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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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 was watching the news on the night of August 17th 2011, which turned out to be one of the worst nights of my wife and I’s life. I saw that my son was a wanted felon. Our lives fell apart that night we did not know what to do. I called my brother, a 30 year Detective from New York. He told me that I needed to get a hold of my son and turn him in. I did finally get a hold of my son and convinced him that he needed to turn himself in or he would be dead very shortly either by the drugs he was on or by the police. The next morning happened to be the luckiest day of our lives. I was at work and Googled for a lawyer. Just by the pure grace of GOD I happened to see Suzuki Law Firm. I called and set up a day that we could bring in my son. The first thing he and his associates said to us that they understood what we were going thru and that they would do their very best to help us. I consider myself a good judge of character and the feeling of comfort they gave us was more than we thought we would ever get. The first thing RJ said to my son was he wanted to hear the truth and no BS. Which is what my son told him. Our hearts broke when we heard the complete story. Which I don’t think we would have ever heard if RJ wasn’t there. Mr. Suzuki did not give us any false pretenses at what my son was looking at. We were told he could be going away for a long time for what he had done, but they were going to do nothing less than their best to help us get our son back. Then they took him to the FBI office and did not see our son until for a few weeks in the Federal Court House. While awaiting trial RJ fought to have our son put into a halfway house RHI. Our son was there for nine months and passed with flying colors. Then came for the Pre Trial sentencing which RJ was a part of. Our son finally came home before the sentencing. In the meantime RJ worked furiously to get the charges reduced, which he did. All during this going on RJ kept us abreast every week what was going on. He never lied to us he just told us the truth and what to expect. Well my son with the help of RJ got to get a plea deal. During the sentencing the judge was going to give our son the maximum of the range scale. RJ argued that my son had turned his life around and was a new person whom the prosecutor who also wanted the maximum of the scale agreed with RJ and changed her mind that day in court. RJ also got the judge to recommend that my son could self-surrender in 30 day’s and also recommend that he be given the 500 hour drug program which could reduce our son’s sentence from 9 to 12 months. We all knew that our son was going to do some time and RJ never ever gave us false hope of our son getting off scott free. Our son could have been going away for a very long time. My brother keeps telling us how lucky we got compared to what could have been. We owe RJ and his associates a debt of gratitude that I feel we can never repay. By the grace of GOD we got very lucky choosing SUZUKI LAW FIRM and we will never ever use anyone. Let’s hope we never have to. If you have any doubts you can get my phone number from RJ and I am more than willing to talk to you personally. That is the least I could to families that are going through what we went thru.
Let it Snow, let it Snow, let it Snow!!! Chad Snow has me singing year round! Talk about a “gift” in my life! I feel like a child again who got the present I always wanted, hidden behind the tree. After I injured myself at work, all I could think about was recovering and returning ASAP. Soon after I filed for workers comp, they told me I needed to go back to work and stopped paying my benefits. Unfortunately, I was nowhere near recovery and losing the battle against workers comp on my own, so I decided I needed to seek legal aid. After consulting with a number of lawyers, most told me I didn't have much of a case since I would have to prove two separate injuries. I got the sense from others that they wanted to take me on a roller coaster ride by charging me for paperwork, visits, court fees, etc. and would ultimately end up doing nothing to win my case, leaving me with a large bill to pay. I didn't get that feeling from Chad. Although I wish I could say something like “I won my case and I was awarded compensation in 30 days,” the truth be told, I could not find a “reputable” lawyer that would even take my case and I doubt few lawyers would have won, being up against so many barriers. And looking back, I know I won my case because of the work Chad did-- It was a long hard battle. Four doctors were attesting against my case making it seemingly impossible to me that I had any chance of winning. Chad worked diligently on my case, reassuring my doubts about winning a difficult, hard-to-prove workers comp case against one of the largest insurance companies in the nation. I was appeased each visit and I was astonished how empathetic he was with my injuries. When the time came in court, Chad was able to knock out all of the testimonies against my case, one after the other, like Billy the Kid playing that bulls-eye game at the carnival. Needless to say, I am extremely satisfied with the outcome of my case and highly recommend the services of Chad Snow. --Ursula Bauman
