Do You Need A Divorce Lawyer?
In the case you haven’t by now, probably sometime in your own life you’ll have to retain an attorney at law. With the help of my discussion with Tampa Attorney Christina Mesa, this is a number of responses to frequent along with imperative questions.
1. QUESTION: How will I make certain my attorney is resolving my case?
ANSWER: Every good lawyer monitors his time (fees) and expenses (costs). Your retainer contract should include a statement of how the lawyer bills his clients – up front, quarterly, etc. You may also keep track of your case in some jurisidictions that supply on-line access to case dockets. If the county has that available, you’re wise to often review the docket and see what activities have occurred by your attorney and the other party/counsel. Also feel at ease getting in touch with your lawyer at intervals to ascertain the status of the issue, knowing you will likely be charged for these communications.
2. QUESTION: Do I have to hire an attorney in the county where the issue occurs?
ANSWER: No. Many lawyers or 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 attorney will have a comfort level with the neighborhood courthouse personnel, attorneys (likely opposing counsel) and judges. One matter in retaining legal counsel outside the area in which the matter takes place is cost of travel time. Some lawyers don’t charge for travel, others offer a reduced rate or maintain a billable rate for all work conducted. Discuss that question with each lawyer consulted.
3. QUESTION: How do I determine if I need a lawyer or attorney?
ANSWER: If you have been recently served with a Summons and similar documents (Complaint, Petition, Motion), you really should endeavor to look for legal guidance right away. Documents filed in court that start a lawsuit call for responses that involve particular deadlines; missing out on those deadlines could damage your defense, limit or avoid your recovery. Some issues by statute involve a “pre-suit” time period that allow you to take into account the legal issues and probable resolution before a suit is filed. Similarly, seeking legal counsel as quickly as possible is advised.
4. QUESTION: What exactly is mediation?
ANSWER: Mediation is a course of action whereby the parties to the matter present at an agreed location 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 participants and the litigation at issue, are to remain impartial amongst the parties and their counsel, and maintain 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 in advance of the conference. Mediation is usually required in just about every case filed in court and just before a trial is held.
5. QUESTION: What kind of law firm do I need?
ANSWER: Again, like other sectors, attorneys may specialise in a specific or more than one area. Similarly, law offices may specialize, offer general legal needs or provide services in a few specific areas of law. Trial lawyers deal with cases involving lawsuits; family law lawyers handle separation and divorce, child custody/visitation, child support, alimony and associated matters; general practitioners handle nearly all matters. Some areas of law are very technical, like bankruptcy or taxation; some are delineated by statute, like worker’s compensation. Any attorney can go over your particular issue, determine if he or she is qualified to take care of such matters or advise you of the need to consult with another in a specialised area.
6. QUESTION: Exactly how do I select an attorney at law?
ANSWER: Legal subjects are as vast as those in other industries, such as medicine, construction, finance, etc. and are often just as complicated. To protect your rights and remedies, the best practice is to investigate your area of need and research what legal professionals are out there to assist you. A referral from someone you know and respect can bring a personal element to the plan to hire an lawyer but really should not be the singular reason counsel is chosen. Research the attorney’s background of training, practical experience and area(s) of practice. Asking a lot of questions should be encouraged in this process. Self-help can be strengthening but can also restrict or negate your recovery. Hiring a lawyer should be contemplated with the same level of thought and consideration as that directed at the choice of a medical doctor, accountant, financial specialist or therapist.
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