What to Look for When Hiring a Bankruptcy Lawyer »
If you must hire a bankruptcy lawyer, make sure you choose one with the necessary experience to get you out of debt. Learn how to …
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If you must hire a bankruptcy lawyer, make sure you choose one with the necessary experience to get you out of debt. Learn how to …
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We got very *very lucky* finding Brian. I wa o embarra ed la t year when my hu band and I realized we had no choice but to declare bankruptcy, and inten ely anxiou that the proce would prove to be a horrible ordeal. Although till tre ful, it turned out far better th...morean I had hoped and I felt like we were able to keep our dignity through every tep of the proce . Our tory: We made appointment with five different bankruptcy lawyer in the San Diego area, and Brian wa the *only* one I tru ted. The other lawyer u ed high pre ure ale technique to try to get u to ign paper on the pot. I wa not prepared for that at all, and it left a really bad ta te in my mouth (particularly ince I had never really interacted profe ionally with lawyer , and my fir t encounter made me think, "Oh, no, the tereotype i real!") In addition, not one of the other we met with ugge ted we do a Chapter 13. Thi *i * under tandable from a profit tandpoint b/c it take at lea t 5 year for a Chapter 13 to conclude, meaning the ca e drag on, demand extra time from the lawyer involved, and final fee are not collected until the end; Chapter 7' clo e out quickly, and the client i out the door. In other word --quick money and much le ha le for the lawyer involved. For ome people, Chapter 7 *i * their be t bet. Chapter 7, however, wa not the right choice for u at all: We owed both back taxe (my hu band wa elf-employed in a cra hing con truction economy) and financial aid, and Chapter 7 would not have covered tho e in our circum tance . Brian carefully reviewed our obligation and thoroughly explained the outcome of both a Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. In addition, he eemed to a ume that we would go home and talk about thing before we either hired him or came to a deci ion about what type of bankruptcy we would eek to file. He did not pre ure u at all, though he did recommend Chapter 13, an a e ment with which we agreed. Filing Chapter 13 meant we are paying the back taxe , plu our car off, and it ha put the financial aid payment on hold until the ca e i di charged. In other word , I feel like we have ome elf-re pect, paying off huge chunk of what we owe, but we are managing the debt, not being cru hed by it. Brian wa the *only* lawyer with whom we met who either recognized our pecial circum tance --he eemed to know immea urably more about bankruptcy law than the other lawyer we aw, who eemed to know how to ell ju t one "package"--or wa the only one who cared about what wa be t for u . On top of all of that, he treated u with quiet dignity, wa re pon ive to my malle t que tion (and I had many!) and wa very agreeable about working with u even though I made our ca e more difficult by accepting a job out of tate right in the middle of hard-to- chedule court date . That wa a year ago, and we've ince moved, but he continue to tay in touch with u and on top of our ca e. I couldn't have found a better lawyer, and I would recommend him without he itation to anyone contemplating bankruptcy. Again, I feel very lucky that we found him!view less
Jon D Rigney i ab olutely one of the be t lawyer in San Diego. Hi long term experience, intelligence and hi ability to interpret the fact and pre ent them in the mo t traightforward and u eful way, i ab olutely amazing. I am a citizen of Iran who came to the United St...moreate with a dependent vi a on my Iranian-Canadian hu band. However, upon our arrival he tarted making my life terribly difficult and finally he went for a divorce and made up torie to get rid of paying me the pou al upport. I wa o helple and al o unable to work in the US due to vi a limitation and I thought that wa the end of the world and I wa about to leave the US without a king for any right out of our marriage, leave the graduate program I wa attending in USC and go back to Iran. However, upon a erie of con ultation e ion with Mr. Rigney that only co ted $100 in total, he made me realize that I have been the victim of dome tic violence and that' why I wa about to give up on all my right and leave. He advi ed me to ju t tay and tell him the tory of my life with the abu ive hu band, and tep by tep he moved me forward, up to the point that in our fir t pou al upport hearing, I wa granted half of the alary of my pou e a the upport which happen very rarely in California. Judge Je op and attorney Jon D Rigney did a great job in giving life and hope back to me, e pecially Mr. Rigney had al o a p ychological role to help me ee the fact and try to ave my elf from remaining in a victim' po ition. I owe a lot to thi lawyer. He i defenitely not a cheap lawyer, but he de erve what he get . HE KNOWS HIS JOB PERFECTLY and he i a very re pected per on. I highly recommend him to people who have family i ue , whether they are American or from any other nationalitie like me. He al o have a very carying and mart taff and paralegal team who are alway there to help you with your legal que tion .view less
The name on the door pretty much ay it all - Men' Legal Center. They are advocate for family law, advocate for men' right . The bottom line i , and it i o rarely heard in our ociety, but the fact how abu ed men are the hidden ide of dome tic violence; Califor...morenia State Univer ity Profe or Martin ummarize ome 214 empirical tudie and 61 review and/or analy e to conclude: "Women are a phy ically aggre ive, or more aggre ive, than men in their relation hip with their pou e or male partner ." We (men) often lo e out in a bia ed ociety and eemingly unfriendly court . Yet Father' have right too. I think mo t men in general realize thi yet remain ilent. Come on, how many of u are really going to admit to anybody that our wife macked u around? We hould, but we don't until it i often too late. The Men' Legal Center, however, ha been doing omething about it ince 1985 by providing both legal and non-legal coun eling, ervice , and referral for men (and women) whom are victim of dome tic violence. Legal ervice run the gamut from prenuptial agreement to divorce and everything in between including paternity te t and legal ervice , annulment, re training order , will and tru t and alternative di pute re olution to divorce. Mo t importantly however they help men a ert often trampled right in child cu tody, vi itation and upport. The San Diego chapter of the National Coalition for Men operate out of the ame building, and the Center provide a monthly new letter, with parenting and cooking advice, annual picnic , and exten ive unbia ed re ource for men in need of upport. Te timonial are very upportive and the taff i uper friendly. Payment term are rea onable and the attorney will work with you. The Men' legal center appear to be the real deal, genuinely concerned with your right . view less
An attorney - or lawyer - is a person who provides the service of studying the law and using his or her knowledge for a client's benefit. While some lawyers work for the state or other governing bodies, attorneys in the public sector are available to provide advice and consult for individuals and businesses.
Lawyers spend years in higher education learning the ins and outs of their country's legal system. After passing the bar exam, they are able to accept fees for their services but must remain vigilant to stay on top of changing government regulations and civil rulings. If you work with a lawyer, he or she can guide you through your interactions with governing bodies and private financial and business matters.
An attorney acts as your representative or source of consultation when you go through difficult legal proceedings. A lawyer can speak on your behalf and help in the creation and management of important documents. If you feel you have been wronged professionally or personally, a lawyer may help you seek legal restitution, or defend you when an outside party tries to make you pay for actions you are not responsible for.
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.