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…
If you are like me and most people, you probably have never had the need to hire a Criminal Attorney. As they say though....."there is a first time for everything". That time for my family came last night, 3/24/10. My daughter was arrested and taken to the Travis County Jail at 10:30pm. As soon as I was notified, I tried calling the jail to see when I could see my daughter and what I needed to do to get her out of jail. I was lucky in that I reached a very nice "live" person who informed me there was nothing I could do at the time due to the late hour and that going down to the jail would not help as they would not let me in the door. The person I spoke with me directed me to the Travis County Jail web site for further info and told me I had the option of hiring an attorney. I looked in the Yellow Pages and ran across "Tillman Braniff Attorneys. I noticed that someone had rated them as 5 stars so that made me feel much better. Called their number and was immediately connected to Brian Tillman. As it was after 11:00pm, Brian was not able to reach a live person to get her released but promised to follow-up on it as soon as the jail opened at 8:00am and would get back to me ASAP. Additionally, he gave me his cell phone number as well. Promptly at 8:10am, Brian called me and the arrangements were made for him to represent my daughter. Brian met with my daughter shortly after that and was able to let her know he was working on her case. My daughter was released by noon today....thank god! If you are like me.....scared and not knowing what to do next....do your self a favor and hire Brian's firm immediately. I met Brian at his office by 9:00am where he patiently explained to me what was going on and what he had done to date. He also met with my daughter and explained this all to her as well. The compassion that Brian showed to me and to my daughter will never be forgotten. I never once felt like he was being judgemental and am so very greatful to him for his help. We all hope we will never need a Criminal Attorney but should you find yourself in that position.....hiring his firm will be the best thing you ever did!! My family will always be grateful to him!!
I would like address the review that was posted by pbj.sweets on 08/28/2013. First, because of confidentiality, I cannot specifically address the actual specifics or results of the case. However, I can say that: 1.we never lie to our clients 2.phone calls are returned within 24 hours 3.we always pay medical expenses that we are legally required to pay (i.e. hospital liens and insurance subrogation obligations), and give the client the option to pay the medical expenses that we are not legally obligated to pay. In addition, we always give our clients a ‘settlement statement” reflecting all the expenses, attorney fees, and outstanding medical that we are paying, so that there is no ambiguity as to what was paid and what was not. 4.Very rarely does a party “admit fault” in a personal injury matter. The reason cases go to mediation and/or trial is because there is a dispute with some aspect of the case. And we never tell a client mediation “will never happen”. Most jurisdictions REQUIRE a case be mediated before it can go to trial. 5.We never tell clients at mediation (or during any phase of a case) that they have “to settle or get nothing”. We advise clients, based on our years of experience, what we feel a case may be worth (taking into account many factors, such as facts of the case, jurisdiction, relevant case law, etc…), and whether we feel a client should accept an offer. The decision to settle a case or go to trial is ALWAYS the clients. As to pbj.sweets, it is obvious you were not satisfied with the results of your case. Texas is a conservative jurisdiction, and the Texas Supreme Court is not Plaintiff friendly. However, I also think many potential clients have unreasonable expectations because of the TV ads by other attorneys touting large settlement amounts of their former clients. All cases are different and many factors come into play when dealing with personal injury cases, and any attempt to imply that all “back injuries” are worth $77,206.50 is disingenuous and misleading. Manuel R. Criado Owner, Criado Law Group
If you are anything like me, getting into trouble can be a bit amusing. The entire production of being caught, quickly concocting what is usually a horrible plan to get out of being caught, and then finding yourself literally caught in the back of some Barney Fife's police car wondering who your gonna have to beg to get out this time. It's hilarious! What wasn't hilarious was the judge refusing to court appoint me an attorney, possibly having this awful charge stuck on my record, and the sudden realization of what an idiot I truly was for getting myself wrapped up in such a mess. My previous attorney dropped me because of non-payment, so the judge instructed me to wonder around the court house till I found an attorney; forcing me to publically announce the act I had commited. So I ignored him and did it the old fashioned way- open the phone book and point. That's how I met Brian. I was really embarrassed because they said there might be a videotape, but Brian was sensitive to my case and respected me regardless. It didn't take long for him to get me a deffered disposition, and even though I had trouble with my payments to him as well, he wrapped up my case and will be taking care of my expunction in a year. Brian isn't like any stereotypical idea of an attorney. He was reassuring, professional, treated me with respect, and answered every one of my phone calls. I know I am not just a dollar amount to him and that he does care about my outcome in life, not just in my case. In him you don't just find a lawyer, you find a friend. And I know that if I ever find myself in another "amusing situation" I can count on him to bail me out, literally.
