Divorce Lawyer Exposed

In the case you haven't previously, probably sometime in your lifetime you will have to retain the services of an attorney. With the help of my discussion with Tampa Lawyer Christina Mesa, what follows is a selection of answers to popular along with worthwhile questions.

1. QUESTION: How do I know if I require a lawyer?
ANSWER: If you have recently been served with a Summons and related documents (Complaint, Petition, Motion), you should really endeavor to look for legal guidance immediately. Papers filed in court that start a lawsuit require responses that involve particular deadlines; missing out on those deadlines could damage your defense, restrict or avoid your recovery. Some matters by statute involve a "pre-suit" period that enable you to consider the legal issues and probable resolution before a suit is filed. Similarly, seeking a lawyer as quickly as possible is recommended.

2. QUESTION: Do I need to hire an attorney or lawyer in the county where the issue occurs?
ANSWER: No. Many lawyers practice in other counties and other states, based on their licensure for the latter. Having knowledge in the county wherein the matter is being litigated is crucial as that lawyer will have a comfort level with the neighborhood courthouse personnel, lawyers (likely opposing lawyer) and judges. One thing to consider in retaining a lawyer away from area wherein the matter occurs is cost of journey time. Some lawyers don't charge for travel, others offer a decreased rate or maintain a billable rate for all work conducted. Clarify that question with each attorney consulted.

3. QUESTION: What exactly is mediation?
ANSWER: Mediation is a course of action whereby the parties to the issue present at an agreed location with their counsel (if retained) and a selected mediator to try and solve all or a number of the issues involved. Mediators need to be unrelated to all parties and the litigation at issue, are to stay impartial amongst the parties and their lawyer, and continue maintaining the confidential structure of the conference to encourage settlement and resolution. Typically the parties share the fee of the mediation equally but other arrangements may be made if all parties are in agreement in advance of the conference. Mediation is usually required in just about every case filed in court and prior to a trial is held.

4. QUESTION: What kind of attorney at law do I need?
ANSWER: Again, like other industries, attorneys may concentrate in a specific or more than one area. Similarly, law firms may specialize, provide general legal needs or provide services in a few specific areas of law. Trial lawyers deal with cases involving lawsuits; family law lawyers handle divorce, child custody/visitation, child support, alimony and associated matters; general practitioners handle almost all matters. Some areas of law are extremely specialized, like bankruptcy or taxation; others are delineated by statute, such as worker's compensation. Any lawyer can discuss your specific issue, determine if he/she is qualified to handle such matters or advise you of the need to speak with another in a specialised area.

5. QUESTION: How am I able to be sure my lawyer is handling my issues?
ANSWER: Every good lawyer monitors his time (fees) and expenses (costs). Your retainer agreement should include a confirmation of how the attorney bills his clients - month-to-month, quarterly, etc. You may even keep track of your case in some jurisidictions that offer on-line access to case dockets. If the county has that set up, you're wise to periodically review the docket and see what activities have taken place by your lawyer and the other party/counsel. You should also feel comfortable contacting your attorney at intervals to learn the status of the matter, understanding you'll likely be charged for these interactions.

6. QUESTION: Exactly how do I select an attorney at law?
ANSWER: Legal difficulties are as vast as those in other industries, such as medicine, construction, finance, etc. and tend to be just as perplexing. To safeguard your rights and remedies, the very best practice is to research your area of need and research what law firms are accessible to work with you. A referral from somebody you know and admire can add a personal element to the plan to hire an lawyer but should not be the singular reason counsel is picked. Research the attorney's background of training, practical experience and area(s) of practice. Asking important questions should be urged in this process. Self-help could be empowering but may also restrict or negate your recovery. Hiring a lawyer should be considered with the same degree of thought and consideration as that given to the selection of a physician, accountant, financial advisor or therapist.

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