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 …
The 2017 trends are a mix of new and retro, tech-enabled and totally basic.
It’s time to bring long sleeves and long pants out of storage, prep your home and car, and contact the cool weather home/yard contractors.
I had been through a couple attorneys before I hired Michael. I have now been with him for several years, and many court hearings, regarding post-divorce issues. Michael is the first attorney who didn't waste my time—every minute counts when being billed by the hour! As soon as we'd sit down, we got right to business. I liked that! He's the only attorney who's ever taken consistent notes, and actually reviewed them. Even better, ALL communication was directly with Michael. All my previous attorneys would have me communicate with their paralegals. Very little got relayed to my attorney, of whom it mattered, and what did was choppy and inaccurate. What's the point?! That was never the case with Michael. My nickname for Michael is Rainman. (Although he doesn't know it.) During my intake meeting, he asked how old my kids were. I told him. He clarified by asking, "Do you mean X?" He was right! I was so embarrassed! One child had had a birthday and I was wrong! Michael caught that from actually reading my form! What a breath of fresh air! His attention to detail has continued to be impressive over the years. I have come to realize all attorneys will want to help you settle, in your best interest. Prepare for the worst (court), hope for the best (settle). The Boise Judges always seem annoyed. You have a 50/50 chance of winning/loosing. Not good odds. They blame you both for being there, regardless of what you have on the other party. However, you will want a good attorney to guide you through the process, protect your interests, and write up your legal documents in detail and without ambiguity. If you do go to court, you want someone who is well prepared. Either way, Michael is that guy!
Getting arrested for a DUI is a scary, embarrassing and confusing process. I will be the first person to admit, I made a bad decision. I was fortunate, no one was hurt, there was no accident. The process is not easy to understand and certainly not one I wanted to go in alone. There is a great deal of misinformation associated with a charge like this. I called Craig and he set up an appointment immediately. He was very personable and not accusatory. Since my arrest, meeting Craig was the first thing that felt right and I felt that maybe I would get out of this with minimal damage. Craig explained each step he was going to take. Since this was my first offence, he explained what the best and worst case scenarios would be. There was a minimal disruption of my work and personal life. Craig took care of everything. When the time came for my trial, it was reassuring having an experienced attorney who understood the system to represent my interests. Craig did the best job anyone could have done. He explained what was expected of me moving forward and when the time came, would follow up. The cost was very reasonable. When you research online and you read the stories of cost, you get nervous about the total financial impact. Now I can’t speak for everyone, but Craig was very reasonable and the service was terrific. My first advice, is never drink and drive. However, if you do make a mistake, I would highly recommend Craig Atkinson. He did a great job for me and it will be best decision you can make in a confusing and difficult process.
I had never been in trouble with the law before so when I needed legal representation, I didn't know where to turn. I googled defense attorneys and out of the long list of choices, I picked Craig. It was one of the luckiest choices I ever made. I was able to make a personal appointment with him immediately and he thoroughly explained my options and what to expect as my case proceeded. The outcome of my case was beyond fair and reasonable thanks to Craig’s excellent representation. In addition to the time I spent with him about my case, I have learned a lot about Idaho law and criminal proceedings by reading his excellent blog posts. He thoroughly explains aspects of the law and the legal process in plain English. I would recommend Craig to anyone in need of a hardworking, smart defense attorney.
Thanks for the site. i was an immigrant in a strange new country when i was charged. I really needed to speak with a lawyer. i have never talked to a lawyer in my life. I was so nervous. Then i met Craig,he is a lawyer who is personable as an individual and highly professional and intelligent. He make our communication very smooth.He was very patient and helped me feel at ease. Although I was still scared he helped remove the stress and the hopeless felling. i felt genuine optimism,His advice and opinion became a weapon on my side to win my case. The case was dismissed.He helped me get my life back.
I contacted Atkinson Law on a whim, I was not intending to use a lawyer. But after a brief phone call (That Craig himself answered) I was sold. I was totally blown away at the availability of Craig and his staff. They are very patient and willing to explain everything going on with your case. I even asked him about a family legal issue that he was able to provide some insight on. Thank you Craig and Dinko! I appreciate your hard work and awesome business practices.
Craig took on my DUI case. Met with me right away explained all of my options and formulated a game plan on how to win. My case was complicated and Craig took the time to do more case study research to help win my case then I could have ever imagined from a fixed rate attorney. Outstanding commitment!! Really helped me feel comfortable and got me and my family through this bad situation with class, professionalism, and compassion. Highly recommend
Daniel Skinner is worth every penny. Dan is AMAZING! He works his behind off for his clients and is an excellent lawyer. He gave me peace of mind and I am extremely pleased with the results he provided. If you want a lawyer that is dedicated and caring, then I highly recommend Dan Skinner. In my daughter's case, he returned all phone calls promptly and he offered excellent legal advice!
Craig was very professional, yet he was personable as well, which really helps when you are in a bad spot. He makes himself available when you need legal advice, and is prompt in returning emails and phone calls. Craig was quite good at explaining the laws, and what to expect. Overall, I would definitely recommend Craig for criminal defense.
I highly recommend Craig Atkinson's legal services. After an internet search, I interviewed him the next day and found him to be knowledgeable and personable. He gave me a clear view of my circumstances and likely outcomes in court. I found his fees to be very reasonable and I feel very fortunate to have had his competent representation.
I would definitely recommend Craig Atkinson. Havin never been in trouble before, I wasn't sure where to go or what to expect but Craig was great. He stepped up and got me great results on my cases. I really felt like he cared about helping me get the best possible outcome, very professional and great at what he does.
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.