I live Garland, Texas and like many parents have a son that attends college in Austin. My son was involved in an incident that resulted in him being charged with DWI. This was the beginning of a period of time that was trying for him, myself and especially for his Mother. We felt that we needed to help our son and decided to search for an Attorney. His Mother and I spoke with numerous Law Firms that proclaimed expertise and success with charges related to DWI. Many promised dismissal of the charges before even hearing my son’s side of the incident. I have never been involved with something like this before and so I had to rely on what I heard and observed from the attorneys who I considered. In conclusion, I selected Mr. Ken Gibson because he responded in a timely manner, shared with me the reality of the situation which was that he MAY be successful and more importantly promised that he would put forth his best effort and he did. His price was not the most expensive and it was not the cheapest - he was middle of the road in terms of cost and he represented himself in every way to be honest and forthright which I can attest that he is. In conclusion Mr. Gibson was very successful in representing my son, and ended up getting his DWI dismissed. My son did attend education classes related to the charges and was transformed to a more mature adult by this experience which included pearls of wisdom that were provided to him from Mr. Gibson's Law Firm. If I had to be represented again in any legal matter related to an area of law practiced by Mr. Ken Gibson, he would be my first choice. Sincerely Dr. T W
We switched to Travis Turner midway through a child custody suit and he immediately took action and filed things that should have been filed by our previous attorney and researched and answered questions we had yet to get answered within the first two days of receiving the case. Looking back, the decision to change to Travis is what changed the direction of the whole case, which at that time was not very favorable for us. This was a very difficult case with numerous parties involved and Travis had the skill, knowledge, staff and expertise to pull it off. He kept us informed throughout the entire process and would send us copies of everything he filed and every response from the opposing party. He responded very timely to all of our questions and fears, was very honest and forthright about what we could expect and was always a step ahead of the opposing party. He and his paralegal, Denise, were very well prepared for trial and had thought out every possible scenario that could occur and had a well thought out strategy to counter. In addition, Travis and Denise truly had a vested interest in our case and the best interest of the child at stake. Throughout the case, there were times when fear would grip us, but Travis was always there to offer support and assurance. He understood the emotional roller coaster we were going through and was always able to make us feel more reassured and confident. In the end, we won our case and are forever grateful for the hard work and dedication of Travis Turner and his staff. I would highly recommend this law firm.
I can not say enough praises about Travis Turner and his paralegal Andrea Gulley!!! My divorce started out with a bad attorney. I called Travis to help me get out from under the previous attorney. Within 1 day I was in his office discussing options and what to do. From that point forward I never had any further worries. They quickly transferred everything under their firm and started resolving things as quickly as possible. My ex made things pretty nasty and costly due to silly and petty things. But Travis and Andrea pushed through and got me everything I wanted for me and my child. We worked for a fair deal for the well being of my 2 year old child. There was not one day that I went with a question because either Travis or Andrea kept me in the loop at every moment. There were days when we had numerous phone calls trying to figure things out. They always fought for what was best. And when I felt like I was going to lose everything and jump off a cliff they were there for me reassuring me every step of the way. I can never say enough thank yous for that reason. They became my best friends for 6 very long months. They helped me through the toughest time in my life and now I am happier than I have been in years thanks to their help and guidance. I was never mislead on anything and I know I can trust everyone at this firm for the best interest of me and my child.
I found myself in need of an attorney for representation against a DWI charge. This was a very frightening and traumatic time in my life and Ken helped me through it. From the first time I talked to him, he was very comforting and reassuring. He told me not to worry about the charge, to go live my life and leave the worrying to him. When I had questions, he would answer them personally and promptly. He has the expertise in this field of law that I needed. He has a take charge attitude that is positive but realistic. He and Park have an excellent working relationship with prosecutors and judges. The prosecutors know that the Gibson Law Firm is not afraid to go to court to get the outcome they want for their client. This in turn makes negotiations more successful. They are professionals who are at the top of their game. I never would have thought it possible, but they were able to negotiate a DISMISSAL of charges. I learned of Ken by reading online reviews. I want to recommend him to you if you are in need of this service. I would not hesitate to recommend him to friends and family members should they ever discover themselves in this position. This was the best money I have ever spent. I am very thankful I found Ken.
I was at a loss when my son found himself in need of a criminal attorney. I have been a long time Austinite and have a list of good lawyers for business and family law...just not a criminal attorney. I was given the name of Brian Tillman from a well respected friend. I am forever grateful! My son and I were both in unfamiliar territory not knowing what to do. Not only did Brian treat us both the utmost respect, he explained the process and his plan of defense in terms that we both understood...Not legalize verbage. He had several obstacles to overcome in getting my sons charges lessened. Mr. Tillman's tenancity and knowledge got a better result than we could have imagined! Even when "suprises" popped up along the way, (yet another violation), Brian took control of the situation. He immediately made contact with my son and took the initative in communicating with me. His knowledge of the law, ability to take control and calm demeaner sincerely brought my son and I peace in the midst of Chaos! Brian Tillman is a rare breed...Smart, Savy and tough as nails when fighting for your rights, yet respectful, gracious and patient with his clients.
Most of us hope we never have to hire a lawyer. Still, there are often circumstances in this increasingly litigious society where it may be necessary. Being accused of a crime is difficult enough to deal with, finding competent attorneys to help in your defense is often even more difficult. A couple of years ago, I found myself needing the services of a good attorney. Believe me, I researched many of them. I finally narrowed my search down to just a few. I was most impressed with Brian Tillman's explanation of what I was charged with, and how my case would proceed. I was ready for the long haul to have either a jury trial, or find an acceptable compromise with the prosecution. While it took almost a year and a half, we finally achieved an acceptable compromise. During that time, Rhett Braniff joined Brian as a partner. I felt like I had two lawyers for the price of one. Anyway, even after reaching an acceptable agreement with the prosecution, Brian and his office continued to follow up and help me with a clerical issue in my case. I highly recommend Tillman Braniff PLLC. They are courteous, professional, and on your side when you need them.
Great Attorney’s! Brian Tillman and Rhett Braniff turned a bad situation into the best possible outcome. Our family highly recommends these fellows. We got a referral for Tillman Braniff from a friend and it took meeting Brian just once to know he was going to help us. My son was charged with misdemeanor and felony charges. He had never been in trouble before and therefore we had no idea what to do or how the process would work. We initially met with Brian and he really put us at ease. He really has the client’s best interest in mind and I truly appreciated it. He explained in detail the process and all of our options. Both Brian and Rhett represented my son in court so it was like he had a team. In the end we were very pleased with the outcome and truly couldn’t have expected anything more. No trial and all charges dismissed as long as he finishes a county program. I’m not sure that any other attorney would have gotten his charges dismissed with no fines or community service. Once eligible, we will definitely be using Tillman Braniff for the expungement process.
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.