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…
I've recently read the reviews from Diana/DeeDee and Lynn. It appears that they are taking every avenue possible to slander Kirsh & Kirsh. To say that you were coerced is a very serious charge. Coersion is defined as: "the practice of compelling a person or manipulating them to behave in an involuntary way (whether through action or inaction) by use of threats, intimidation, trickery, or some other form of pressure or force. These are used as leverage, to force the victim to act in the desired way. Coercion may involve the actual infliction of physical pain/injury or psychological harm in order to enhance the credibility of a threat. The threat of further harm may then lead to the cooperation or obedience of the person being coerced. Torture is one of the most extreme examples of coercion i.e. severe pain is inflicted on victims until they give interrogators the desired information." Whether you are stating that Kirsh or your parents, or some other person coerced you to make an adoption plan is an extreme accusation. I understand that you have regrets, but it's time you take responsibility for "your" decision and not blame other people. That is the only way you will move toward healing. Our agency has provided professional counseling services, including options counseling, to expectant women/couples and birth parents for well over a decade. K&K refer women and couples to us and we provide counseling and social services to the majority of women who are connected with prospective adoptive parents through their practice. Steve & Joel encourage all women to seek pre/post-placement counseling. They even have them review and sign a form titled "Why Counseling is Important." Women have the right to refuse counseling, but counseling is always available to every woman at no cost to her. I've personally been with Steve & Joel during hundreds of consent signings. I know the mantra well. They review all of their rights with them (including making sure this is their voluntary decision), clearly tell them they are under no obligation to proceed at this time and that they have the right to parent this child if they choose. They explain the permanence of adoption and Indiana law related to consents. They encourage them to "only sign" if they understand and are ready to proceed. We have walked out of many consent signings because the woman needed more time or chose not to proceed. That is their right and Steve and Joel wish them well. The women we have worked with over the years respect and admire Steve and Joel. Women often tell me that Steve & Joel treat them with respect and compassion. They laugh at how many times Steve and Joel remind them that "they are under no obligation to proceed." Because of this I find it hard to reconcile Diana/DeeDee's recounting of her story with who I know them to be as professionals, and as men.
We had the pleasure of working with Kirsh and Kirsh to adopt our son Aidan. As one can imagine, the process of adopting a child can be an emotional and stressful experience. However, I cannot think of anyone I would rather have guiding me through the process than Steve and Joel Kirsh and the staff at their firm. When we had questions there was always someone available to take our call and provide answers. And, if something had to be researched or looked into they always got back to us in a timely manner. They were not only accessible, but also approachable. (I really appreciated that as I got closer to our son’s expected arrival date they were very patient with my neurotic-first-time-mother questions and reassured me that everything would be okay!) While they were very encouraging throughout the process they were also very honest and explained possibilities to us so we could be prepared in case we hit any bumps along the road. In addition to being there for us, the Kirshes were also a comfort to our birthmother whom we were matched with using the Kirsh Directed Approach. Our birthmother is a phenomenal young woman and we are so grateful that we were able to match with her. The fact that Kirsh and Kirsh did all the work to find her through the Directed approach took that stress off of our plate so that we could focus on preparing to become parents. And, although they always made it clear that the firm represented us, they answered any of our birthmother’s questions so that she had the information she needed to continue with her adoption plan. I know that she appreciated having a resource to call on and I was grateful that she didn’t feel alone during what was a very emotional and difficult time for her. From helping us get our approval process started, to editing our birthmother letter, to finding the most wonderful birthmother and son, to celebrating with us on Adoption Day, I cannot think of a more qualified or more caring team of individuals to guide you through the adoption process. Because of our wonderful experience with Kirsh and Kirsh, I highly recommend them as THE firm to call when beginning the adoption process, whether you live in Indiana or not!
I wish we had found Kirsh when we started our adoption journey. When we started, we did not know anyone that had completed a successful domestic adoption in the last 5 years. We tried a less expensive agency, but it was not a good fit. Kirsh did a really good job of talking us through match situations and helping us assess risk. After a painful failure with a different agency, we felt Kirsh and Kirsh was our bright light in the dark forest of adoption. We knew this firm was knowledgeable, responsive, and committed to helping us with our goal of having a family. They were always looking out for our best interests. They are true professionals, and you do not always get that with the bargain priced agencies. We strongly recommend Kirsh! Thanks to Kirsh, we have been blessed with a child. If we decide to expand our family again, we will only trust Kirsh and Kirsh with that task. They were so very kind to us through the whole process. Our initial talk was with Joel. We liked him from the start. This firm is comprised of mostly family, and that definitely made a difference. They work together! If someone is out of the office, someone else is happy to help you. Steve has responded to email from us on the weekend. Emley, who worked our match that brought us our child, is truly one of heaven's angels. When we were finally parents, I honestly think they were almost as happy for us as some of our close friends! I cannot say enough positive things about this firm.
