SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, CALIFORNIA Experienced, independent, law firms / lawyers / attorneys, "Access-Certified," and committed to providing affordable legal advice and services. Limited-scope and Full-Representation available. Free case assessment and affordable legal services often at 20-40% savings compared to typical attorneys. Low up-front fees and Payment Plans. CLICK HERE To Connect to an Affordable Law Firm for Free
Who We Are
The Access Lawyer Network (ALN) is not a law firm, but is an affiliation of licensed & experienced local law firms, attorneys, and team members nationwide who are dedicated to providing individuals, small businesses, and non-profits with free case assessments and affordable legal advice & services for their most common legal needs.
Practice Areas Covered
Below is a list of common types of legal services offered by one or more member law firms of the Access Lawyer Network.
* Note: not all member-attorneys offer all of the above services. We can confirm with you whether an attorney is available in your area, for your legal matter, at the free case assement phone call.
What Every Access-Certified Law Firm Offers
Legal Fees and Pricing
Although members of Access Lawyer Network are not pure “pro bono” law firms nor free legal aid agencies, all legal services start with a free case assessment phone call to determine if one of our member firms can help you, and to connect you with the right affordable attorney for a legal strategy session. During your legal strategy session with an attorney, the lawyer will listen to your concerns and questions, provide you legal answers and legal advice, give you strategy tips for your case, tell you what you may be able to handle on your own, identify how their firm can assist you with either limited-scope or full-representation services, and sometimes even point you to other pro bono services, free legal aid agencies, or free legal resources.
In addition, if your attorney identifies a way their firm can help you during the legal strategy session, either the attorney or a team member will speak to you about various discounts, low up-front fees, and/or affordable payment plans that you are eligible for to help you get started right away.
Access Legal Care - the original firm in the Access Lawyer Network
The Access Lawyer Network was founded in 2022 by Attorney Bert Tiger Whitehead IV, who founded his own law firm, Access Legal Care "Affordable Law Firm," back in 2011 in Michigan. The Access Legal Care Law Firm quickly expanded to several other states and then became an Award-Winning Law Firm when it won the coveted ABA Louis M. Brown Award for Legal Access in 2013.
The Access Legal Care Law Firm still provides affordable legal services to clients in multiple states, but the firm is no longer alone. Access Legal Care Law Firm is now joined by many other independent "Access-Certified" law firms throughout the United States who are all members of Access Lawyer Network. If your case is in one of the states where the Access Legal Care Law Firm practices, you will very likely be connected with this firm through your free case-assessment process.
However, if the Access Legal Care Law Firm is not in your area, then we will connect you with another "Access-Certified" affordable law firm who is a member of the Access Lawyer Network, if one is available for advice and new cases.
In the rare cases where there is not an ALN-member law firm in your area who is currently able to meet your legal need, then we will send you an email with links to other affordable law firms and/or websites with their own networks of affordable lawyers listed.
One way or another, the mission of Access Lawyer Network is to get you connected to quality lawyers who are committed to providing affordable legal services.
"Access-Certified" - the difference between ALN law firms and others.
Access Lawyer Network was formed so that Access Legal Care's mission of affordable law can be expanded throughout the United States as quickly and as extensively as possible.
ALN does this by finding, training, and certifying other lawyers and law firms throughout the U.S.A. who are committed and promise to provide affordable legal care to lower- and moderate-income Americans, while remaining profitable due to higher-volume, lower costs, and the efficient-delivery of legal services.
The Access-Certification process is intended to ensure that members are only accepted to the Network when they are committed to, capable of, and successful in meeting the highest standards of ethical business-practices, expert attorney advice and services, excellent client-communications, top-rated customer care, and the efficient use of people, processes, and technology to provide affordable legal services to lower- and moderate-income Americans at 20%-$40% or more savings.
