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 …
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 …
If you're low on money and cannot afford a lawyer, you can seek out an attorney that will handle your case for free. Familiarize y…
Disability lawyers know the precise details of the Social Security benefits process. If you want to file a claim, find out what qu…
01/25/2007 Posted by blakkiwilder Mere words cannot describe the unprecedented legal representation and emotional comfort I received from the staff at Dixon & Cannon. A different legal firm referred me to Jennifer Cannon-Unione, as they were not able to take my case. In hea...morering the agonizing details about my situation, Jennifer immediately set me at ease, and assured me that I indeed had an undeniably strong case. She became my pillar of strength, my protector and my confidant. Through the entire 2 year case, Jennifer was not only professional in explaining each process in complete detail, but she did it in a way where I immediately understood. It has been 2 years of arduous work and she was steadfast in her objective and detailing every pro and con, every possible outcome, and consistently explained everything along each step of the way. I was able to make logical decisions based on her approach and assistance. Jennifer is not only intelligent, she is caring, trustworthy, professional, sensitive, understanding, accommodating and mostly the kind of force you would want to defend you in any situation. I also want to say how incredible the entire office is. Fran, Dixon & Cannon’s office manager, is the most caring, giving, and professional person one could ever hope to meet. She was my first physical contact at Dixon and Cannon and was exactly what a scared and nervous person needs when first initiating legal action. Jim Dixon, whom I was able to get to know towards the end of my case, is an incredible individual. They function as a whole and I would strongly recommend them. Thank You. Pros: All experiences with them was positive and a pro. Cons: N/A view less
02/14/2007 Posted by clb63 I was panicked my 19 year old son informed me hours before he was to show up for his arraignment he had been arrested for a couple of misdemeanors one with a mandatory 1 day jail time. This may not seem like a big deal but he is only 19 and didn't...more need a criminal record and certainly not at the start of his adult life. I found Jennifer Cannon-Unione who not only walked my son and I through the charges she calmed the whole situation. She exudes a persona which garners confidence. She was able to to make the appearance that day as his attorney and have his plea noted without our having to go to court. She then gathered all the material facts of the case and very clearly spelled out my son's options. She was experienced and had even worked with the prosecutor before on another case which was helpful in working a deal on my son's. She was able to get one of the charges dropped and the other handled in such a way my son has essentially no criminal record and he did not have any jail time etc. Jennifer's expertise and knowledge of the criminal system not only saved the day gave me great peace of mind and my son also. If I or anyone I know ever needs a criminal attorney I won't hesitate to go to or refer others to Dixon-Cannon!!!! Pros: accessible, caring, empathetic, personable, Cons: none view less
Before I found Ms. Kristen, I had consulted with 5 other attorneys. I initially consulted with her on the phone and 3 minutes into the conversation I knew she was the \"one.\" Through Ms. Kristen, I have filed for dissolution, temporary orders and a domestic violence protect...moreion order. It's a very complex divorce case. She had the most knowledge out of all of the attorneys I had spoken with. She knew about jurisdiction and emergency jurisdiction laws, not just for the state of Washington but out of state as well. She has much experience in relocation (with children). She is fierce, strong and fights for me like I am her family. She has given me many options and scenarios so I never feel overwhelmed and know what is coming/expected. Whenever things don't go as planned she comes up with something to remedy it. She makes me feel comfortable and is always available (email, phone, & even text). She listens, is caring and works very hard. My husband holds an esteemed position in the community and she is never intimated about going up against him. She has many years of experience and I would not trust anyone else with my family law issues from this point on. I highly recommend her. She is worth EVERY penny!!view less
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.