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 …
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Denise was amazing! It's scary looking for a DWI lawyer for your first DWI. You want someone who is going to get you out of the mess unscathed. As a medical professional, a lot was on the line to make sure I got out with nothing on my record, as licensure is at stake. Denise listened to my entire story, and spent hours in front of videos and audio recordings of the events in order to find an out. She compassionately explained the entire process to me so that it wasn't so unknown. She then explained what things I did right and wrong, and what things the law inforcement did wrong. In the end, I got out with zero on my record, that's after an accident involved DWI case. (That is almost impossible to do for those who don't know). She allowed me to get back to my life and be able to breathe knowing that someone was handling my case who actually cared about who I was as a person. She understands that people sometimes make mistakes but shouldn't suffer for the rest of their life for them. I just can't say enough about how thankful I am to have chosen her. She knows the system, she was the only person who was willing to spend the time pouring over videos to find an out in the situation. She did her homework and got me out clean. Don't go for some cheap guy who promises you'll walk away from it with a parking or littering ticket. DON'T BE FOOLED. It'll still go on your record as amended. Go with someone who has been doing this for a long time, knows the system, and will spend the time researching your case, and most important, someone who actually cares about you. As for me, I highly suggest denise. If I had to go through this whole terrible ordeal again, I would definitely go with her every time. She was really there for me and helped keep me calm during the process. She even followed up a few weeks after just to make sure I got my license back in a timely fashion. Not only a great lawyer, but also a great person.
5 stars do not do this law firm justice! I went through a messy divorce a few years prior to meeting Mr. Davis and Mrs. Pingel. I eventually decided it was time to go back to court after some issues with the original divorce decree. I interviewed 5 lawyers in a 75 mile range (one famous KC lawyer too). 3 firms did not think I had enough "evidence" to modify my current paperwork. 1 firm told me I took too long in my original meeting and charged me $200.00. So the last firm to meet with, was Davis and Pingel. I hired them on the spot. They spent 1.5 years on my case...1.5 years! The length of time might seem long, but I feel my case came with a high degree of difficulty. The firm kept me updated on what they were working on in my case, my bill, court proceedings, and EVERYTHING else that involved my case. Phone calls were ALWAYS returned, emails were ALWAYS answered (and usually within an hour) and my questions were always answered. Nobody wins in court, but I feel victory was certainly accomplished in my case. During the course of the battle I felt like I actually had family members working my case instead of an "attorney". They genuinely cared about the results and even asked on several occasions if the results were what I was looking for. To close this out I will say something silly...I might have hired an attorney, but I can say everyone at the firm is part of my family now. :-)
In October, I separated from my husband and called Mr. Stewart to represent me. From the beginning until the end, he was extremely polite, courteous, and on top of my case. My experience with him was like no other attorney I have dealt with. He was fair about pricing and very up front explaining every process and what obstacles in my case would possibly require more funds. He gave me all options available and did not make me feel pressured about choosing the most expensive one. My divorce was uncontested. 30 days was required to lapse after filing in order to request a court date. On day 31, Garry called me first thing in the morning to inform me it was time to proceed. I was in complete shock. Attorneys these days rarely call you let alone a day after the required minimum days have lapsed. While in the courtroom, he continued to explain every step with me just as he did from the beginning. His approach to his work made my divorce process the best it could possibly be considering the situation. There is no way I can thank him enough and even referred a friend to Mr. Stewart. If I ever need additional law representation, I will definitely be calling Garry Stewart right away!
Best lawyer I've ever had to say the least! Garry is a great honest man, and will definitely get what ever situation needed resolved! Most reasonable you'll find, and very responsive with info or questions needed etc. His total retainer and fee's quote was substantially lower from any other attorney I contacted as well. I'm in Washington state and Garry was my lawyer for an out of state situation for a period of over 6 months, and I really couldn't of asked for better representation. Garry is also text friendly which was a huge convenience for me, and never had any trouble getting a hold of him or Garry returning my calls etc. He was able to get my driving after suspension reduced to no registration which was a major break. I was so fortunate to have found Garry's add in the yellow pages! He was able to get a significant reduction on my fines and court fee's etc and didn't ask for any additional fee's from me. If you're looking for a honest, and amazingly reliable lawyer, then look no further. You wont regret it...