After having a bad situation with a less professional agency, I would recommend Kirsh to everyone! They are professional and caring. They keep you informed about your adoption and what is happening in their group. They call you and response to email. Every time you speak with them, they make you feel hopeful. They treat everyone will fairness. They understand birth mom feelings and adoptive family feelings. They walk you through the process before you sign up. They make sure you understand what this is all about. They help write your birth mother letter with wonderful tips. You can tell they know what they are doing. They have the experience to get you a baby! After having been successfully matched and taken home our baby through Kirsh & Kirsh, I would like to write another review of their practice. The people that work for Kirsh & Kirsh are truly special. They understand that they are changing lives for the adoptive family, the brave birth mother, and most importantly the child. They have a deep love for adoption. When we met everyone in their office with our new baby, it was like one big happy family. Of course most of their staff are related. They were so excited for us. It is a good feeling having that family surrounding you in the mountain top experience you are having with your new baby. I cannot say enough that Kirsh & Kirsh would be an outstanding choice for you to grow your family!
I see that there is only one star for Hensley! I totally disagree at this point! My hearing date is July 25th 2013. They have been nothing but awesome with me. I don't call for every little thing, unless its been on my mind for a week, then I'll call. They are very busy people and cannot answer each and every little call/question. They keep me VERY informed! I've just been sitting back with patience and Our great Lord on my side. They have never been rude to me, I'm sorry to those who experienced those cases. I gave them 5 stars for a reason. They have done ALL the work for me from day one! Including, but not limited to, coming to my home in the beginning to be one on one. My next step is to meet with my attorney (no names) face to face to go over everything before I see my judge. Just a great business and they totally have my vote! With my ailments, I don't know what I'd do without them to help me with all of this. Hope we get some better reviews and better star vote! Good luck to everyone going through this long, blistering wait time. They ARE speeding things up as of about a month ago, using video conferencing with a judge. They took my particular case to use! I'm excited that its almost over and I thank everyone in that office that had to deal with me ;)
We had heard of Kirsh & Kirsh’s excellent reputation for years, and had met several couples that had used their services. When we made the decision to expand our family through adoption, they were our first choice. From our first initial meeting to follow up visits to show off our adopted son, the entire staff was amazing. They truly are a family run business, and you experience that from the very beginning. What can be a very emotional journey with many turns; Steve, Joel and staff were all by our sides the entire time and provided the words and encouragement we desperately needed. We have begun the adoption process again. Not only are we anxious to add to our family, we sincerely look forward to working with the entire staff once again. We know we are in good hands and they are always looking out for our best interests. The level of experience and professionalism is bar none. Contacting Steve and Joel Kirsh was one of the best decisions we ever made, and will most likely be yours as well.
We originally started the adoption process with another agency approximately 3.5 years ago and were unsuccessful. After this heartbreaking experience, we decided to retain Kirsh & Kirsh for several reasons. First, was due to their excellent reputation. Second, was because our friends had been successfully placed with children through Kirsh and Kirsh. Finally, after meeting with Steve and Joel, we knew we too would be able to successfully form a family with their assistance. We retained Kirsh and Kirsh in September of 2012 and were successfully matched with our healthy baby girl in February of 2013. Everyone in the Kirsh and Kirsh family is so amazing. They are true professionals and experts in this field. The only regret we have is that we did not retain Kirsh & Kirsh sooner!
I contacted Kirsh & Kirsh in 1999. I was having twins! I was young and a little lost in my life, I was a single mom and I knew I was not ready to take on the financial responsibility of a bigger family. I met with Joel and after our meeting I knew Kirsh & Kirsh were going to help me find an amazing family for my children. Now 15 years later I am planning my second visit with my twins and their family! Adoption is nothing like it use to be. Thanks to today's technology and the entire staff at Kirsh I have been able to watch my children grow. It has been an amazing experience and if you are thinking about adoption Kirsh & Kirsh are wonderful! They will make sure the family you choose for your child is the right family for you and your child. I love everyone at Kirsh & Kirsh! Stacy
I have worked with Lana at Newton Becker Bowkamp on my divorce case of and on over the past few years and I think the world of her professionalism, her guidance and probably most importantly, her acute insight for the law, and how it applies to my case. She has always been spot on with her guidance and fair, even when telling me things that I didn't necessarily want to hear. If you are looking for a firm to "punish" your ex, this is probably not the right group for you, but if you are looking for someone that will help guide you to a fair settlement and treatment, then I don't think you could possibly find a better group of attorneys. And for the record, I have NEVER been overcharged/over billed.
Our adoption was a complete journey that led us to Kirsh and Kirsh to handle all legal work. To have full confidence in the lawyers handing our adoption was the most important thing for us. When we knew Kirsh and Kirsh would be our lawyers, we were able to finally relax knowing that we were not in good hands, but the best hands. We were impressed with the dedication, professionalism, knowledge, organization, and friendliness of Steve Kirsh and his amazing staff. As we look back on our journey and the agencies we have worked with along the way, we would highly recommend Kirsh and Kirsh to anyone interested in adoption services. You can put complete trust in their team to handle your adoption.
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.