When to Call a Lawyer vs. a Mediator »
As in a court case, the process of mediation provides a method of conflict resolution. However, it is much more informal and does …
As in a court case, the process of mediation provides a method of conflict resolution. However, it is much more informal and does …
A personal injury lawyer can help defendants in a variety of situations, from car accidents to defamation. Learn what personal inj…
Divorce lawyers help couples agree to the terms of their separation, but can also be very expensive. Learn how to choose the right…
I've recently read the reviews from Diana/DeeDee and Lynn. It appears that they are taking every avenue possible to slander Kirsh & Kirsh. To say that you were coerced is a very serious charge. Coersion is defined as: "the practice of compelling a person or manipulating them to behave in an involuntary way (whether through action or inaction) by use of threats, intimidation, trickery, or some other form of pressure or force. These are used as leverage, to force the victim to act in the desired way. Coercion may involve the actual infliction of physical pain/injury or psychological harm in order to enhance the credibility of a threat. The threat of further harm may then lead to the cooperation or obedience of the person being coerced. Torture is one of the most extreme examples of coercion i.e. severe pain is inflicted on victims until they give interrogators the desired information." Whether you are stating that Kirsh or your parents, or some other person coerced you to make an adoption plan is an extreme accusation. I understand that you have regrets, but it's time you take responsibility for "your" decision and not blame other people. That is the only way you will move toward healing. Our agency has provided professional counseling services, including options counseling, to expectant women/couples and birth parents for well over a decade. K&K refer women and couples to us and we provide counseling and social services to the majority of women who are connected with prospective adoptive parents through their practice. Steve & Joel encourage all women to seek pre/post-placement counseling. They even have them review and sign a form titled "Why Counseling is Important." Women have the right to refuse counseling, but counseling is always available to every woman at no cost to her. I've personally been with Steve & Joel during hundreds of consent signings. I know the mantra well. They review all of their rights with them (including making sure this is their voluntary decision), clearly tell them they are under no obligation to proceed at this time and that they have the right to parent this child if they choose. They explain the permanence of adoption and Indiana law related to consents. They encourage them to "only sign" if they understand and are ready to proceed. We have walked out of many consent signings because the woman needed more time or chose not to proceed. That is their right and Steve and Joel wish them well. The women we have worked with over the years respect and admire Steve and Joel. Women often tell me that Steve & Joel treat them with respect and compassion. They laugh at how many times Steve and Joel remind them that "they are under no obligation to proceed." Because of this I find it hard to reconcile Diana/DeeDee's recounting of her story with who I know them to be as professionals, and as men.
We had the pleasure of working with Kirsh and Kirsh to adopt our son Aidan. As one can imagine, the process of adopting a child can be an emotional and stressful experience. However, I cannot think of anyone I would rather have guiding me through the process than Steve and Joel Kirsh and the staff at their firm. When we had questions there was always someone available to take our call and provide answers. And, if something had to be researched or looked into they always got back to us in a timely manner. They were not only accessible, but also approachable. (I really appreciated that as I got closer to our son’s expected arrival date they were very patient with my neurotic-first-time-mother questions and reassured me that everything would be okay!) While they were very encouraging throughout the process they were also very honest and explained possibilities to us so we could be prepared in case we hit any bumps along the road. In addition to being there for us, the Kirshes were also a comfort to our birthmother whom we were matched with using the Kirsh Directed Approach. Our birthmother is a phenomenal young woman and we are so grateful that we were able to match with her. The fact that Kirsh and Kirsh did all the work to find her through the Directed approach took that stress off of our plate so that we could focus on preparing to become parents. And, although they always made it clear that the firm represented us, they answered any of our birthmother’s questions so that she had the information she needed to continue with her adoption plan. I know that she appreciated having a resource to call on and I was grateful that she didn’t feel alone during what was a very emotional and difficult time for her. From helping us get our approval process started, to editing our birthmother letter, to finding the most wonderful birthmother and son, to celebrating with us on Adoption Day, I cannot think of a more qualified or more caring team of individuals to guide you through the adoption process. Because of our wonderful experience with Kirsh and Kirsh, I highly recommend them as THE firm to call when beginning the adoption process, whether you live in Indiana or not!