Garry Stewart helped me in a stressful situation. My snow plow was hit by a career criminal in a snow storm 7 days before Christmas. The man who hit me ran from the scene. I had medical bills and was off work for a month from my injuries. My case had been dragging for 6 months and the insurance company and prosecuting attorney were not taking my case seriously. I heard that Garry was a serious, well-spoken attorney. As soon as I called him, he started getting things done. He called the insurance company and let them know we weren't messing around. He went to court and I could see the other side's attorney getting nervous. In 6 more months, I paid off my medical bills with a large settlement, and was even able to buy a new truck. The man who hit and ran came out of hiding, pled guilty with the city and lost his insurance. Garry's fee was much less than the other attorneys I talked with, and I feel he gave my case more attention than they would have. I feel justice, happiness, and relief. Great attorney.
My family doctor and counselor both recommended this firm! I figure if two people I greatly respect made the same recommendation, I could not go wrong. I appreciated working with this law firm from the moment I called to make an initial appointment. The receptionist was compassionate, understanding and let me speak with one of the attorney's quickly. From there, they scheduled me quickly, came up with a plan of action for my case and got things filed very quickly as promised. When you are worried about your kids, minutes can seem like years! Throughout the six months of my case, I felt like they were on top of every issue and even, at times, they discussed/raised issues that I had not thought of or considered. In the end, through their efforts to be prepared, we ended up being able to settle the case with a better outcome than I could have hoped for! I have thanked my doctor and my children's counselor for the referral and suggested that they send everyone in need to this firm! A ++++++!
Mr. Stewart has been my attorney for 20 years. 4 years ago I was living out of state and needed help wrapping up some mo legal troubles. I had no reservations in mailing my retainer to him and knew this matter would be resolved promptly and with unwavering professionalism. He appeared in court 3 separate times on my behalf and resolved the issue completely. He's also handled both of my divorces. The experience described above is appalling to me because the proactive nature of business I've always experienced. Garry is in no way a lazy or incompetent attorney. You can have faith in him. I wouldn't have trusted him so many years with such sensitive legal issues. You won't find a better attorney.
We brought a family friend to attorney Davis after I did an extensive research of the law firm on the internet. To be honest, I really didn't believe that this firm could live up to the reviews I found.After the first appointment, I saw that this firm indeed deserved the accolades they received. Our friend spoke English but not as first language. The employees and the attorneys went above and way beyond to make sure she understood everything that was to be done and accomplished.Attorney Davis had the patience and professionalism I have not seen in a long time. I highly recommend this law firm without the slightest reservation. They all are fantastic people and truly care about their clients!
In the late 1980's I had a client who owed us a large amount of money I was needing an attorney. I asked the Prosecuting Attorney of Jackson County for a referral of the most honest and dependable attorney he knew. He recommended me to the Stewart Law Firm. He helped me bring closure to that scenario and was excellent in helping me form a corporation for my business. He also supported us in estate settlements, property transfers as well as personal counsel from day to day challenges of life. We're thankful for 25 years of faithful and dependable service from Garry Stewart and we will continue to use Stewart Law Services in the future.
What can I say about Patrick Davis? NOTHING negative! This gentleman helped me through some of the most trying days of my life, helped me keep my sanity and positive attitude throughout the entire process (which took months) with my legal matters regarding my son. I have gone through this process with other attorneys in the last 15 years and NONE OF THEM came close to the service that this man gave me. This is a man of integrity and values, and I would recommend him to ANYBODY that is fighting for their rights and the rights of their children! Obviously the guy below me, Cedric S hired opposing counsel to Patrick Davis!
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.