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: Hoffman & Gelfman Attorneys at Law is a Saint Louis, Missouri, based law firm that has been in existence for over 50 years. The firm specializes in cases involvin…
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From Business: 100% of the Law Office of Patrick O'Brien practice is devoted to litigation, protecting the rights of those injured in car, truck and railroad accidents. Patrick …
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From Business: Our firm's legal practice is concentrated specifically in the area of Criminal Defense. With over 35 years of criminal law experience, Mr. Forsyth will counsel yo…
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One of the biggest challenges faced by some head injured people is processing anything new. Meeting a new person who is in a position of authority o…
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…
My son was extradited to St. Louis City jail and then into Medium Security Institution (MSI) for a felony drug possession charge in Missouri. At the same time, he was facing a shoplifting charge in the state of Illinois, also related to drug use. While waiting for his court date at MSI, a fellow inmate recommended John Wilbers. When I contacted Mr. Wilbers, he agreed to meet with my son in jail before we made a decision on which attorney to use. This was extremely helpful as we were in another state and could not fly out to meet attorneys on his behalf. During the jail meeting, my son was won over by John Wilber’s confidence and found that John was licensed to practice in both Missouri and Illinois. This is our family’s first personal experience hiring a private lawyer and it has been a good one. John was accessible by phone and text. If he was in court or busy, he made sure he called or texted back as soon as he could. We did not have a good option for bonding out of jail as my son had no place to stay in Missouri or Illinois. Therefore, John ensured my son’s court dates were expedited dramatically and he spent a minimum amount of time in jail. He kept everything on track. If my son had to use public defenders, he would have stayed at MSI for at least 6 months as they typically set court dates 2 months apart. There was one delay that occurred because the judge that my son was supposed to see was delayed a week due to a prolonged trial. In the meantime, we had bought plane tickets for my son and made numerous other plans based on his original court date. John pulled a miracle by successfully requesting a PR bond (even with the objection of the prosecuting attorney) for release from jail. I believe that PR bonds are very difficult to get for any type of felony. After getting the PR bond, my son was again unfortunately held in limbo because the jail clerks had to personally see a stamped quash of warrant for traffic citations before releasing him. Once again, John rescued my son by sending out his assistant to the jail in the nick of time before the out processing center closed with the quash order. All this occurred on a Friday with plane tickets set for Saturday morning! In short, John handled two felony court cases in two states, several traffic cases, quashing a warrant and going over the discovery of evidence with me and my son. He also made sure he met with my son prior to his final court date as I really wanted my son to have time with his attorney. I didn’t want just a few minutes of time right before the case as typically happens with public defenders. John was able to get the best outcome possible for the bad decisions that my son made. My son received a 3-year SIS probation from Missouri, a unsupervised probation from Illinois, transfer of probation to home state of Colorado, no points on his traffic citations (which John did not charge additionally for), and court-mandated appointment to a drug treatment facility as requested by his parents and agreed to by my son. John’s rates are very reasonable and are fixed rate, so there are no surprises. I am so grateful to God that my son was able to have Mr. Wilbers represent him and help him in so many ways. I am truly indebted to God for that recommendation that my son received while in jail. Now it is up to my son to utilize the grace that has been shown to him. I highly recommend John to anyone needing legal help in criminal offences.
One of the biggest challenges faced by some head injured people is processing anything new. Meeting a new person who is in a position of authority often enhances the stress. Without going into the long list of the challenges before us and for reasons beyond my control, I was under great duress to find an attorney for a Social Security Hearing. The heads up in these cases are usually three or four months rather than less than three weeks as it was. In our hurried search for representation, we noticed attorneys in this area of practice tend to be people of compassion. After seeking and being turned down by four attorneys, we met Mark Dean just eight days before the hearing. Almost immediately, I felt at ease in his presence. My husband’s body language indicated he, too, was feeling positive about Mr. Dean. In our initial meeting, Mr. Dean quickly assessed the needs of the case. Gave us hope that had not been engendered prior to this and sent us on our way expecting to hear from him as to whether or not he would accept the case. Within hours, he let us know he would take the case. He stayed in close contact with us quickly answering every question. The hearing went well and I was awarded benefits. It was so refreshing, to have engaged an attorney who is genuinely kind and is profoundly professional.
My sister and I recently had the pleasure of meeting a miracle in disguise of a suit and tie by the name of John Wilbers. I am very unfamiliar when it comes to handling issues pertaining to felonies, misdemeanors and just the law in general. My sister was facing two felony charges in the state of MO, along with one misdemeanor. We were referred to John by someone with an identical case to my sisters. They were 100% right in saying he is one of the best lawyers to be represented by. Being in my early twenties and a college student, (need I say more?) adding a sizable lawyer fee was not on the top of my to-do list. Needless to say, John was more than generous in giving me an extremely reasonable and fair price. Being as busy as he is, John was still always available to answer one of my many questions, whether it be about the case, court, or something I was unfamiliar with. He is excellent in communications, and goes above and beyond to keep his word. What you see is what you get, and my sister got more than a second chance. We got an even better outcome than originally planned, and for that we are forever grateful! I recommend him to anyone with any type of case, whether it be a criminal case or not. He is absolutely the best! Thanks again for answering every question and every phone call. You're wonderful!