I have tried to respect Dee Dee/Diana but her dramatic attempts to slander Steve Kirsh are getting irritating. Steve is a giving, caring man and has pioneered adoption law and practices, especially concerning birthfamiles. Laws exist to protect rights. Through the adoption process birthfamiles are told over and over and over that nothing is final until the papers are signed BUT once they are it is extremely difficult to turn back. The adoptive parents and child have the right to be protected by instability. If Diana was having doubts then she should have raised them when she had the chance. Controlling parents, gross indecision and suicidal thoughts are signs of an unstable environment that a child should not be exposed to anyway. I am normally not one to judge, especially when it comes to this difficult decision, but it sounds to me like adoption was the right choice for this little girl. And I'm sure one day when she is an adult and reflects on her wonderful childhood she will realize that she was spared a life of drama and discontent. As a birthmother, I want my child to be proud of me and respect me, not thank heavens that he wasn't raised by me. Diana, I'm sorry to say, you are on the latter path. The extended bitterness and anger you harbor for your decision isn't healthy and I think you should see a psychologist. KIRSH AND KIRSH ARE NOT "BABY STEALERS/SELLERS" and don't even come close. Diana's emotions are obviously clouding her recollection and judgement. I wouldn't change a moment of my experience with Kirsh & Kirsh and have a very healthy relationship with my adoptive family and birthson today. She says she has a counselor; I wonder what they think about all of this. Get over trying to "destroy" Steve Kirsh and focus on healing. It is the best thing you can do for your birthdaughter.
The legal profession is vast, with each attorney having his or her specialties. Here are some of the most common attorneys individuals seek out when they require legal aid:
A criminal defense lawyer is probably the attorney the average person imagines. Criminal attorneys are the men and women who defend individuals accused of a crime. The lawyer may work pro bono - for the public good - so the accused is certain to have representation, even if he or she cannot afford an attorney.
Criminal lawyers are experts in the criminal justice system. They help their clients decide how to plead when first charged by the police and guide them through trial procedures. Defense lawyers must use every bit of their knowledge and resources to get their clients the fairest results from criminal proceedings.
If you are a small business owner or the head of a larger corporation, you may come into contact with a business lawyer. Many big companies keep a legal staff on payroll to deal with the daily operations of running and maintaining a large enterprise. Business lawyers may have more specific specialties like copyright law, product liability and mergers and acquisitions.
Business attorneys may focus their practices on certain industries. There are entertainment lawyers to guide artists through royalties and media contracts, while hospitals employ malpractice attorneys to protect doctors from aggressive litigation.
When you work for a company, you may find yourself in need of an employment lawyer - especially if the relationship between you and your employer sours. An employment attorney prevents people from losing their jobs due to unfair reasons. Workers' compensation lawyers help maintain safe employment conditions and ensure workers receive fair compensation after workplace injury or discrimination.
A personal finance attorney can protect and manage your investments and securities. You may use a finance lawyer to help you prepare your taxes, but you might be better off working with an accountant. A tax attorney is more commonly contacted after a business or individual runs into trouble with the IRS or state regulators.
Real Estate Lawyer
Your family may keep a lawyer on retainer to guide you through the major expenses that come up in life. When buying a home, you could work with a real estate lawyer to make sure you get the best deal and won't get taken advantage of by tricky mortgage agreements or unfair landlords. An estate attorney can help you plan for the worst by creating a will and preparing your finances for after your death.
A bankruptcy lawyer is essential to help you resolve your financial difficulties when they start to spin out of control. Certain attorneys help create strategies to bring you out of debt and speak to your creditors. A lawyer can advise you on which type of bankruptcy you should file for.
If you are suing someone or being sued, you need a civil lawyer. Civil attorneys - and criminal lawyers - are the legal representatives who argue on your behalf in a courtroom setting. Civil lawyers may represent you on matters of business, finance or a wide variety of other specialized needs.
One of the most common types of civil attorneys is a personal injury lawyer. When you're hurt by an outside party and you would like to hold them legally responsible, a personal injury attorney conducts litigation and negotiates settlements to compensate for your pain and suffering. Sometimes many wronged people will join together with a single civil lawyer or law office to form a class action lawsuit.
Most people will turn to a lawyer during a divorce to navigate the emotionally charged legal proceedings. A divorce attorney can assist in determining grounds for separation, division of property and custody of children.
Family attorneys deal with much more personal matters. If you're getting married, a family lawyer can help you prepare a prenuptial agreement or other family planning paperwork such as adoption or inheritance documents.
