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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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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Words cannot express enough how incredible John Luke Weaver is, not only as an attorney, but as a human being. My world was turned upside down last December on the worst night of my entire life. After a long day of orientation for my new job, class for my BSN degree at school, and hours at my second job, I met my best friend for a couple of drinks to decompress. After a misjudgment in my alcohol level and being completely exhausted as well, I drove home, but was followed by a police officer. I refused all sobriety test, but was forced to give my blood for testing. This was my first attempt and my record was perfect until then. After being shoved around and put into jail for 8 hours, I was able to be bonded out by my husband. I immediately went home and called every attorney in three surrounding counties. Every attorney I spoke to was short with me and lead the conversation with a price. All of them gave me promises and sugar coated deals without even hearing my story. I was exhausted with hearing the same thing over and over, until I finally found John Luke Weaver. He understood I was a mother, had a family and children to protect, and was only concerned with helping me get through this nightmare. After meeting with him and his amazing staff, I knew my prayers had been answered and my worries were lifted off my shoulders and put into his hands without any doubt in my mind. He did not sugar coat the facts and did not throw prices in my face. His only concern was my well being and getting me through this as a team. He spent countless hours and days watching the police video and dissecting the report for any mistakes the officer could have made. He was in it to win it and he did not give up on me whatsoever. My case was very difficult and the police officer was a pro. I was charged with 7 counts, but John Luke got 6 counts dismissed. He was able to get me the minimum for a DUI and on only 1 count without any more jail time, which in itself was a blessing. Every step of the way, I felt like I was his only client and he was completely focused on me, knowing he had many other clients he was working with. Even if I called him everyday he returned my call promptly, answered my questions, and eased my mind. I felt peace with him on my side as my attorney and not many can say that about attorneys. He was able to get me a continuance to save my new job and keep me in school until I was ready. He also was able to keep my driver’s license active for almost a year after that day until it was time to go before the judge. He then convinced the prosecutor to allow me to plead nolo contendere (no contest) instead of pleading guilty, which will save my career in the future. That dreadful day came and I was so nervous, but John Luke again eased my nerves, took control and I barely had to say a word in front of the judge. We walked out and all my fears were gone because of that incredible man. Even after his job was done he did not leave me out there hanging and still gave me advisement for my thousand of questions. John Luke Weaver is beyond an amazing attorney, he is an amazing person. Thank you John Luke Weaver and your staff for getting me through this nightmare and saving my career and helping me and my family. You are the best of the best and God bless you!
When choosing an attorney one must remember that your legal counsel is an extension of yourself. How that attorney interacts with the opposing counsel has a direct influence on your case. I initially chose Jeff Heller to represent me in several cases over the past few years, based largely on recommendations from other attorneys. After having Jeff represent me over the past few years, I fully appreciate the high regard his fellow lawyers hold for him. I relied upon Jeff to negotiate complex issues, and to interact with other attorneys in a professional manner, and he exceeded my expectations in every situation. In one particularly difficult matter, the personalities on the opposing side were quite opposed to settlement, and Jeff demonstrated a high level of determination and resolve in finally getting the matter resolved to my satisfaction.As a former Marine Judge Advocate, Jeff has a high level of professional ethics and standards, and has earned the respect of other attorneys, judges and court officers throughout the region. He has an excellent grasp of complex legal issues, and takes the time to make sure that the client is properly informed as to all aspects of the case. The entire staff at Jeff’s office has the same high standards, and is both competent and easy to work with. My phone calls were always answered pleasantly, my questions were given high priority, and I always knew that my case was being handled properly.
Jeff rocks! I was recommended to him by a friend and it was the best recommendation of a lawyer I could've got. I was charged with a DUI and reckless driving earlier this year. I blew under the legal limit of a .06 but because I had a past DUI 8 years prior, I had a VERY hard case to get the outcome I desired and it was very likely that because of my past I was going to get charged with a second DUI which would've have turned my world upside down. Jeff worked hard on my case, and did an amazing job negotiating with the prosecutor and arresting officer to get the best possible outcome, reduced to reckless driving and to keep away another DUI from my record. He was very helpful over the months I worked with him and always kept me updated. He handled my case in a very professional way, prompt with returning my phone calls and on top of everything that needed to be done to better my case. He was also compassionate towards me as this was a very rough time in my life. After jumping through hoops to help myself in court, Jeff got my sentence reduced to reckless driving which as the judge said, was a very rare case. I HIGHLY recommend Jeff Heller as an attorney and will definitely use him again if I need to in the future!!
