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: At the Law Office of Ferguson Evans, we understand how confusing and frustrating the legal process surrounding an injury can be. If you've been seriously injured …
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From Business: The Law Offices of Izu I. Ahaghotu, PLLC provide experienced counsel with results. We help you consider all of the options so that together we can take the best c…
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From Business: Mr. Leslie O. Perry is the founding partner in the firm. The practice represents business owners, landlords and tenants in the District. He is a graduate of Colga…
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…
How does one pose a review without coming across the fanboy? I decided it is impossible, but I waited two months to pose this review to let the emotions settle. Earlier this year I found myself facing a situation I had no experience handling; I was angry, lost, angry, clueless where to turn, and flipping angry. I was charged with assault/battery. I turned to the web and found a respected lawyer, but when I went to discuss my case I ended up with someone who did not engender confidence. I left horrified by his disposition and projection of the case. I was going to jail. I was ready to hire that lawyer impatiently ready to move forward, but something prodded me to research more. I found Mr. Jon Katz. Jon and I bumped heads initially as I prefer email and though he uses it the output is limited, he would not tell me his fee via email, but I liked what I read about him and decided to risk it and sacrifice more time for him to assess my situation. I will never forget my first sight of the man. The impression invigorated; his countenance experienced, the equanimity settled me before a word was said about the case. We went over the case and I was lifted far from the depths of hell I had lived the previous 48hours after the first lawyer. We discussed the case and I learned to love the man for his boundless energy for his profession; he loves trying to help us. We discussed everything he needed and I was tasked with homework. The last thing I expected and certainly nothing like it from the other lawyer. I am not sure Jon knows, but it did wonders for me when he said I have homework. I have no idea how he addresses other cases, but I had homework. It snapped me out of my funk. I had things to do, to focus on, to strengthen my case as I was in trouble but not as was presented by the lying sob who called the police. Jon made time for me when needed, in-person and especially by phone, from the beginning to the end. There is nothing like he gets your money and fades with this guy. Throughout he is full of energy, and encouraging. He is busy, but makes time. He is like a machine such is his commitment to us. You may be like I was suffocating in a puddle of my own stupidity for allowing myself to fail as I did. You may not realize it now, but depression is a likely enemy waiting for you. I think he knows this as he does a great job keeping the roots in the ground and he does so honestly. It was a struggle, but he helped me cope. I must say after reading and hearing for most of my life about unscrupulous underhanded defense lawyers, this man is a genuine and honest soul. At no point did he try to whip up something dishonest or encourage or lead me to fabricate a path he could use to strengthen my case. In my opinion, he does not need that as the power of his expertise and personality does wonders just walking in the court room. I am sure he does not win every case as some are not winnable--mine was not, but he got my charge lessened and saved me from jail. He performed a miracle for me, and it is clear from the other reviewers I am not alone. On a personal note about the man, I have never met such a lively interesting mind as Jon Katz. There is a reason why he is regularly on major media outlets providing his respected opinion. This is a great man, and if you are still wondering if you should research further for the person to help you through the legal mess you are in, then I wish you well. I am convinced had I went with the first lawyer, I would be in jail right now. I wish you well with your choice as it could be the biggest of your life. This man is a fighter and fighting for us. NOTE: I plan to pose this sentiment on several sites in my support of Jon and to help others get closer to making a choice. I mention this as it may seem suspicious to some that the same post or very similar is on other sites. I do not like writing and have no intention of creating new reviews for every site.
I was facing reckless driving with a possible six points on my license. I drive commercial vehicles for a living, so this threatened my livelihood. I would have gone from zero to six points points that would have stayed on my license for ten years because of my commercial driver's license instead of a standard two years for a normal drivers license. I also had a job application in. I was worried about finding a lawyer. I walked out of the DC DMV to find their office down the street, across from the courthouse. I got a great attorney who went with me the day of the hearing. The payment plan was extremely reasonable. The confidence that the staff and attorneys had in me and my case kept me calm and confident as well. I didn't think I had much of a defense and with my luck the officer who had me on radar showed to the hearing. The police officer spoke and I was sure I was done. Who can beat the Radar? My attorney cross examined the officers and found out that he screwed up. The judge agreed and found me not guilty. I could not believe these words, not guilty! The officer who gave me the ticket later admitted that when he saw my attorney, he knew he was in trouble. Thanks for your hard work, you guys are good. Now I can confidently apply for any driving position I want with my clean record.