To ensure you find a competent attorney who won't abuse your trust or drain your finances, you have to make the proper inquiries. There are several questions you should ask, but the majority will fall under three general topics:
Training and Experience Questions
One of the best ways to determine quality is to examine an attorney's history. When you first step into a lawyer's office, you should check for the appropriate certifications and diplomas. You have to ask how long he or she has practiced law and request information that demonstrates the practice's success. Look for precise details such as percentage of cases settled out of court.
Once you inquire about the broad details of their legal career, you should ask questions about their experience that pertains to your specific issue. You should ask how many similar cases they have handled and if they have special skills or training that applies specifically to your needs. Lawyers can't mention clients by name, but you should ask for basic details about identical past cases.
You need to ask about every possible fee that will come up when working with an attorney. You should request a list of all costs in advance so you won't be surprised by additional expenses like overhead. Also determine exactly when you will start being billed. You want to inspect paperwork carefully. If the attorney charges you for his or her experience, you need to make sure he or she will perform tasks personally and not hand it off to an assistant.
Find out if the attorney has a flat fee or charges by the hour. Many civil lawyers work on contingency. Whatever the payment plan, make inquiries about how the lawyer plans to provide service for your money and what you can do if you start to feel unsatisfied with his or her performance.
Lawyer/Client Relationship Questions
When you hire a lawyer, you're agreeing to work with someone over a certain period of time. You need to ask questions about how the attorney will communicate with you and what responsibilities you hold in the relationship. The attorney should let you know the best channel for quick communication and you need to inform him or her when you want updates.
You should also ask questions to get to know the attorney as an individual in order to ensure this is a person you can trust. Ask about their legal philosophy and how he or she views the lawyer/client relationship. Great questions to start off with are ones that will make your life easier, such as how to keep fees down or what daily disruptions you should expect from a long legal battle. The more forthcoming the lawyer appears to be with individual needs, the better.
You may keep a lawyer on retainer or you could turn to an attorney during specific situations. Here are some common reasons people begin seeking legal representation or advice:
You Know Your Limitations
If you sign documents and you come across a word you don't recognize, you need assistance. You may need a third party to help you navigate important employment or real estate paperwork. It's essential you fully understand the terms of any legally binding documentation or activity you become a part of. If you are not an expert in a given field, you'll want to hire an attorney who is.
A lawyer may find legal implications or opportunities you might miss. If you find yourself in a civil or criminal matter, a proper attorney ensures you don't receive a harsh punishment for a small mistake.
You're Facing an Important Event/Decision
When making decisions critical to your financial stability or personal life, you may want a lawyer with expertise in your situation to make sure you do everything you can to arrive at the proper resolution. This is especially true when you become involved in a criminal case and your freedom is on the line.
It's not just a matter of legal knowledge; lawyer's have access to numerous resources you do not. They have staff ready to work around the clock and experts in a variety of fields to give your important issues the attention they deserve.
You Can't Be Impartial
During times when personal matters intersect with legal proceedings, you may need to have an advocate to prevent your emotions from getting in the way of level-headed thinking. For example, divorce lawyers can mediate a heated argument and help both partners get on with their lives.
Emotional investment could be subtle. You may want to have a lawyer look over an investment opportunity that looks too good to be true or investigate the merits of a possible civil suit when you feel wronged.
You're Out of Options
Many people turn to lawyers when they are in trouble. If you've been accused of a crime or are in a terrible financial situation, you can find an attorney who will work with what you have available to assist you as you deal with your problems.
Personal injury lawyers find solutions for people who can no longer work under their own power and bankruptcy attorneys prevent people from giving in to debt. If you find yourself in a situation where you can't find a solution, a lawyer may be able to offer the counsel you need.
When it comes time to choose a lawyer, you should start by searching close to home. While you probably don't want the conflict of interest that comes from being represented by a family member, friends and loved ones can recommend lawyers who served them well in the past. If you do have attorneys you are familiar with, ask who they believe would be best for you.
After going through personal references - especially from individuals who had similar needs - you should broaden your search through public information resources. You can call your area's attorney referral service or check legal organizations like Martindale-Hubbell. There are other resources available online. You should check websites for client reviews and other third-party forms of approval.
When you build a list of possible candidates, perform a background check on each one. See if you can find information on their history and success record. Once you find a possible lawyer, you should call to arrange a consultation so you can ask your important questions in person.
By performing the necessary research and taking every available precaution, you can narrow your search to the attorney most suited to your needs.