I hired Mr. Heller as my attorney after I was caught with 2 marijuana misdemeanors and also a speeding ticket. Being from Indiana I relied heavily on reviews and recommendations from the area, and he had the greatest outcomes for the situation I was in. Jeff is very professional, understanding, and is not quick to judge you based on your situation. At first I thought all hope was lost and I would have heavy fines, and punishment. However, Mr. Heller told me he would get me the best outcome possible, and didn't disappoint. A little probation, which is allowing me to continue my job traveling the country as long as I check in my phone or mail, and a small amount of fines is all I have been given, as well as the charges not being on my record upon completion of the probationary process. If you are looking for an understanding and respectful attorney who treats you as a valued client, Mr. J.M. Heller is who I highly recommend!!!
I could not be more pleased with the outcome of my case, thanks to the work of Jeff Heller. The state of Georgia had assigned him as my lawyer, due to my inability to afford one at the time. To my surprise, my case was treated like it was just as important as a high dollar client’s case. After 7 months of court dates, for which I was only present for 2 because of a career move to Jacksonville, Fl., Jeff Heller managed to have my entire case dropped. I’m a recent college graduate entering into my early years of my career in advertising and I did not need this injustice on my record. Jeff Heller saw this and managed to make this issue go away. He saved me time, money and I know for future issues in the state of Georgia, I will be using him as my lawyer (A paying one this time!).
We hired Mr. J.M. (Jeff) Heller to represent our son in a legal case versus the state. We could not have been more pleased with his professional service and the services of his firm as we were kept well informed step by step of procedures, along with the progress of our son’s case. Mr. Heller speaks in a language that we understood, he is personable, honest, sympathetic and very knowledgeable with the laws in our area. Our calls and questions were answered promptly and honestly. Our experience with the legal system, as challenging as it was has been wonderful and we would happily refer a family or friend to Mr. Heller’s firm. We are very grateful to be represented by your firm and the overall actions taken to ensure the best outcome for our case.Thank You,Mark S.
Fortunately, our first need for a lawyer was a positive situation! Mr. Heller listened to our situation collecting the facts and quickly assured us of a positive outcome. New to the legal arena, we had no prior knowledge of interpreting the legal jargon. Mr. Heller always returned our calls in a timely fashion and patiently answered our questions. The biggest payoff was the day in court. He kept our emotions at bay, met with us in confidence beforehand, negotiated with the opposing lawyer and presented our case to the judge. We are positive the outcome of our situation would not have been flawless without his help. The outcome of our case was much better than expected and a result of his tenacity and work ethic.
I was arrested just under a year ago for a DUI offense. This being a new experience for me, I searched google, found Jeff Heller, and hired him immediately after consultation. After almost of year of going back and forth with the Cherokee courts system, Jeff advised we take the case to trial. It was an extremely unnerving endeavor for me, but Jeff remained confident and resolute. He was professional and enthusiastic during my trial, and he had clearly done his homework. The jury came back with a verdict of Not Guilty on all charges. I could not be happier with Jeff and his team. I would strongly recommend Jeff Heller to anybody seeking legal representation.
I found myself in a situation where I needed a lawyer unexpectedly. Mr. Heller took my call and reviewed my case and told me that if he didn't think he had something to work with our conversation would have been a lot shorter then it was. He took my case on such short notice, about a week prior to court. Mr. Heller was professional and and did a very outstanding job. I was able to get the result i was looking for in court. If you are looking for an honest lawyer that can get the job done Mr. Heller is with out a doubt the man to call. Thank you again Mr. Heller!
After calling many attorneys Jeff Heller was the only one that acted like he wanted to be on our side. He absolutely is the attorney you want representing you. It seemed as though the others felt we were at fault but not him he stood up for our rights and cleared up all our problems with the right attitude and success. His knowledge of the law together with his willingness to be on our side when everyone else acted like we should go to jail, enable us clear up our problem without any fine or time. I would Trust to do what needs to be done!
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.