*Full-Service, Limited-Scope / Unbundled Options
Unlike many traditional law firms, all Access Lawyer Network (ALN) member-firms offer limited-scope / unbundled legal services. "Unbundled" legal services, also known as "limited scope representation," is an alternative to traditional, full-service representation. Instead of handling every task in a matter from start to finish, the lawyer handles only certain parts and the client remains responsible for the others. This allows clients to get expert legal advice and representation on a “pay as you go” or “flat-rate” basis, at affordable rates and payment plans for each step, rather than paying thousands of dollars in an up-front "retainer" to hire a traditional attorney for full-representation throughout your case.
While all member-firms offer limited-scope services, many of them also offer traditional, full-service representation, including attending all hearings, negotiating with the opposing party/attorney, preparing all documents throughout the case, and providing legal advice throughout.
As mentioned above, this type of service is what most typical law firms offer exclusively, and it often requires a large up-front retainer agreement in the several thousands of dollars.
For ALN member-firms who offer full-representation, the up-front fees are much lower than typical attorneys, and we offer payment plans to make fees and retainers even more affordable.
You and your affordable attorney (or a staff member) can discuss both representation-options (limited-scope or full-representation) and both payment options (single, lower, up-front fee or payment plans) to see what is right for you, your case, and your budget.
** State-wide and Local Coverage
All Access Lawyer Network-member lawyers provide legal advice and limited-scope legal services throughout the entire state. For those who provide full-representation, this level of service is likely offered in a more limited geographic area.
Therefore, in some cases, you may receive limited-scope services from one ALN-member attorney to start out, but then we will connect you to another ALN-member attorney if you later decide to upgrade to full-representation which requires local hearing-coverage.
This allows us to have the greatest number of attorneys providing affordable legal services to the most people in the most cities across America. In all cases, you will be connected with attorneys who can provide you with expert legal advice and services at affordable prices and/or payment plans.
DETAILED SERVICE OFFERINGS
Below is a description of the types of legal services that are often offered by Access Lawyer Network-member law firms. During your initial free case assessment phone call, we will determine which attorney covering your local area is the best fit to meet your specific legal need, and we will schedule for a legal strategy session with that attorney.
General Litigation Services
If you want to file a legal claim or need to defend against one, you’ll want to hire a litigation attorney. A litigation attorney is present in courtrooms prosecuting or defending claims on behalf of clients. These experts focus on investigating and prosecuting criminal cases.
Common "General Litigation Services" offered by many ALN members
Know When to Hire a Litigation Lawyer
If you’re thinking about filing a lawsuit, you should talk to a lawyer first. Litigation lawyers know which cases have a good chance of succeeding. Firms offering "General Litigation Services" are well-versed in all of the laws, procedures, steps, and paperwork necessary to start your case or defend against an opposing party who has sued you in court.
Business Law Services
If you own a business, a firm specializing in Business Law Services can assist you and ensure that your new business venture gets off to a strong start, adapts to changing needs, and lays the groundwork for a successful future in any industry, files lawsuits against individuals or defends against lawsuits in which you are being sued, and providing advice to help your business grow and be protected legally.
Business Law attorneys also will provide you with practical advice and intelligent legal strategies focused on avoiding unnecessary legal issues, minimizing liability, and eliminating high costs, regardless of the stage of your business.
Common "Business Law Services" offered by many ALN members
Criminal Law Services
When charged with a crime, under investigation, or already arrested, the first step to successfully navigating the criminal justice system is to hire a criminal defense lawyer who will fight for your rights. Your attorney is with you every step of the way, from negotiating a lower bond to providing legal counsel during police interviews to vehemently defending you in front of a jury at trial.
Every client who hires a lawyer who is a member of Access Lawyer Network expects that lawyer to provide superior criminal defense representation. We understand the difficulties and challenges of being a defendant in a criminal case, including cost. As such, each ALN-member lawyer is committed to treating each client with dignity and offer the most affordable legal services.
Types of Criminal Law Services
It is not our job to pass judgment on you; it is our job to protect you from being unfairly judged. ALN-member Attorneys are committed to thoroughly investigating every aspect of your case to devise an effective defense strategy.
