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 …
2121 N California BlvdWalnut Creek, CA 94596
From Business: Bowles & Verna, founded in 1985, is a general civil practice law firm specializing in civil litigation and dispute resolution. The firm provides services in a wid…
1943 1st AveWalnut Creek, CA 94597
From Business: We also have experience in Family Law covering divorce, child custody, child & spousal support, separation, property & asset division mediation and conflict resol…
1676 N California Blvd Ste 550Walnut Creek, CA 94596
From Business: David Anderson has nearly twenty years of experience in business, real estate, and construction litigation. Through vigorous advocacy and conscientious advice he …
1350 Treat Blvd , Ste 400Walnut Creek, CA 94597
From Business: Wagner Kirkman Blaine Klomparens & Youmans LLP operates on the fundamental principle of providing the highest quality, aggressive legal representation for our cli…
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…
There is no shortage of competent family law attorneys who will ably and reliably cross all the "t"'s and dot all the "i"'s and guide you through the mountain of paperwork and details threatening to consume you as your divorce moves inexorably toward its conclusion. However, not all of them have over 25 years of experience in negotiating and actively promoting a win-win and healing approach in the high-conflict torture known as "dissolution of marriage" (or, as we civilians refer to it, d-i-v-o-r-c-e). If you are fortunate enough to have a consultation with Tom Wolfrum, the first thing you will probably notice is his calm and reassuring manner and his excellent listening skills. The second thing you will notice is that the walls of his office are lined, not with the requisite sea of legal references anchoring the shelves of most law offices, but with a collection of tomes about relationships, emotions, psychology, family dynamics, trends in therapy, and all the other stuff that divorce, its prelude, and its aftermath are really made of, but which other attorneys don't talk about. Which is to say: Tom Wolfrum is not merely an accomplished legal technician and master crafter of solutions; he is a creative and holisitic practitioner of family law. He and his superb staff are acutely aware of the pain, the shock, and the roller coaster ride their clients are enduring when they walk into the office, and they strive in every respect to listen respectfully, attentively, supportively, without judgment--often with gentle humor and encouragement--and to promote client healing as part of the collaborative approach to the dissolution process. Nonetheless, Mr. Wolfrum can be as tough as the situation warrants to produce the best outcome for his clients. He is an experienced litigator and, if you are unfortunate enough to end up in court, you want him on your side. It is a comfort to know he maintains his professional edge and expertise as a member of various local and national panels, contributes to national publications, and is a sought-after subject matter expert in certain areas of family law (inter-state child custody and child support, I think; but you'd have to ask him.) When I was shopping for a divorce lawyer, one of the first attorneys I spoke with explained that the dissolution process is all paper-driven; it's just a matter of going through all the steps and having the stamina and patience to see it through to the end. From a purely technical perspective, that's true. And in that respect, the Nolo Press self-help books are a tremendous resource to help you work collaboratively with your legal team. But if you want a comprehensive glimpse through the prism of a multi-dimensional process, guided by successful, accomplished and creative representation, contact the Wolfrum office. P.S. -- They serve really good coffee, too!
I was a single mom with a 2 yr old baby. My son's biological father wanted nothing to do with us, and did not want to pay a dime for support. He was in the military, and thought because of that he did not have to do a single thing. The judge in martinez ruled in his favor, for $100 a month support, no medical insurance, no bottles, diapers, pre-school / daycare to pay. Upset and a wreck, I was referred to Carolyn, she jumped in and saved the day! No kidding. She got a new trial, new judge, and set everything straight. Child support went up, to what it legally was, and should have been all along. He had to cover my son with insurance (he was in the Air Force, so he did not even have to pay for it), half of day care, and basic living expenses. She is amazing. My brother is going through some issues with his child and the biological mother being a monster, and I have told him to call Carolyn. I was her client over 9 years ago. She was an insperation to me. One day, when my kids are older, I hope to go to Law School for family law. She gave me something to believe in during the battle I was going through. Because of her, I would like to give back to someone else what she gave to me. Carolyn, if you read this. Thank you from Jennifer and Collin.
When my husband and I went to see Mr. Kutrubes we were on the brink of losing our home and previously had two absolutely horrible attorney's that took tons of our money and made matters so mucked up that we thought there was no hope. One of our former attorney's in fact took our money and was then suspended from the Bar for misconduct within days of taking our money. We had a bad loan that we were stuck in and had been fighting with our bank for over 4 years when Mr. Kutrubes and his staff worked a miracle by saving our home, fixing the mess we were in and obtaining for us a very affordable loan modification. That was a year ago and we are now on the mend. With each passing month since the ordeal, we continue to improve and are beginning to put the whole horrible ordeal behind us. I can not say enough about Mr. Kutrubes. He has been without a doubt one of the best attorney's we've ever had.
Dear Len, I would like to thank you for an excellent job you have done for both my husband and I. It is a sigh of relief to know that we are protected under the bankruptcy law. It has been so stressful for many many months but now at least I know that we can start fresh. It will still be a struggle and can only hope we get back to the normal way of things. We are very satisfied with what we feel is a personalize interaction between you, as our attorney and us, as your client. I am in awe on how all this quickly came into fruition, in less than a month! I'm glad we chose you from a list of many. Sincerely, XXXXXXXXX
At a difficult time, Mr. Loewenstein provided exactly the counsel I needed to get through a long and challenging case. His legal knowledge is exceptional. He listens to you and responds thoughtfully, and does not waste any time. He always does what is best for the client, and has very integrity. His office staff is always nice and hardworking to make things easier on the client. I highly recommend the law office of Peter Loewenstein to anyone who is in need of legal counsel regarding family law, divorce, or mediation.
My friend referred me to Ben Glen when my wife was injured in an auto accident. Mr. Glen was considerate and kind. He went right to work, explained everything as the case went along, and promptly won us a settlement that simply astonished us. He's wonderful to work with. We've since referred two friends to him who needed a lawyer. They have both been as happy with him as we were. Personal consideration of his sort was more than we expected. Thankful in Concord.
I can't say enough about Stephen Fleischer and his team. Being in Hawaii and only having phone and email communications available, I was worried that my case might be put on the back-burner. Far from it! Stephen and his team was responsive, proactive and, in my humble opinion, went to great lengths to surpass what was expected of them. I would recommend Stephen without any reservations. M. Higa Honolulu, HI
I have known Yolanda for many years. My now wife. separated from her ex-husband at the time, used Yolanda. This was a Highly Contested divorce. She remained in touch and up to speed on case, all while dealing with her other cases. She is very professional and very personable. She is simply the best. She is highly respected as an attorney.
I have known Carol since 1998 when she asked me to upgrade her phone system. She has been the most helpful person I have ever met when ever I needed help. I cannot say enough about her except if you want some one to do the right job for you then she is the one you should depend on. Thank you Carol.
Walnut Creek DUI and criminal attorney David Pastor was a great help with my recent legal matter. My case was dismissed in court for lack of compelling evidence brought forth by the D.A. Thanks for handling my case in a fast and timely manner that allowed me to resume my work!
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.