My fiance and I were referred to John by a friend. John took my fiance's case, and from day one, we were treated with such a friendly level of professionalism, and we never once had to wonder or worry about what to expect for court. John actually treated us like people. He kept in frequent contact with us, and he followed through with his promise to us. My fiance was treated with a high level of respect, in spite of needing legal representation, by John and his entire staff. John told us exactly what to expect and what he could do...and he did it!! I am on the side of someone I love needing legal representation, and that, in and of itself, can be a nerve-wracking experience, to see the person you love in trouble, but even on that level, John made sure to keep me in the loop and well informed with my fiance's case, and he was the PERFECT choice for us. I hope we NEVER need to go through the court system again, but, without a doubt, if we ever do, John Wilburs is on speed dial in our phones. So, if anyone out there is in need of a great attorney, who knows how to get you through the court system, with the least amount of emotional trauma, do yourself a HUGE favor, and bypass a whole lot of nonsense, and call John!!! Sharon Z. 12/4/2014
Mike Archer is an outstanding attorney. He is a rare and extraordinary human being. I was and am blessed to have come across this law firm. I have worked with other attorneys and to be honest, my hopes were a bit low. I was desperate and my case was complicated. I chose Mike because of his vast and varied background and experience. His accomplishments read like a very impressive book. It was easy for me to tell this is a man who is passionate about and impeccably knowledgeable in the law. I believed he was my kids and my best chance at a good outcome. I was absolutely correct. Mike Archer earned my trust and respect by going above and beyond the call of duty to get my family just results. Mike works with Robin who is amazing and extremely knowledgeable herself. The two of them make the best team I have seen in a long time. They are so involved. They deliver such personal service and offer a true feeling of being cared about. I have to pose this question; when was the last time an attorney or a law firm made you feel important? Well, that is exactly how The Archer Law Firm made us feel. Mike and Robin are two of the good ones. They are committed to their client's "happy endings" Five Stars!!
I hired Cynthia Hennessey to handle my accident case. She was highly recommended by another patient sitting in the waiting room at my doctor's office. I had both a Workmens Comp case and a Personal Injury case because my truck was hit by another truck while I was on the job. Cynthia was like an angel. I am the type that nothing ever goes my way. My work fired me because the doctor put restrictions on me of no lifting. At my age, (56) I knew no one else was ever going to hire me. Cynthia actually cared about me. She knew I had no money coming in, so she worked fast to get everything filed and pushed hard for a fast trial date even though the insurance company kept trying to delay it. I would have lost everything if she didn't work so hard. She knew everything about Social Security Disability, Workmens Comp, Second Injury Fund and Trucking cases. She got me disability from Social Security, a great settlement from the Workmens Comp insurance company and life time weekly benefits from the Second Injury Fund. Then she got me a good settlement from the trucking case. I thank God I found her. I have recommended her to my neighbor and my nephew and both have also had a great experience.
My husband worked for a very large company, (I can’t say who) that delivers packages worldwide. He fell off a loading dock 2 years ago, onto his back and head. He suffered an injury to his head and brain and has never returned to work and will never return to work. He has never been the same since. He is depressed, has terrible memory problems, can’t concentrate, his mood has changed terribly. He is nothing like the man I married. Anyway, Cynthia Hennessey was our lawyer for the workmens comp case. Thank goodness we found her. As a nurse, she knew everything there was to know about head injuries. The workmens comp doctors all said there was nothing wrong with him, that he was faking. Cynthia believed him, and knew exactly what we were going through. She sent us to experts who finally did the correct testing, and took our case to trial. The judge was visibly upset with workmens Comp. He gave us everything we asked for, lifetime benefits, medical treatment and attendant care and all of our bills paid for. Again, thank goodness for Cynthia. I strongly recommend her for any type of brain injury or head injury.
I have to say, John Wilburs representation of my fiance was absolutely the right choice!!! The level of professionalism was a nice surprise. John took my fiance's case, and he kept in frequent contact with us from day one, and we never had to wonder or worry about what was going to happen throughout his representation. No one ever wants to be in a position to need an attorney, or in my case, loving someone who needs one, but John took his case, and from day one, we were kept in the loop and well informed on exactly what to expect in court. Never once were we made to feel like a nuisance, if we had questions. John and his entire staff treated us like individuals, and not necessarily like a criminal, which went a long way, as far as I was concerned!!! If anyone out there is in need of a GOOD, SOLID attorney, who will treat you with a level of respect and dignity that will comfort you, do yourself a favor, and skip going through the hundreds of attorneys out there, and call John FIRST. It will most definitely be a call you will be glad you made!!! THANK YOU, JOHN!!! Sharon Z.
The staff is amazing and made me feel very comfortable from the moment I walked through the door. I was able to get all of my questions answered when I came in and didn't feel pressured to retain the office or pay anything to them for the initial consultation. I met with 2 other law firms after meeting with Tracy Brown's office the first time and in the end I decided that her firm was the most knowledgeable and professional. Once I retained the office I was able to work out a flexible payment schedule with the office to pay for the services in full. I have now completed my case and have been discharged from all my debts. The entire process was very scary and stressful on me, however the office made the process go as smooth as possible and I am very grateful. I have recommended this office to several of my friends and family and will continue to do so!! Great place to deal with!!
Cynthia was very, very nice to me and my husband. I hurt my back and I first hired a law firm off of the TV commercials. It was terrible. All I ever got to talk to was a secretary, and couldn’t get anyone to answer my questions. I never even met the lawyer, and I felt like no one was fighting for me. I went to see Cynthia Hennessey at the Workers’ Comp 101 seminar for Injured Workers and I asked her immediately to take my case over. I fired the lawyer I had. Cynthia met with us for 2 hours, she filed a hardship for my benefits, and fought in court and won. I was very impressed when she gave me her cell phone number, I could text or call her anytime I had a question and always got a quick response. I don’t think the first lawyer ever even knew who I was. Cynthia treated us very personally. I will definitely call her if I ever get hurt again or if I know anyone who gets hurt.
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.