Common criminal law services we offer include:
How Criminal Law Services Can Help You
Potential penalties for criminal convictions include prison time, hefty fines, and felonies. If you’re facing charges as a result of a severe crime, you’ll need a solid criminal defense attorney on your side. It is challenging to effectively represent yourself in a criminal trial, no matter how smart you are.
Rely on a lawyer-member of the Access Lawyer Network to deliver on the following services:
All legal proceedings relating to your case are familiar to defense attorneys. As a result, they know how to speed up or slow down the process and anticipate problems before they occur. Hiring a criminal defense attorney is your best bet for quickly clearing your name and returning to everyday life.
Our Member Law Firms make Legal Services Affordable
In the long run, having an affordable attorney on your side for criminal legal representation saves you money and helps you defend your rights. Your attorney can also challenge criminal restitution fees, which saves clients significantly more money than an attorney’s fee.
ALN-member law firms also prioritize the need to make legal services affordable to clients. Thus, all ALN members offer a wide range of payment methods and options to ensure you get the protection and quality legal advice you deserve.
Are you ready to learn more about your legal rights and options? We’re here to help. Get in touch with the criminal law attorneys who are members of the Access Lawyer Network today for a Free Case Assessment.
Estate and Probate Services
Estate planning and probate law attorneys who are members of the Access Lawyer Network help people choose and prepare documents to protect their assets and guide family members’ decisions when they can’t. Furthermore, these attorneys can assist will executors with all aspects of probate, including estate settlement, real estate sales, asset inventory, debt payment, and distributions to heirs.
If a loved one dies without a will, an attorney can also help you appoint a personal representative. Attorney-members of the Access Lawyer Network have helped people throughout the country navigate these challenging issues while providing affordable legal care.
Types of Estate and Probate Services
There are many important decisions to make in life, but none is more crucial than estate planning. Everyone should have a simple will in place to declare their final wishes at a minimum. However, this document usually isn’t enough to get your family through incapacitation matters and may necessitate advanced directives.
You can also preserve assets for your loved ones and make your wishes known if you are ill or require long-term care with a little more legal groundwork. Estate planning can also save your family from having to go through complicated guardianship or probate proceedings.
Common Estate and Probate services
Life after the death of a loved one comes with a specific set of challenges. But haggling over property or money shouldn’t be one of them. Hiring an estate and probate attorney can mitigate many of the issues associated with end-of-life affairs.
It will also offer family members a sense of reassurance in their final days. When you work with an affordable law firm who is a member of the Access Lawyer Network, you receive several benefits:
Handling the unexpected death of a loved one is traumatic alone. When you add carrying out their wishes to the situation, it is emotionally taxing. Hiring a probate lawyer will ease your mind during this challenging time.
Finding the right probate and estate lawyer means the difference between straightforward probate and a long, drawn-out process. Choosing a lawyer who is a member of the Access Lawyer Network will make the process affordable and efficient.
Family Law Services
Clients seeking various legal services, such as divorce, custody, parenting time, child support, spousal support, prenuptial / premarital agreements, annulment, legal separation, and other issues, are frequently represented by family law attorneys. Attorneys who focus on family law can also help clients navigate the complexities that can arise from legal issues.
When you work with a member-attorney of the Access Lawyer Network, your initial case assessment is free and you are under no obligation to retain the lawyer's services. Your attorney and various team members simply want to provide each client with the best and most comprehensive service possible, regardless of who you are or what your problem may be.
Types of Family Law Services
The legal obligations between individuals are governed by a body of statutes and case precedents known as family law. The parties in these cases are usually family by blood or marriage, but family law can also affect those in more distant or casual relationships.
Common family law services we offer include:
Most people understand that hiring a skilled lawyer will give them an advantage in a contested family law case. If settlement talks fail, a lawyer can uncover income or assets that the other party is attempting to conceal, as well as current arguments about child support and visitation.
In uncontested cases, however, legal representation is just as important. A party is vulnerable without it and may unwittingly waive critical legal rights. In addition, non-contested cases offer excellent opportunities for cost-saving limited-scope services.
