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…
Mr. Romano, and his assistant, Mrs. Dragt, did an excellent job of handling a very long, drawn out, and complex legal matter for me. Mr. Romano zealously defended the matter, utilized both conventional and creative legal strategies, and ultimately achieved a favorable ruling on my behalf. His office ensured that my interests were at all times at the forefront of their decision making process and Mr. Romano regularly communicated and advised me on what he considered the best way to proceed. His office promptly returned both phone calls and emails and Mr. Romano made sure that he was always available to answer questions or concerns that I raised. Mr. Romano even went as far as working on the weekend when the court imposed strict deadlines for the filing of a memorandum. He also did an excellent job of utilizing my own opinions and preferences and incorporating that into his legal theory. After working with Mr. Romano and Mrs. Dragt for almost four years, I am in a position to confidently endorse his office as being highly capable and proficient at handling legal matters with creativity, tenacity, and sensitivity by utilizing a client-centered and solution driven perspective. The word uncompromising readily comes to mind. And, on a personal note, this was the easiest five star review I've ever written as I am very grateful to Mr. Romano, Mrs. Dragt, and the rest of his office for their diligent work.
Richard Schneider, a man with the smarts and a heart..A few years ago, I attended a seminar on estate planning. I kept Richards card. Fast forward to a life changing event that required a new will and estate plan. I found Richards card. Together, we created a plan to safe guard my estate for my sons. It would provide a way to care for the son who would need help and allow my other son to keep and manage my business. Richard’s creativity allowed me to reach my goals and be able to keep control of my property and business, a plan to keep my money for my son, allow him to control the estate if I was unable to do so and receive it intact when the time comes to pass the estate to him. He helped my son to create his plan and will. Over the years, we have updated the estate plans, created documents to protect my business and advised me to changes in the laws to help keep me current. I know what I want for my company and sons. Richard has the knowledge to make it so. I have an elderly friend who was forced to sell her home. The large amount of money she would receive from the sale will be needed to care for her the rest of her life. I asked Richard to help her. With his guidance, she was able to get more money from the sale than I thought she could. By following his suggestions, she will be able to live the rest of her life in comfort.
I needed an attorney to help me with custody and because of this firm's gravitation towards helping men in a world where the mother is usually the main focus I decided to retain their services...and I couldn't be happier. The attorney they chose for me was Chance Fewel, he was a perfect fit. My case was/is complicated and he was not only empathetic but aggressive and it seemed he always had an alternate route to take. Having options is very important. I can't tell you how many times I emailed Chance frustrated with how I was being treated by my ex and every time he made me feel like it would be ok, to take it easy and let him do what he does. That was a life saver! The last thing but maybe the most important, money. When we think lawyer we think big money. Chance went out of his way to always let me know what my options were within my budget and what best to spend that o . What shocked me was that Chance also took the time to let me know what to do so I could maximize every dollar I paid. I've never been a "tell your friends" person but with how important it is to have a solid attorney for custody and how phenomenal Chance and Goldberg-Jones have been, I wouldn't hesitate recommending the firm to a complete stranger. Thank you guys!
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.