If you haven’t already, probably sometime in a lifetime you’ll have to employ an attorney. With the help of my consultation with Tampa Lawyer Christina Mesa, here’s a listing of answers to frequent as well as important questions.
1. QUESTION: Do I have to hire an attorney at law in the county where the case occurs?
ANSWER: No. Many attorneys practice in other counties and other states, based on their licensure for the latter. Having knowledge in the county in which the matter will be litigated is essential as that lawyer will have a comfort level with the county courthouse personnel, lawyers (likely opposing counsel) and judges. One matter in retaining a lawyer away from area wherein the matter takes place is cost of travel time. Some attorneys don’t charge for travel, others offer a reduced rate or preserve a billable rate for all work conducted. Talk about that question with each lawyer consulted.
2. QUESTION: How can I be certain my attorney is resolving my case?
ANSWER: Every good attorney keeps track of his time (fees) and expenditures (costs). Your retainer agreement should include a confirmation of how the lawyer bills his clients – once a month, quarterly, etc. You can also keep track of your case in some jurisidictions that supply on-line accessibility to case dockets. If the county has that established, you’re wise to often review the docket and see what events have taken place by your lawyer and the other party/counsel. It’s also advisable to feel at ease getting in contact with your attorney at intervals to ascertain the status of the issue, knowing you will likely be charged for these interactions.
3. QUESTION: How do I select an attorney or lawyer?
ANSWER: Legal dilemmas are as vast as those in other sectors, such as medicine, construction, finance, etc. and might be just as complex. To safeguard your rights and remedies, the very best practice is to research your area of need and research what attorneys are accessible to assist you. A referral from someone you know and respect can bring a personal element to the decision to hire an attorney but really should not be the only reason counsel is selected. Look into the lawyer’s background of training, experience and area(s) of practice. Asking a lot of questions should be urged in this process. Self-help can be empowering but can also limit or negate your recovery. Hiring a legal professional should be contemplated with exactly the same level of thought and consideration as that directed at the choice of a medical doctor, accountant, financial consultant or therapist.
4. QUESTION: How do I know if I require a lawyer or attorney?
ANSWER: If you have already been served with a Summons and comparable documents (Complaint, Petition, Motion), you should really endeavor to seek legal guidance now. Documents filed in court that commence a lawsuit necessitate responses that involve specific deadlines; skipping those deadlines could damage your defense, limit or avoid your recovery. Some concerns by statute involve a “pre-suit” period of time that allow you to think about the legal issues and probable resolution before a lawsuit is filed. Similarly, seeking a lawyer immediately is advised.
5. QUESTION: Precisely what is mediation?
ANSWER: Mediation is a course of action whereby the parties to the matter present at an agreed location with their counsel (if retained) and a chosen mediator to try and resolve all or a number of the concerns involved. Mediators should be unrelated to all participants and the litigation at issue, are to remain impartial in between the parties and their lawyer, and continue maintaining the confidential aspect of the conference to encourage settlement and resolution. Generally the parties share the charge of the mediation equally but other arrangements may be made if all parties are in agreement in advance of the conference. Mediation is normally required in just about every case filed in court and just before a trial is held.
6. QUESTION: What kind of legal professional do I need?
ANSWER: Again, like other businesses, lawyers may specialise in a specific or more than one area. Similarly, law firms may specialize, offer general legal needs or offer services in a few precise areas of law. Trial lawyers handle cases involving lawsuits; family law lawyers handle separation and divorce, child custody/visitation, child support, alimony and associated matters; general practitioners handle nearly all matters. Some areas of law are extremely technical, like bankruptcy or taxation; others are delineated by statute, as in worker’s compensation. Any attorney should be able to go over your particular issue, determine if he or she is prepared to handle such matters or advise you of the need to speak with another in a specialised area.
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