About a year ago I was woken up with the police standing at my door. Apparently, someone had stolen my 8 foot by 10 foot trailer. It had come detached from their vehicle and crashed into a parked car sometime during the night. Lucky for me we didn't loose any thing but the trailer was banged up very bad. The insurance that I had on the trailer was really dragging their feet getting the assessment, then offering an amount they would give to replace it. During this time I had gotten my own estimates and knew what it was worth. The insurance took 2 months to offer a VERY low amount. I was very frustrated as their was no way I was going to be able to replace it with the amount they offered. So I decided to call David White for help. He got on the job right away. He collected all my documents from the insurance and quotes from places I had taken the trailer to. With in a week I had a new offer for more than twice their previous offer. He found out they were miss calculating the age of the trailer as well as basing their estimates off the incorrect type of trailer. The attention to detail that he put forth on this was amazing considering it was just a trailer. I was very happy using him for his knowledge in accident and injury law. I have and will continue to refer my friends and family to his law office. As I am happily married I hope I never have to use him for a divorce. Although he has helped a close friend with her divorce and she was also happy with his services.
My wife insisted we go see Alicia after a friend recommended that we talk to her about my wife's immigration mess. The biggest problem is that my wife was just a kid when her parents had to go to court and she didn't know what happened. Alicia told us what she thought the likely scenario was, and what other possibilities there could be, and advised us that we could request the court file. NONE of the other attorneys we met with even mentioned the court! Alicia explained that immigration is a puzzle and we have to have all of the pieces before she can truly tell us what my wife's immigration options were. She requested the file and discovered that my wife remained eligible to apply for her green card by being married to me and told me that the court process would probably take years so we could try to ask ICE to close the case so that we could go the quicker route outside court. In less than a year, Alicia accomplished what 4 other attorneys told us was not possible. My wife has her green card and we could not be more thankful to Alicia for her willingness to work on our difficult case and to my wife's friend who told us to "just go talk to her." Alicia definitely gets immigration law and how to play the game with all of the players involved. She is professional and very affordable. Knowing what we know now, her services are worth much more than what we paid for them!
Don’t be afraid... Let us first say the thought about filing for bankruptcy was one of the scariest things in the world. With the economic crash of 2008, loss of income, student loans, and a long term illness in the family we found ourselves in a pile of medical and other debt. We felt like the world was closing in. We explored many options including debt counselors and debt settlement, neither of which was an option that would help. Then we Goggled bankruptcy attorneys and we found Mr. Larry Karandreas. We were so afraid to make that first call. But when we heard Larry’s friendly voice we were at ease. He made us see that filing was not "Financial Armageddon". He answered any and every question and returned phone calls in a timely manner. He was always honest and held our hands every step of the way. He was well prepared in court. Additionally due to his diligent and straight forward pre hearing preparation we also knew what to expect. We now see that what we should have been afraid of was our debt, NOT filing for bankruptcy protection. We now realize that NOT doing something about the debt, was not the answer and it would never have gone away. Because of Larry’s assistance we now have a fresh start. Our advice, call him, sooner rather than later, he has the answers. -Steve and Susanne L.
After being in business for over seven years, the Phoenix area economic state of affairs took a terrible turn for the worse in late 2008 with many of our business transactions either failing or failed and with little chance for us to be paid for our services. It was in early 2009 that we needed to make a decision to either file for a Chapter 7 and start all over or file a Chapter 13 to stay in business and still be able to have some income coming in. We filed a Chapter 13 with the recommendation of a close business associate with Mr. Karandreas. Larry immediately set an appointment to review what would be in our best interest. During the initial interview, Larry made all of us feel comfortable and reassured us that this would be a process that he would be by our sides from start to finish. Larry is an awesome person, and he is absolutely "A Lawyer Who Cares About His Clients". Mr. Karandreas has the knowledge, integrity, professionalism and has provided outstanding service to this process. Now that the process has finally been closed and a final conclusion to this matter resolved, Mr. Karandreas still stays in touch and is committed to the welfare of his clients. I would highly recommend Mr. Karandreas without hesitation. Thank You!! Thank You!! Thank You!!
