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…
It’s something everybody needs to do. We don’t like to think about it, you think its time consuming, expensive and a pain in the butt! Setting up your last will and testament. That’s what I thought as well. But it doesn’t need to be. Doug Pearson of the Pearson law firm took care of me and my wife’s. It was quick and easy, and the cost is nothing compared to what your loved ones would have to pay if you died without one and everything went to probate court. My wife and I had a short consultation and a questionnaire for homework. In less than a week, we spent 30 minutes reviewing every detail with Doug and it was done. I know if something happens to me or my wife or both. My kids will be in a loving home. They will have a trust to help them for the future. My family will know what my wishes are for the hospital and well as how to say farewell. And I have peace of mind, which in this world is priceless. I know several attorneys in the area, heck my brother is one back home. But when you are deciding on who to trust for this, go with an attorney who does this often and is highly recommended by satisfied customers that are now friends. Jonathan & Elana Flanigan
Mr. Pearson recently helped me with the creation of a will. He was very knowledgable, and he clearly had a great deal of experience with estate planning. Nobody wants to think about their inevitable demise, but Mr. Pearson approached sensitive issues with a direct, but delicate, manner that I appreciated. Our first meeting was a conversation about what I needed. He gave me many things to think about and "homework" to help prepare the documents. I was very impressed with the depth of questioning and Mr. Pearson's attention to detail. After everything was prepared, we met to sign and finalize the plan. Mr. Pearson spent time explaining each document, making sure I understood what I was signing. He was thorough, and I left the office feeling comfortable about every aspect of my estate plan. I would recommend Mr. Pearson to anyone looking for an attorney. I was very pleased with the attention and care that was spent on my needs. I would hire Mr. Pearson again.
Mr. Pearson is a busy attorney and didn't know us at all but took the time to take my call when my wife and I needed some help fast in a legal matter. That was just the beginning. Mr. Pearson went to work for us and was able to resolve the matter without going to court, saving us thousands of dollars. I can't say enough good things about this man. He was honest with all parties and gave us wise counsel. I would not hesitate to contact him if we ever need legal counsel again and would recommend him to anyone.
I really liked how Doug Pearson fought for me. I really appreciated how he always kept me informed with my case. I never felt out of the loop. I always felt at ease and his judgment every step of the way was superb! He will always be my go to guy if I ever need an attorney again. I find it important to research attorneys before you hire one. I did a lot of research and I found this guy. I am so proud I found him. He helped me win my case. I will always go to him if I need anything. His Law Firm is wonderful.
Doug helped my wife and I with estate planning. Not only was his attention to detail phenomenal, he also helped us think through multiple scenarios to plan for the unexpected. He was able to fully explain everything to us in terms we could understand and answer all of our questions. This personalization gave us the confidence that we have the best plan in place for our future. The entire process was comfortable and relaxed. I would recommend Doug for any law related needs.
Sheffron is an excellent attorney. I thought my world was crashing down on me. The entire staff made me feel welcome and in good hands. The lawyers explained everything to me including the worst case scenario. I hired Sheffron because of his reputation as a no nonsense , experienced, trial attorney. I was not dissapointed. I feel as if he saved my life. I will always recommend Sheffron to anyone in need of a great lawyer.
Mr. Pearson emailed me within an hour of my initial inquiry and by the end of the day, I had spoken with him regarding the traffic ticket I received. He explained the process and the possible outcomes. Needless to say, he obtained the best possible outcome and I received no points on my license or insurance. I would not hesitate to contact him again if I ever need legal counsel and would recommend him to anyone.
Not only is Mr. Ray extremely knowledgeable and professional, he has insight and sincerely cares about his client. He will really listen and then steer you in the right direction. His skill during a stressful trial will set your heart at ease. He will achieve the best outcome possible.
They are extremely helpful and informative about the whole process and always provided quick responses to my questions. I believe I had the best care possible through them for a very reasonable price! He is the ideal lawyer I would want in any case.
I recently went to Mr. Hayes for a traffic ticket. He was very knowledgeable about the law, and I immediately felt like I was in good hands. My case was resolved quickly and I don't have any points on my license!
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.