Prioritizing Communication to Assist You in Achieving Your Goals
When you hire an Attorney to represent you, you will communicate with your attorney routinely. They’re in charge of keeping you informed about what’s going on in your case, what issues you’re having with finances and child visitation, and answering any day-to-day questions you might have.
Your counsel will be kept informed of all developments in your case and will be available to speak with you whenever you want.
Home and Property Services
Whether you’re buying, selling, or renting a home, you’ll be dealing with a variety of choices at various stages. Every party to a transaction or lawsuit is trying to secure their interests, which may or may not match yours. You can ensure that your interests are protected by hiring a home and property services lawyer to act as your advisor.
Types of Home and Property Legal Services
Whether you’re dealing with a personal or business matter, real estate transactions are complicated. Problems over the short and long term can have financially devastating consequences, so the best way to deal with a transactional issue is to protect your interests in the event of unforeseen events.
Common home and property services:
Advantages of Hiring a Home and Property Services Lawyer
Real estate transactions require a ton of paperwork, and the parties must determine who is legally responsible for bearing the cost or burden of the issue. When these disagreements arise, you may find yourself in court.
It is critical to hire an attorney who is well-versed in real estate law in the appropriate jurisdiction if you intend to litigate a real estate transaction, whether as plaintiff or defendant. The rules, regulations, and case law are complex and extensive.
Real estate-related contracts and agreements have a unique language and significance that only a real estate attorney may be qualified to interpret. When so much is on the line, you want to make sure your lawyer is a skilled and knowledgeable advocate.
Get Legal Help from Our Home and Properties Group
Before your next transaction, hire a trustworthy real estate lawyer who can guide you through the complicated home and property buying process. A real estate lawyer is knowledgeable in all aspects of real estate, including the purchase and sale of residential and commercial property, title searches, closings, and housing court issues. As a client, you can expect a simple process where your attorney explains complicated legal jargon. You won’t feel left out of the decision-making process throughout the time you work with your attorney.
There are times when forming a non-profit or tax-exempt organization has advantages. However, non-profit organization leaders must adhere to specific IRS regulations to maintain tax-exempt status. They can ensure compliance with all applicable laws by working closely with skilled legal counsel.
Charitable organizations face legal issues, as well as administrative and judicial proceedings.
Types of Non-Profit Legal Services
Attorney-members of the Access Lawyer Network who provide non-profit legal services will assist your non-profit in incorporating your non-profit in your state, obtaining a tax ID number, and obtaining and maintaining tax-exempt status from the IRS, as well as providing you with the advice you require. In helping non-profit and tax-exempt clients, a non-profit organization attorney draws on a wealth of experience.
As a result, your attorney will be well-positioned to address the various tax issues that a non-profit organization may face.
Common non-profit organization services:
Attorneys who are members of the Access Lawyer Network also assist many non-profits in forming formal partnerships and reciprocal relationships with for-profit businesses. These partnerships strengthen charities while maintaining their tax-exempt status by making more resources available to them.
From a tax standpoint, these nonprofit-for-profit relationships are incredibly complicated. This situation necessitates a thorough understanding of non-profit laws, gained through research and, more importantly, experience.
QDRO/EDRO Retirement Order Services
A “Qualified Domestic Relations Order” (also known as QDRO), and an Eligible Domestic Relations Order” (also known as an EDRO) is a court order used to divide specific types of retirement plans, including qualified and 403(b) plans. According to the Internal Revenue Service, a QDRO is “a judgment, decree or order for a retirement plan to pay child support, alimony or marital property rights to a spouse, former spouse, child or other dependents of a [retirement plan] participant.”
A QDRO/EDRO grants a person known as the “alternate payee” the right to part of the retirement benefits a former spouse (the “participant”) earned through an employer-sponsored retirement plan. While a QDRO provides benefits to an alternate payee when the participant is alive, it can also award survivor benefits if the participant dies.
