual property acquisition and protection.

If I live (or if my business is located) outside San Diego, can Mr. Watts still help me?

Yes. With respect to transactional work, Mr. Watts assists clients both in and outside San Diego and throughout California. Mr. Watts also assists businesses and individuals outside of California (or outside the United States) who do business or plan to do business in California. With respect to litigation, Mr. Watts can provide representation throughout California. However, for matters requiring frequent in-person appearances, Mr. Watts typically only takes on cases to be filed or pending in Southern California.

What kind of data privacy law related services does Mr. Watts provide?

Mr. Watts assists online business clients with compliance with data privacy laws, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”), the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”), the CAN-SPAM Act, the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) and other data privacy related laws and regulations. Mr. Watts’ data privacy law related services include helping with drafting privacy policies and other required privacy notices, designing privacy law compliance plans, responding to consumer data privacy law requests and drafting privacy law related agreements for use with third party businesses.

Does Watts Law Offices, P.C. provide "outside" general counsel services?

Yes. Small businesses may not have the volume of legal issues to justify the expense of hiring "in-house" (or "corporate") counsel (who would be an employee of the business working exclusively for the business). However, small businesses may find an "outside" general counsel arrangment suitable to their legal and budget needs. Outside general counsel can perform some of the more typical legal services that a small business may need (e.g., general business law advice, corporate governance, contract drafting and review, intellectual property acquisition and protection, etc.), can manage other legal matters that might arise and, where appropriate, can find and delegate particular legal issues to counsel who specialize in a particular area of law. Where such an arrangement makes sense, Mr. Watts provides clients with outside general counsel services.

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