How Do I Identify a Phishing Scam? »
Phishing scams are getting more sophisticated, but there are ways to tell before you click that link.
Phishing scams are getting more sophisticated, but there are ways to tell before you click that link.
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…
We are so thankful for Balbus Law Firm. My husband was injured in a car accident and out of work. We had no way to pay monthly bills and medical bills kept piling up. Bankruptcy was inevitable. Balbus treated us with dignity and respect. He addressed all our questions in a timely fashion. He was kind and understanding. I would recommend Balbus Law Firm to anyone going through a bankruptcy.
6/26/18 With the help of Attorney Balbus, I successfully made it thru my Meeting of Creditors without falling apart. He completely prepared me by doing a mock interview with all of the possible questions the Trustee may ask. He also suggested that I get there earlier so I could watch and listen to other cases. I'm so grateful. This completely put me at ease. It was obvious my Trustee had great respect for him. Attorney Balbus is the real deal. It was so difficult to find someone who I was comfortable with. I encourage you to share his name on social media. You never know who is in a similar situation and is looking for light at the end of the tunnel and Attorney Balbus the answer.
I am in the beginning stages of filing. Attorney Balbus had a three page agenda for our initial meeting. Everything was covered. He made an awkward situation comfortable and was kind and NOT condescending. 5 Stars!
Attorney Chabb was so professional when it came to helping me with my divorce. He was empathetic, supportive, educated and communicative. If I had any questions, he was quick to reply. My case was relatively simple, but he still made it tolerable, even though I was very emotional. I would recommend him to anyone looking for legal advice/help. He was the best to work with and I couldn't have asked for a better experience in such a difficult time.
After my mistake of letting an old hospital bill get to the point of a wage withholding, I contacted them and said I wanted to just pay the bill in full. They took my debit card info and said they would contact my employer to stop the wage with holding. A week later, they tell my employer that they aren't able to take a payment by credit/debit card. My employer was very annoyed and gave me the phone - I was told "I was going to call you today". Not acceptable. I'm not going to pay it AND have my wages with held. I was told I needed a bank check, personal check or money order. I've mailed the personal check. -- only after they sent my employer a letter that they did not need to with hold my wages. - which they said "this week" and that they will need to confirm for the next week. This is just ridiculous. The person we are dealing with is Diane. She has been pleasant but absolutely incompetent. Calling that office is also a nightmare.
I had a pending dispute wth Danbury hospital over a bill. Robt Peat sent me a noticee for small claims court. I had to reply by 9/13/16. I returned a letter, court papers and other information about the dispute to him, certified, which he recieved on 9/12. Yesterday, I recd a court decision because I " had not filed an Answer by the answer date." Obviously, this is untrue. The court added penalties of $100.75, plus the incorrect charge that is in dispute. I have been ordered to pay weekly. In my opinion, Either this attorney is incompetent, inefficient, or dishonest, I don't know which.
9/14/16 very unprofessional staff. Rude and unqualified to answer questions regarding a legitimate error on their part. A mistake by them was made on a judgement release pertaining to Book & Page numbers. This caused confusion on my title search. They admitted fault and sent a new Release to me. When I brought it to my Town Clerk they asked for an additional $53.00. I asked Flanagan & Peat if I could pick up a check for the additional filing fee at which time they questioned me and said I might spend the money on myself instead of paying the fee! Finally after some time I was told attorney Flanagan would physically bring the Release to be filed. They could not tell me when this would get done. I have to appear in court in a few days. I will be filing a complaint with American Bar Association as well as the BBB.
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.