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 …
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From Business: Marilee Marshall is Certified by the California State Bar as both a Criminal Law Specialist and an Appellate Law Specialist. There are presently only five other a…
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…
I used Platinum Law Group to successfully obtain a loan modification from Wachovia Mortgage. I did pay them an advance fee of nearly $2,000 for preparing the necessary documents to submit to Wachovia, but they were quite up front about not needing to do so if I just wanted to deal with the government's debt counselor hot line and (I assume) their red tape. At this moment I only owe them $220 for the final modification review, but Paul Hernandez is telling me that they are going to withdraw $250 from my account &quot;per our agreement&quot; with them. I just sent him a copy of the signed agreement to prove his error (why should I have to do that?).At the beginning, I was serviced by a nice young lady (Bethany). All of a sudden, I started getting no responses to my emails and phone calls...and I was getting calls from the Wachovia case manager who could not get through to any of the SIX people assigned to my case at Platinum Law Group. I finally called and asked to speak with Bethany's supervisor, but was told &quot;oh, Paul Hernandez has taken over for her&quot; -- and this was 2 weeks after she left! I finally got him to call me to give me an update.I am upset because of the subsequent complete lack of service I received from Paul Hernandez. I would send him emails with specific questions -- and he never answered any of them. He did make me re-sign and re-submit documents that had already been done through Bethany. Most (of the few) communications I received from him were short and curt and did nothing to set my mind at ease about the progress of the case.I had questions about the actual modification offer that were NEVER answered by Paul Hernandez. I wanted to know what the ramifications were if I did not accept this offer -- were there better options that I could get if we kept going? What did Platinum Law Group think about the offer -- was it typical? I ended up having to call and speak with the Wachovia case manager myself to get my questions answered -- and he was VERY NICE and spent a LONG TIME on the phone with me. Now, the modifications documents will be sent to me directly by Wachovia to sign and submit -- yet I am being charged $110.00 by Platinum Law Group for that service. Paul Hernandez's response to me: &quot;You have your loan modification documents in your possession. We got you approved for the loan modification we did our job.&quot;Ultimately, I am happy to have received a modification when so many are now being denied eligibility, and I think that if Bethany at Platinum Law Group had not originally counseled me in what to do to begin, we may have gone about this the wrong way (as a self-employed contractor, it was a little different for us...). BUT, SPECIFICALLY, I AM EXTREMELY FRUSTRATED WITH PAUL HERNANDEZ.
Early this year, I was arrested unexpectedly for a misdemeanor DUI. I only had a few drinks, and did not think much of it, as I drove home. I was pulled over for tinted windows, by CHP in Rowland Heights. The officer decided to give me a field sobriety test since it was Saturday night. I passed everything, and submitted to the chemical test. I was then taken into custody soon after. I was in complete shock and disbelief. Nothing like this has ever happened to me. As I sat in the cell, I contemplated what my future would be, considering that I am a medical professional. I knew I needed professional help right away. The moment I was released I found Michael Kraut. I scheduled an appointment to meet with him, and he immediately saw my anguish, pain, and suffering. He understood immediately what was in jeopardy, and told me he would do everything in his power to help me. He kept reassuring me with his kind demeanor and sensitivity. Once I started googling him, and read other reviews from his past clients, my mind was put to ease. I knew he was the one that could help me out of this jam, and save my professional and personal life. Michael was always available. Always there to listen, regardless how busy he was. The time that he spent with me, he was dedicated, and solely there for my needs. He would always put aside extra time for me, when I would walk into his office in tears. I knew we were moving in the right direction when he told me to go and pick up a new drivers license--because we had won the DMV hearing. Soon after in a meeting with Michael he surprised me--with what I was dying to hear --charges had been dropped!!! I couldn't believe it! He was truly an angel sent from above. Trust me, I learned my lesson, and I vowed never to even have a sip and get behind the wheel. Michael taught me a life lesson, and I will be forever grateful.Please learn from me. Everyone makes mistakes. I get that. But if you find yourself in a life jam, Michael is the man you want by your side. His professionalism, fighting spirit, kind heart, and of course, HARVARD LAW EDUCATION, has made him a game changer!! --Dan M.
