Are You Embarrassed By Your Divorce Lawyer Skills? Here’s What To Do
In the event that you haven’t already, chances are that sometime in a lifetime you will want to seek the services of an attorney at law. With the help of my consultation with Tampa Attorney Christina Mesa, below is a number of answers to very common along with important questions.
1. QUESTION: How can I make certain my lawyer is resolving my issues?
ANSWER: Every good attorney monitors his time (fees) and expenses (costs). Your retainer agreement 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 offer on-line accessibility to case dockets. If the county has that established, you are wise to occasionally review the docket and see what events have transpired by your counsel and the other party/counsel. It’s also advisable to feel at ease contacting your attorney at intervals to ascertain the status of the matter, knowing you will likely be billed for these communications.
2. QUESTION: Do I need to hire an attorney at law in the county where the issue occurs?
ANSWER: No. Many lawyers or attorneys practice in other counties and other states, depending on their licensure for the latter. Having experience in the county in which the matter will be litigated is crucial as that lawyer will have a comfort level with the neighborhood courthouse personnel, lawyers (likely opposing counsel) and judges. One matter in hiring legal counsel outside the area wherein the matter occurs is cost of travel time. Some attorneys don’t charge for travel, others offer a reduced rate or preserve a billable rate for all work carried out. Talk about that question with each lawyer consulted.
3. QUESTION: How do I know if I need a lawyer or attorney?
ANSWER: If you have recently been served with a Summons and comparable documents (Complaint, Petition, Motion), you should endeavor to find legal assistance right away. Papers filed in court that begin a lawsuit require responses that involve specific deadlines; missing out on those deadlines could damage your defense, restrict or avoid your recovery. Some matters by statute involve a “pre-suit” time period that enable you to think about the legal issues and potential resolution before a lawsuit is filed. Similarly, seeking a lawyer as quickly as possible is recommended.
4. QUESTION: What is mediation?
ANSWER: Mediation is a course of action whereby the parties to the case present at an agreed local with their counsel (if retained) and a selected mediator to try and solve all or a number of the problems involved. Mediators need to be unrelated to all parties and the litigation at issue, are to remain impartial amongst the parties and their lawyer, and continue maintaining the confidential structure of the conference to recommend settlement and resolution. Typically the parties share the cost of the mediation equally but other arrangements can be made if all parties are in agreement ahead of the conference. Mediation is typically required in just about every case filed in court and just before a trial is held.
5. QUESTION: What kind of lawyer do I need?
ANSWER: Again, like other businesses, attorneys may concentrate in a specific or more than one area. Similarly, law firms may specialize, provide general legal needs or offer services in a few specific areas of law. Trial lawyers deal with 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, like worker’s compensation. Any attorney should be able to discuss your specific issue, determine if he/she is qualified to handle such matters or advise you of the need to seek advice from another in a specialized area.
6. QUESTION: Exactly how do I pick an attorney at law?
ANSWER: Legal issues are as vast as those in other sectors, such as medicine, construction, finance, etc. and are generally just as complicated. To protect your rights and remedies, the best practice would be to research your area of need and research what legal professionals are accessible to work with you. A referral from somebody you know and respect can add a personal element to the consideration to hire an attorney but really should not be the only reason counsel is selected. Research the lawyer’s background of training, practical experience and area(s) of practice. Asking questions should be urged in this process. Self-help could be empowering but can also restrict or negate your recovery. Hiring a law firm should be considered with exactly the same degree of thought and consideration as that directed at the selection of a medical professional, accountant, financial specialist or therapist.
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