The Access Lawyer Network has member-attorneys who prepare QDROs and EDROs for divorcing or divorced couples in all 50 states of the U.S. Services include: Preparing the QDRO/EDRO to comply with U.S. Laws, Plan Administrator guidelines, and the divorce judgment itself; send to Plan Administrator for pre-approval; make changes after pre-approval and then work with couples to get signatures; send to the Court to get Judge’s signature; send judge-signed Order to the Plan Administrator for processing; and all legal advice to client throughout the process.
Common types of QDROs and EDROs:
A trademark is a brand name. A trademark or service mark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods/services.
It is vitally important that you select or create a trademark that is both federally registrable and legally protectable. Although federal registration of a mark is not mandatory, it has several advantages, including notice to the public of the registrant's claim of ownership of the mark, legal presumption of ownership nationwide, and exclusive right to use the mark on or in connection with the goods/services listed in the registration.
If you are a foreign-domiciled applicant, you must have a U.S.-licensed attorney represent you at the USPTO. Non-U.S.-licensed attorneys and non-attorneys may give you inaccurate information and legal advice about your trademark rights and the registration process in the United States.
If you are domiciled in the United States, you are not required to have a U.S.-licensed attorney represent you, but we strongly encourage you to hire one who specializes in trademark law to guide you through the application process. Although USPTO staff can provide information about the federal application process, USPTO employees cannot give you legal advice or help you fill out forms.
The Access Lawyer Network includes member-attorneys who register Trademarks for businesses and non-profits in all 50 states.
Trademark Services include:
Other Legal Services
In addition to the many services listed above, various attorney-members of the Access Lawyer Network also offer one or more of the following legal services to assist you with your legal needs.
Other legal services:
The Access Lawyer Network seeks to include lawyers in many practice areas, including:
Divorce Dissolution Attorneys / Lawyers
Child Support Attorneys / Lawyers
Custody and Allocation of Parental Responsibility Attorneys / Lawyers
Parenting Time & Parentage Attorneys / Lawyers
Estate Planning Attorneys / Lawyers
Wills & Trust Attorneys / Lawyers
Powers of Attorney Attorneys / Lawyers
Landlord/Tenant Attorneys / Lawyers
Eviction Attorneys / Lawyers
Collections Attorneys / Lawyers
Lawsuit Attorneys / Lawyers
Creditor / Debtor Attorneys / Lawyers
Small Business Attorneys / Lawyer
Non-profit 501c3 Attorneys / Lawyers
Trademark Attorneys / Lawyers
Real Estate Attorneys / Lawyers
Property Attorneys / Lawyers
Criminal Attorneys / Lawyers
Felony Attorneys / Lawyers
Misdemeanor Attorneys / Lawyers
Driving Under Influence (DUI) Attorneys / Lawyers
Operating Under Influence Attorneys / Lawyers
Alcohol Offenses Attorneys / Lawyers
Suspended Driver's License - Restoration Attorneys / Lawyers
Traffic Ticket Attorneys / Lawyers
Expungement Attorneys / Lawyers
Garnishment Attorneys / Lawyers
Lien Attorneys / Lawyers
Name change Attorneys / Lawyers
QDRO / EDRO / Qualified Domestic Relations Attorneys / Lawyers
States, Counties, and Cities We Serve
Access-Certified independent attorneys who are members of the Access Lawyer Network provide affordable legal consultations and legal services to Americans in all states, all counties, and all cities listed below.
Santa Cruz County covers all of the following communities:
Aptos Hills-Larkin Valley
La Selva Beach
Rio del Mar
Santa Cruz County Court
About the County:
Santa Cruz County, California, officially the County of Santa Cruz, is a county on the Pacific coast of the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 262,382. The county seat is Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz County comprises the Santa Cruz–Watsonville, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the San Jose–San Francisco–Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area. The county is on the California Central Coast, south of the San Francisco Bay Area region. The county forms the northern coast of the Monterey Bay, with Monterey County forming the southern coast.
Santa Cruz County Court Address:
Santa Cruz Courthouse
701 Ocean St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Law Firms who are members of the Access Lawyer Network offer cheap and affordable legal advice and legal services with skilled lawyers & attorneys.