In 2012 I was charged with two counts of assault with deadly weapon charges one count of domestic violence and one count of attempted murder by Van Nuys Da's Office my bail as $1,100.000 due to 3rd strike allegations by the Da's office I was depressed and sitting in a maximum security jail in downtown Mens Central Jail with no hope. Due to the seriousness of the charges against me I contacted a different attorney from jail who initially took my case after a week went by and I appeared Van Nuys court I was still sitting in custody and the Judge didn't lower my bail because of flight risk. I then contacted Kraut Law Group and spoke with Michael Kraut I heard his the best in L.A. initially I was skeptical and as everyone knows lawyers never come through what they promise at the end they just want to take your money and make you plead guilty and save their reputation front of Da's and Judges. Mr. Kraut appeared in court first appearance and got my bail reduced to $250,000.00 and got me released same day on a bond I didn't believe saw my case and immediately understood what was going on and my ex wife had tried to gain custody of my children since I had 100% custody and tried to get advantage in family court. The District attorneys office was fighting very hard and in fact but end of the Mr. Kraut brought everything in to light to the Da's office and the Judge not once he cared about what the Da's office thought of him or his reputation and future relationship with the Da's office before me! I appeared maybe 7 times in court and my lawyer Mr. Kraut got the whole thing dismissed on April 2nd 2013. Thanks to him now I can go on in my life.!!!!!
I was accused of a DUI in the city of Glendale in 2011. Naturally I was stressing about finding a good attorney that was actually out to help me and not just looking for a paycheck. I began looking through reviews and found Mike Kraut, a great attorney with years of experience, who was also the ex-DA in Glendale, and a Harvard graduate, seemed well equipped to help me out. I called the office and was able to talk to Mike right away, schedule an appointment rather quickly, and just like that it was in his hands. I called Mike on July 4 and he answered my call, what other attorney is going to help on a holiday? He was able to help my case tremendously while also guiding me through all of the DMV's hoops. Any questions I had, any paperwork I needed, Mike was able to help without hesitation. He actually cared about my case and was easy to talk to, both qualities are greatly appreciated in such a high stress time in my life! A standup gentleman with the experience and knowledge to get the job done, I would recommend Mike Kraut to anyone.
Before choosing Denise as my attorney I consulted a handful of lawyers. Not even a single one of them spent as much time as Denise did for our initial consultation. Before taking my case Denise asked all the right questions about the case. Denise was always available to answer my questions and was never confound to 9 to 5 only. Some nights we were exchanging emails and faxes all night long just to get stuff ready. Don’t let her soft speaking and charming manners fool you. When it comes to defending you she is like a lioness. And at the end, simply put, she was able to do the impossible. She really pulled the rabbit out of a hat. She achieved something that no other attorney believed it would be possible. And for that, my life has been changed for better. She will be my attorney for the rest of my life.
Just Say No!I agreed to use Ms. Tolt in a Mediation, and the matter settled. After the Mediation, Ms. Tolt drafted a Declaration for one party against another. In the Declaration, she recited several Attorney/Client conversations and recited Mediation discussions. No Waiver of the Attorney/Client Privilege was made by the Client, and Mediation discussions are not disclosable under any civil circumstances. Cassel v. Superior Court 51 Cal. 4th 113. The Declaration was ultimately provided to Opposing Counsel, which is about the worst possible thing that a Neutral can do in litigation. I believe her actions were irresponsible and unethical, and I will never agree to have Ms. Tolt in a Mediation again.
Mr Sterling,I think your punishment is unfair and ridiculous. I would like to ask you to fund a project at minimal cost to tap players phones and hack emails and social websites to bring proof public that racism is huge in the league and far worse in comparison to what happened with you. If they wish to attack racism in nature let's see how they like when their precious players express racism and we can have them banned as well. Total ridiculous they bring this about over your conversation. We have the connections to monitor everyone affiliated with the NBA and it will help you later in your court proceedings. Thank you for your time, we hope to hear back from you soon.
Attorney Vincent Davis has represented my son and my grandson in various cases over the past 18 years. During these cases not only has he been a great attorney, and successful in our cases, but a true friend and confidant of our family. He has such a calming demeanor, but he is great listener, and a fabulous attorney in the court room. In our most recent family case, he and his associate, attorney Stephanie Davis (his ex wife) represented my grandson; and did everything they promised.As a mother and grandmother, whose had to hire attorneys for her family, none is better. I highly recommend attorney Davis.
From the start, Mike's team set expectations on the process and likely outcomes - didn't feed you the same "We'll definitely solve everything and it will be awesome" sales pitch... he was consultative, realistic, yet incredibly prescriptive about the process most likely to result in success. His team executed that plan and we had a dismissal. Couldn't be happier with how he handled the situation and appreciate his communicative style and compassion.
It was a terrible accident to recall that has happened a couple of months earlier. I was represented by Lavaee Group in the process of getting compensation from the other guy. Its never easy to provide all the required documentation but they have really worked hard to collect all the information. I thank Lavaee Group for their dedication and the efforts they have put in to make it successful.
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.