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…
My case involved separation, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution. A Greensboro attorney highly recommended Carolyn Woodruff at Woodruff Family Law Group. I ended up meeting Family Law Specialist, Jessica Bullock, and from the start I really enjoyed the business relationship – the best words to describe Jessica - an intelligent and caring professional. I did not feel like she would just push around some papers for me. With all that was involved in my case, I needed someone who would be professional and effective in court while also being able to communicate with me at a human to human level. The staff members at Woodruff Family Law Group were polite, made sure that I was comfortable and continuously communicated what I could expect in all situations that arose.Any parent who wants someone to take the time to relate to them on a human level, understand the North Carolina law and how it applies to their own situation with effective and skilled representation should consider contacting Woodruff Family Law Group. Jessica Bullock was the right attorney for me. I knew I wanted to be an involved Dad with my children but felt there were a lot of variables to work through, and Woodruff Family Law Group has been a wise investment in that future and the future of my children, when dealing with divorce and child custody.
I can't not say enough wonderful things about Mr Roane and his staff. In June of 2008, I was rear ended while sitting at a stoplight ; after a week of dealing with cynical insurance persons I sought legal help. Of course, I chose a well known and widely advised legal firm that I thought would "STAND UP FOR YOU". Little did I know until just months before my witching hour (meaning my filing dead line) that they will only "STAND UP FOR YOU" if your case is easy, cut and dry. My case was not going to be "easy", so they dropped me. Within minutes of my husband and I sitting down in Mr. Roane's office and talking with him, I knew we were where I needed to be. He and his staff (especially Meranda) guided, advised and reassured me every step of the way. THEY BELIEVED IN ME!!! and they showed it. I learned that insurance companies were wary of facing Mr Roane in court--and they knew he WOULD meet them in court.--he's not intimidated. In my case, the insurance company was so unwilling to meet us in court, they agreed to a settlement. My settlement was unprecedented (unusual) and the insurance company insisted we all sign nondisclosure agreements. They definitely didn't want the monetary settlement disclosed. Five stars isn't enough for Roane Law, they deserve way more.
I came to the firm to get a divorce and divide the marital estate. During the course of our time working together, what has impressed me the most is what Carolyn Woodruff has been able to pull from the file cabinets of her memory, regarding detailed aspects of my case. Carolyn has also been a safe haven during a time of being very concerned with my well-being. When I think of Carolyn, I would say she is intelligent, quick on her feet, a quick thinker, and very friendly and warm in times of stress and duress. She has a calming effect about her. Overall, the Woodruff Family Law Group is efficient. The staff members have all become family. They offer a family environment. I have felt I could call on anyone day or night. Communication lines are always open. With the length of time my case has taken, it would have been easy to slip to the back of the firm’s caseload. That doesn’t happen at Woodruff.
To the Paralegals: I went into the office feeling very depressed, But the paralegal's assured me that they would do everything to help me get back on the right track. They help me to get back to a very stable financial lifestyle without having to worry how i am going to afford to pay all of the bills each month. They started the paperwork right away and file my Bankruptcy claim in a timely manner so I would't have to worry about losing my home to foreclosure. And made it really affordable. They took the stress out of worrying how or when each payment will be due. Especially the first payment , which really worries me. It is the hardest because you are still struggling to pay all your other expenses along with saving up for Bankruptcy payment. I enjoyed working the paralegals they were an excellent team. Good Job! To the law office of John T. Orcutt: A very warm thank you! From: Kathy Danita Riley
my name is Lyle. I have spoken to Mr Weckworth who so far has been very helpful in assisting me with my case while taking the time to speak with me without consultation fees yet remain attentive for a long duration while we discuss the possibilities. A few of the other attorneys seemed in a hurry to just get me off the phone. He has offered me a reasonable price for his services as it seems to be a simple case. other attorneys wanted to charge much more. To me this shows a sign of honesty. so far I am very pleased with his assistance. I will of course follow up after the court date. at this point I would recommend contacting him yourself to see how he can help you as well.
No one wants to need a lawyer, but after a car wreck I did. James Roane was highly recommended to me and we chose to meet with him to review my case. After meeting him, I realized he knew what needed to be done and the way to handle it. Mr. Roane and the staff at Roane Law were very friendly and always willing to answer my questions. They treated me like a person, not a number, and that means a lot to me. My input was valued in the decisions that were made, they did not just make decisions for me. It was a true pleasure to work with such a dedicated and knowledgeable group who had my best interest at hand. I would highly recommend James Roane and Roane Law again.
Tom is a first class attorney with ethics and morals far greater that any attorney I had worked with in my business in more than 35 years. As a small business owner I look for the personal attention to details without being bill for every minute of time. I like having a relationship with Tom in that he is always looking for my best interest and looking for options that I never considered. I highly recommend him for any civil litigation matter you might have or employment contracts you might be considering. A proud UNC Chapel Hill graduate he servies the community well in his work.
I would like to thank Mr. Carpenter and his entire legal team. My close family friend was charged with serious federal charges and facing a mandatory 10 year prison sentence. Alec kept us informed throughout the entire process and made us feel very comfortable from the beginning to the end. The co-defendant ended up receiving 5 years and my friend received federal probation. This was a very difficult case for all of us and Alec and his office were amazing. I cannot thank Alec enough and I highly recommend this firm. They truly are the best. Thank you!
Ms. Lindley represented my interests in divorce proceedings. She and her staff, especially Brenda, were very diligent in keeping me informed regarding the progress of the case and the actions of my former spouse. The advice / recommendations / suggestions they offered were valuable during and after the various events. Ms. Lindley negotiated such a favorable settlement on my behalf that I was surprised and very pleased. I am so pleased with their accomplishments that I am engaging the firm again for a different purpose.
I work as a Legal Assistant/Paralegal to Jim Weeks. Jim handled my Personal Injury case last year. I was rear ended by two trucks. My case was a whiplash case. The final settlement exceeded our expectations. Knowing other personal injury attorney's who also stated the amount of the settlement normally won't go beyond $7,500 - $10,000. I can personally state that the settlement I received was extremely fair on a whiplash case. Jim Weeks you are a great boss and an exceptional attorney.
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.