For anybody looking for a great lawyer that will help you and get your case started and finish correctly i highly recommend this attorney. It kind of even feels like a relationship when working with her. She always treats you very well. She is extremely professional and the #1 thing i love about her that no other attorney with ever ever do for you is email and or return your calls immediately and she will always keep you updated on every single thing even if its the smallest information. Even on the weekends she will try to reply and for me thats the most important you don't have to wonder if the receptionist will ever give her your message. Second of all her fees are great she did not over charge me at all i was actually shocked when she told me the total fees.! In my case everything went great when i went to see her i had nothing and now i have my permanent residency it was just in a matter of months and i know every case is different but i promise that its worth having her represent you she will go that extra mile for you!!!!! Alicia your services were wonderful. Its been a while since you helped me with my case but like i always told you i will forever be thankful for everything you did for me.
I have recently settled a claim as a result of an automobile accident. Phillips Law group managed my claim for me and I could not have asked for better representation. I was treated with empathy and respect, starting with my first phone call and ending with my last call. I specifically want to recognize Paralegal Tracy Laskos. Tracy made herself available to me constantly. She was also very reassuring when life and its circumstances became overwhelming for me. After sustaining an injury my mind and body were just not the same and with the support of Phillips Law group I was able to regain my composure. Tracy's responses were timely, professional and accurate. Tracy is very good at her profession and anyone would be lucky to have her as a part of their team. In addition, I would also like to thank Timothy Tonkin, Esq. Tim was the lead attorney on my case. What was impressive was his confidence and empathy. I appreciated him taking the time to review the case with me and explain it to me in "non-lawyer" terms. He helped me to make the best decisions for me. If anyone should have to need an attorney, I would recommend Phillips Law group. They are definitely the experts in their field.
I found Bretton as a bit of good luck when faced with a tough situation. The death of my former partner and co-owner of my home made it necessary to get some legal advice. Never having been through this process, not knowing my rights and a very, um...difficult relative made it even more pressing. Bretton was awesome. Direct, confident and knowledgeable. Exactly what I needed. He referred me to another attorney to move forward as he did not feel he was the most suited person in this situation. Another thing I appreciated so much. He cared about the best thing for me, rather than the opportunity to make a buck. This whole situation resolved itself but I credit Bretton for the positive result. He said exactly the right thing at exactly the right time to provide direction and confidence for me to stand firm when needed. This experience made me realize I needed to get a will and final papers together. I would not have gone to anyone other to Bretton. This experience, which many people dread, was made easy and clear working with Bretton. In my opinion, Bretton is ethical, bright, energetic and compassionate. I would recommend him to anyone.
While my son was attending ASU, he made some choices leading to me receiving a call from jail at midnight from my son needing an attorney. Having not yet relocated from the East Coast, I was now required to make a very important decision without time to think it out. I immediately searched for an attorney with experience as a prosecutor, a solid reputation in achieving positive results for their clients and an impressive educational background. I found Richard. Richard kept in contact with my son throughout his case via phone calls, emails and office visits. Richard even went the extra mile keeping my son focused on learning from this mistake and not repeating it. Richard’s excellence in the courtroom and extensive knowledge of the system provided a community service and fines sentence with no jail time or felony record. I don’t believe we would’ve had this outcome without Richard on our side. I am even more grateful to Richard and his staff for their willingness to work with me, his mom, via long distance; more importantly, for turning this worst nightmare of mine and my son’s life into a very positive learning experience. Thank you.
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.