Why Almost Everything You’ve Learned About Divorce Lawyers Is Wrong And What You Should Know

Crée par
16 septembre 2018

If you have not previously, chances are that sometime in your lifetime you’ll have to hire an attorney. With the help of my interview with Tampa Lawyer Christina Mesa, what follows is a listing of answers to basic and worthwhile questions.

1. QUESTION: Do I have to hire an attorney in the county where the problem occurs?
ANSWER: No. Many lawyers or attorneys practice in other jurisdictions and other states, based on their licensure for the latter. Having experience in the county in which the matter is being litigated is essential as that attorney will have a level of comfort with the local courthouse personnel, lawyers (likely opposing lawyer) and judges. One matter in retaining a lawyer away from area wherein the matter takes place is cost of travel time. Some attorneys do not charge for travel, others offer a reduced rate or maintain a billable rate for all work conducted. Clarify that question with each attorney consulted.

2. QUESTION: How am I able to make sure my lawyer is resolving my problems?
ANSWER: Every good attorney accounts for his time (fees) and expenses (costs). Your retainer arrangement should include a statement of how the attorney bills his clients – once a month, quarterly, etc. You can also track your case in some jurisidictions that supply on-line access to case dockets. If the county has that set up, you are wise to periodically review the docket and see what activities have occurred by your counsel and the other party/counsel. You should also feel at ease contacting your lawyer at intervals to determine the status of the matter, knowing you will likely be charged for these interactions.

3. QUESTION: Exactly how do I select an attorney?
ANSWER: Legal problems are as vast as those in other industries, such as medicine, construction, finance, etc. and usually are just as complicated. To safeguard your rights and remedies, the ideal practice would be to investigate your area of need and research what attorneys are available to assist you. A referral from someone you know and regard can bring a personal element to the decision to hire an lawyer but shouldn’t be the only reason counsel is selected. Look into the lawyer’s background of schooling, practical experience and area(s) of practice. Asking questions should be urged in this process. Self-help could be empowering but may also restrict or negate your recovery. Hiring a lawyer should be considered with exactly the same level of thought and consideration as that directed at the pick of a medical doctor, accountant, financial specialist or therapist.

4. QUESTION: How do I determine if I need a lawyer or attorney?
ANSWER: If you have been recently served with a Summons and associated documents (Complaint, Petition, Motion), you really should endeavor to look for legal advice without delay. Documents filed in court that begin a lawsuit require responses that involve specific deadlines; missing out on those deadlines could compromise your defense, restrict or avoid your recovery. Some issues by statute involve a « pre-suit » period that allow you to think about the legal issues and potential resolution before a lawsuit is filed. Similarly, seeking a lawyer as soon as possible is recommended.

5. QUESTION: Precisely what is mediation?
ANSWER: Mediation is a process whereby the parties to the matter present at an agreed site with their counsel (if retained) and a decided on mediator to try and resolve all or a number of the problems involved. Mediators are to be unrelated to all parties and the litigation at issue, are to remain impartial in between the parties and their counsel, and continue maintaining the confidential structure of the conference to encourage settlement and resolution. Generally the parties share the charge 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 just about every case filed in court and before a trial is held.

6. QUESTION: What kind of lawyer do I need?
ANSWER: Again, like other industries, lawyers may concentrate in a specific or more than one area. Similarly, law firms may specialize, provide general legal needs or offer services in several specific areas of law. Trial lawyers handle cases involving lawsuits; family law lawyers handle divorce, child custody/visitation, child support, alimony and associated matters; general practitioners handle most matters. Some areas of law are very complex, like bankruptcy or taxation; others are delineated by statute, as in worker’s compensation. Any lawyer can talk about your particular issue, determine if he/she is qualified to handle such matters or inform you of the necessity to speak with another in a specialised area.

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