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 …
380 Knollwood StWinston Salem, NC 27103
From Business: Auto accidents can be extremely destructive, resulting in major property damage, massive medical bills, and even death. When you've been injuredin North Carolinad…
1550 Westbrook Plaza DrWinston Salem, NC 27103
From Business: We are not the average personal injury law firm. At Rizzi Law Group, we have experience working with larger law firms. We know how these firms operate. Often, you…
3600 Country Club RdWinston Salem, NC 27104
From Business: Call us before you do anything! We can help lower traffic tickets, fines, and help you avoid an increase to your insurance rate. We handle traffic violations incl…
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 involved in a motor vehicle accident where a drunk driver ran a red light at an intersection in Dobson, North Carolina causing me to T-bone him. Both cars where totaled. I didn't know how I was going to pay for my medical bills or where I was going to get the money for a new car since I was told the other driver didn't have insurance at the time of the accident. Through a mutual acquaintance I was informed of Mr. Crawford and this legal staff's great reputation. I called the office and scheduled a free consultation. I was quickly assured that they would take care of me and they did. Sandra, Mr. Crawford's legal assistant, kept me updated on the case and within 2 months my case was settled. With my settlement money I was able to purchase a car 4 years newer than the one that was totaled, paid for my medical bills in full and still had plenty left over. I wouldn't recommend anyone else!
When searching on the Internet for attorneys in the W-S area I found John Fitzgerald. I read all the rave reviews & decided I had to have him. I'm so glad I did! I found John to be very approachable, professional & genuine. I felt comfortable talking to him and he handled my case with purpose & ease. I found Mr Fitzgerald to be kind, compassionate, understanding & extremely trustworthy. He led me thru all aspects, what to expect & how to prepare. I was so nervous & afraid but he guided me the entire way and the outcome was beyond my expectations. I recommend Mr Fitzgerald to anyone that needs to retain an attorney. Thank you again Mr Fitzgerald for a job well done. Ann P
When you need to call a attorney, its not the best of times, but with John and his staff, they always made it a bit easier. My family had to make some tuff choices...but John guided us through the hard times and even though the outcome was a rough one, I knew John did his very best and I would and have recomended him to anybody who needs a great attorney. One who really cares about his clinents. He and his staff go above and beyond. In such difficult timesn he makes it easier.
I have know John Fitzgerald for many years, both in a professional setting and through his representation of family and friends. I have found John and his staff to excellent in dealing with all matters within the Judicial system. He is well versed in all aspects of the legal system and shows complete devotion and care to each clients case. He is definitely an asset to his profession and I would strongly recommend John and his staff to anyone needing an Attorney. Terry Price
Mr. Fitzgerald's reputation is by far the best in Forsyth and Davisdon counties. The service that John and his office gives to their clients are leaps and bounds above any attorney my family has worked with in the past. He is also is very educated and gets the best results possible. I can honestly say that John Fitzgerald will always have my business and that of any person I can pursuade. He is well worth the money! Thank you John for taking care of my Family for many years!
I have known John for many years but never personally had need of his services until this spring. Got my second ticket in 45 years and he took care of it for me. Had it reduced with no points on my insurance or license and just as importantly, I didn't have to go to court. Thanks, John. Hopefully I will not need to call him again for legal help but if I do, I definitely know where to go. He's professional, courteous and just plain NICE.
From the first phone call, I was treated with respect, kindness, and willingness to go the extra mile. Every member of the staff had to be hand-picked as they are all professional and at the same time became like family. They explained things to me in laymans terms.I never felt left out of any conversation and was always asked if there was anything that needed further explanation.
I have known John for over 7 years now, and he and his staff are the only ones i trust when i need legal advise/service. Any time i have needed their services, or had a friend or family member to refer, they have taken the best care of us and kept us informed the whole way. Anytime I hear of someone that got a speeding ticket etc, I always tell them to give John a call!
John won my confidence immediately over-the-phone and I'm pleased to say his expertise and caring demeanor in person put me right at ease, as well. If you need legal assistance and don't know where to turn, look NO further than Attorney John Fitzgerald! His efforts on my behalf yielded better-than-optimal results and I would not hesitate to recommend him to anyone I know.
David Caffey has handled several Real Estate purchases and refinances for my wife and I over the last 15 years and we have always been extremely happy working with him. He is prompt and professional which always made us feel very comfortable and well taken care of. I will continue to be a repeat customer and I do highly recommend Mr. David Caffey to be your 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.