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 I would have known then what I know now, I would have a lot more money in my pocket....and wouldn't be receiving threatening phone calls from a member of her staff who called me to "make payment arrangements" on the balance they say I owe.Please, please, please don't use this woman... who told me at our first meeting that she doesn't take cases she can't win... and expressed confidence that my matter would be settled quickly...Thousands of dollars later... it still isn't resolved...and... she has done NOTHING .... seriously .... NOTHING ... except show up in court a couple of times... while ignoring the evidence I provided, in order to keep dragging this out...Now I am going to have to fight to a) keep this eoman from turning over my bill (for which they never provided a complete accounting as I have asked for TWICE... when the whole reason I hired her was because I was tired of fighting...
Just because someone has a bad experience doesn't mean they should give negative stars. Very Pleased with Service. Never a Complaint here....Highly Recommend. Thanks.
Blunder after blunder, wasted time and efforts led me to lose confidence in Merrilee's ability to resolve the simplest issues. I do not reccomend.
As a Montana resident visiting Idaho, I was put in jail for my first time for 3 days (a bit harsh) and after months of traveling 10 hours one way to monthly court hearings that lasted 10 minutes because my public pretender was either unprepared or gave the excuse that he was late to a party and he didn't reserve any time to speak with me at all. I was advised that I should hire Mr. John Redal in my defense and I have NEVER been sorry! He worked with me regarding his fees and payment plan & let me use collateral...because of him the court was able to read letters from my doctors and see the situation from my side, when the police department painted me to seem like a reckless out of stater and treated me like a POW, violating some rights that i later decided to just forget after the year long ordeal. I'm just glad i have my license back and it's all over! Thank you John!!!!
This is possibly the most flagerant abuse of a law degree. This woman should not be practicing law. She refuses to return calls, gives blatent misinformation and if you have the misfortune of having her as your attorney check your invoices!!!! Her methods of billing are suspect.
When I became aware of an email Brian Long sent that used slander towards me, I emailed him to ask that he speak professionally in the future. His response was crude and abrasive. I am not sure if this juvenile and aggressive attitude serves him in court (I suspect not) but it makes dealing with Brian Long unpleasant.
Kacey Wall misses deadlines, loses track of important details on her clients, and gives inaccurate information in court. Her incompetence inflames sensitive negotiations and makes simple matters long and complex, greatly increasing the cost to her clients. This information comes from a trusted source who has worked with her for the past three years in addition to three of her former clients. Beware!
She is the best! Betsy was great and her staff was even better. Even if she did not particularly like what I wanted she was with me the entire time. In her words "you are the captain and I am the navigator" and she was true to that the whole time. She made sure that what was being done on my case was what I wanted and she and her staff made sure that I understood all the documents and legal jargon. The entire office was caring and there for me every step of the way. I could call any time and they never seemed as though I was wasting their time. Totally worth her paycheck!
If I could give her no stars I would. Don't Hire her!!!!!! She will waste your money and time and she is only out for her own interests. She will not listen to her clients and cause more trouble for you. It is understandable that a lawyer should look out for the interests of her clients but not by blaspheming the opposing party and if the client has given direction the lawyer should listen not push for her own way!! RUN AWAY!
Don't use this attorney. He was useless, just sat there during every hearing, did not cross examine and when he did he asked useless questions. He did not stand up for us at all in our Child Custody case and he allowed the other persons attorney drag our names in the mud without any argument or objections. Very lazy and I think he is a drinker.
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.