I had gone through a very unpleasant and lengthy divorce with a passive-aggressive person. Although the divorce was uncontested, the man made it as difficult as he could because he had the means. With Mr. Nantz’s insight, skills, knowledge and understanding, I was provided with not only excellent legal but also practical advice, and support throughout the entire ordeal as he was aware that my family was not with me here, and there was a child involved. Because of Mr. Nantz’s exceptional skills in handling the case, attention to details and the ability to clearly see the big picture, my divorce was finalized. Without Mr. Nantz’s help, I would still have been married to this day because I could not afford to pay other lawyers with whom I had consulted. These lawyers informed me that it would cost me tens of thousands of dollars for the case, and wanted a large retainer fee upfront before they would talk to me. Both my son and I are forever grateful and indebted to Mr. Nantz. He has put my faith back in the lawyers! So, I had my Will, as well as Living Will prepared by him. Would I recommend Mr. John Nantz? Most definitely yes!
I would absolutely recommend Jon Norris as an atty. He is very good at what he does and has a lot of experience. I had what I thought was a tough case with a bunch of different charges. Jon handled my case from the beginning through trial and I couldn't have asked for a better outcome - not guilty on all counts. His office did a thorough job of investigating my case and talking to all possible witnesses. Norris is a genius in the courtroom. He ripped the police officers testifying against me to shreads on cross-examination. He made all of the officers sound like they weren't credible at all. Overall I was satisfied with my experience with Jon as my attorney.
I was involved in a DUI case where I felt I was not guilty. I spoke with several lawyers in the DC area that wanted me to take a plea. But because I was robbed and that was the reason why I was driving, I felt that this cause should go on my side if I took it to trial. I chose David because he seemed very down to earth and extremely professional. He told me that I did have a case and that we could win in trial. After a year of getting my case continued, we ended up winning the case because of David's hard work and dedication to justice. I would highly recommend him to anyone that is serious about winning their case.
I wanted to thank David for everything he did for me. I was facing several counts of obstruction of justice related to a homicide case. I was facing up to 57 years in prison. David and the other lawyers Amanda and Rosie did great work in finding information about witnesses. They were able to take away their credibility on the stand catching them in lies. The hard work they did paid off and I was found not guilty. It feels real good to be out. It was a life changing event and I am thankful for Dave's hard work and dedication to the case. M. Blakney
I don't usually get in trouble, but I had a fake ID and was caught with it at a bar. I found the firm through a friend who knew Travis. I initially met with Shawn and it was good... everything got explained in the first meeting. I was really nervous about what was going to happen, but Shawn was pretty good about telling me how it was going to go down so I felt calmer after that meeting. I had to go to court twice and each time it was straight forward and quick. As far as I know, Shawn did everything right. He must have because all charges were dismissed!
I was charged with felony assault. My record before this charge was clean, with no convictions. I was very anxious when I was originally charged. The system really tried to prolong my case because of the seriousness of the charge, but David used his knowledge and stuck with the case. He advised me about what to expect from pre-trial services and other requirements. He fought for a long time. He kept telling me to stay with the court's guidelines and the case was finally dismissed.
I was charged with a major crime. The charges were made up, but nobody was giving me a shot. I was told I was going to spend the rest of my life in jail. One attorney and wanted me to pays tens of thousands of dollars, but Mr. Benowitz made a payment plan that I could pay for. He went through every detail. The case was dismissed even before trial because of the thorough private investigators. Dave made sure everything worked itself out
I was facing second degree murder and more than twenty years in jail. Attorney David Benowitz represented me. From the first time we met in Spring 2008 he was there for me, he answered all my many questions and hung in through it all. He gave me great advise about choices I had to make in the case. As a result of his hard work I ended up walking out of the courtroom. I am very happy because I had a change to be a free man again.
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.