Why Almost Everything You’ve Learned About Divorce Lawyers Is Wrong And What You Should Know
In the case you have not before now, chances are that sometime in your life you will need to retain legal counsel. Thanks to my consultation with Tampa Lawyer Christina Mesa, listed here is a listing of responses to basic along with important questions.
1. QUESTION: Do I want to hire an attorney in the county where the problem occurs?
ANSWER: No. Many attorneys practice in other counties and other states, based on their licensure for the latter. Having knowledge in the county wherein the matter will be litigated is important as that lawyer will have a comfort level with the local courthouse personnel, lawyers (likely opposing counsel) and judges. One matter in hiring a lawyer outside the area wherein the matter occurs is cost of travel time. Some lawyers don’t charge for travel, others offer a decreased rate or maintain a billable rate for all work carried out. Clarify that question with each attorney consulted.
2. QUESTION: How can I be certain my lawyer is working on my issues?
ANSWER: Every good attorney monitors his time (fees) and expenditures (costs). Your retainer arrangement should include a affirmation of how the attorney bills his clients – up front, quarterly, etc. You may even keep track of your case in some jurisidictions that supply on-line access to case dockets. If the county has that established, you are wise to routinely review the docket and see what events have occurred by your lawyer and the other party/counsel. You should also feel comfortable getting in contact with your attorney at intervals to learn the status of the issue, knowing you’ll likely be charged for these communications.
3. QUESTION: Precisely how do I pick an attorney?
ANSWER: Legal dilemmas are as vast as those in other industries, such as medicine, construction, finance, etc. and are often just as complicated. To protect your legal rights and remedies, the ideal practice would be to investigate your area of need and research what attorneys are out there to assist you. A referral from somebody you know and respect can add a personal element to the decision to hire an lawyer but should not be the sole reason counsel is selected. Look into the lawyer’s background of training, expertise and area(s) of practice. Asking basic questions should be encouraged in this process. Self-help can be strengthening but may also reduce or negate your recovery. Hiring a lawyer should be considered with the same degree of thought and consideration as that directed at the selection of a medical doctor, accountant, financial advisor or therapist.
4. QUESTION: How do I determine if I will need a lawyer?
ANSWER: If you have been recently served with a Summons and related documents (Complaint, Petition, Motion), you should really endeavor to seek legal assistance right away. Documents filed in court that commence a lawsuit require responses that involve exact deadlines; missing out on those deadlines could damage your defense, reduce or avoid your recovery. Some concerns by statute involve a “pre-suit” period that enable you to think about the legal issues and potential resolution before a suit is filed. Similarly, seeking a lawyer as soon as possible is advised.
5. QUESTION: Precisely what is mediation?
ANSWER: Mediation is a process whereby the parties to the case present at an agreed location with their counsel (if retained) and a chosen mediator to try and solve all or a number of the issues involved. Mediators should be unrelated to all parties and the litigation at issue, are to stay impartial between the parties and their lawyer, and continue maintaining the confidential nature of the conference to inspire settlement and resolution. Typically the parties share the fee of the mediation equally but other arrangements can be made if all parties are in agreement ahead of the conference. Mediation is usually required in just about every case filed in court and prior to a trial is held.
6. QUESTION: What type of legal professional do I need?
ANSWER: Again, like other sectors, attorneys may specialise in a certain or more than one area. Similarly, law firms may specialize, provide general legal needs or provide services in several precise areas of law. Trial attorneys handle cases involving lawsuits; family law lawyers handle divorce cases, child custody/visitation, child support, alimony and associated matters; general practitioners handle almost all matters. Some areas of law are very specialized, like bankruptcy or taxation; some are delineated by statute, such as worker’s compensation. Any attorney should be able to discuss your particular issue, determine if he/she is qualified to handle such matters or inform you of the necessity to seek advice from another in a specialized area.
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