Shhhh… Listen! Do You Hear The Sound Of Divorce Lawyers?
In the event that you have not by now, probably sometime in your lifetime you will need to retain the services of legal counsel. Thanks to my consultation with Tampa Lawyer Christina Mesa, this is a listing of responses to common along with imperative questions.
1. QUESTION: Do I have to hire an attorney in the county where the issue occurs?
ANSWER: No. Many lawyers practice in other jurisdictions and other states, based on their licensure for the latter. Having experience in the county in which the matter will be litigated is important as that attorney will have a level of comfort with the local courthouse personnel, attorneys (likely opposing counsel) and judges. One thing to consider in hiring an attorney outside the area in which the matter takes place is cost of travel time. Some lawyers don’t charge for travel, others give you a reduced rate or preserve a billable rate for all work carried out. Clarify that question with each attorney consulted.
2. QUESTION: How can I make sure my lawyer is handling my case?
ANSWER: Every good attorney monitors his time (fees) and expenses (costs). Your retainer contract should include a confirmation of how the attorney bills his clients – in advancemonthly, quarterly, etc. You may even track your case in some jurisidictions that offer on-line accessibility to case dockets. If the county has that available, you’re wise to routinely review the docket and see what events have transpired by your lawyer and the other party/counsel. It’s also advisable to feel comfortable getting in touch with your lawyer at intervals to learn the status of the issue, understanding you will likely be billed for these interactions.
3. QUESTION: Precisely how do I pick an attorney?
ANSWER: Legal topics are as vast as those in other sectors, such as medicine, construction, finance, etc. and tend to be just as perplexing. To protect your rights and remedies, the ideal practice would be to study your area of need and research what law firms are out there to help you. A recommendation from someone you know and admire can add a personal element to the consideration to hire an lawyer but should not be the singular reason counsel is chosen. Research the lawyer’s background of training, practical experience and area(s) of practice. Asking questions should be encouraged in this process. Self-help can be strengthening but may also limit or negate your recovery. Hiring a legal professional should be contemplated with exactly the same degree of thought and consideration as that directed at the pick of a medical professional, accountant, financial specialist or therapist.
4. QUESTION: How do I determine if I will need a legal professional?
ANSWER: If you have already been served with a Summons and similar documents (Complaint, Petition, Motion), you really should endeavor to seek out legal guidance now. Papers filed in court that start a lawsuit necessitate responses that involve exact deadlines; skipping those deadlines could compromise your defense, limit or avoid your recovery. Some matters by statute involve a “pre-suit” period that enable you to think about the legal issues and potential resolution before a lawsuit is filed. Similarly, seeking legal counsel as quickly as possible is recommended.
5. QUESTION: What is mediation?
ANSWER: Mediation is a course of action whereby the parties to the case present at an agreed area with their counsel (if retained) and a chosen mediator to try and resolve all or a number of the issues involved. Mediators need to be unrelated to all parties and the litigation at issue, are to stay impartial amongst the parties and their lawyer, and maintain the confidential structure of the conference to recommend settlement and resolution. Generally the parties share the fee of the mediation evenly but other arrangements may be made if all parties are in agreement ahead of the conference. Mediation is usually required in every case filed in court and just before a trial is held.
6. QUESTION: What type of legal professional do I need?
ANSWER: Again, like other sectors, lawyers may concentrate in a certain or more than one area. Similarly, law firms may specialize, offer general legal needs or offer services in a few specific areas of law. Trial attorneys deal with cases involving lawsuits; family law attorneys handle separation and divorce, child custody/visitation, child support, alimony and related matters; general practitioners handle most matters. Some areas of law are very specialized, like bankruptcy or taxation; some are delineated by statute, as in worker’s compensation. Any lawyer should be able to go over your specific issue, determine if he or she is qualified to handle such matters or advise you of the necessity to consult with another in a specialised area.
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