What The Experts Aren't Saying About Divorce Lawyers And How It Affects You

In the event that you have not previously, probably sometime in your own life you'll need to seek the services of legal counsel. With the help of my discussion with Tampa Lawyer Christina Mesa, below is a number of answers to typical as well as worthwhile questions.

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

2. QUESTION: Do I need to hire an attorney in the county where the issue occurs?
ANSWER: No. Many lawyers or attorneys practice in other counties and other states, based upon on their licensure for the latter. Having experience in the county in which the matter will be litigated is crucial as that lawyer will have a level of comfort with the local courthouse personnel, attorneys (likely opposing lawyer) and judges. One consideration in retaining an attorney outside the area in which the matter takes place is cost of journey time. Some attorneys do not charge for travel, others offer a decreased rate or maintain a billable rate for all work carried out. Clarify that question with each lawyer consulted.

3. QUESTION: Precisely what is mediation?
ANSWER: Mediation is a process whereby the parties to the issue present at an agreed location with their counsel (if retained) and a decided on mediator to try and solve all or a number of the problems involved. Mediators are to be unrelated to all parties and the litigation at issue, are to stay impartial in between the parties and their lawyer, and maintain the confidential nature of the conference to encourage settlement and resolution. Usually the parties share the fee of the mediation evenly but other arrangements might be made if all parties are in agreement ahead of the conference. Mediation is generally required in every case filed in court and prior to a trial is held.

4. QUESTION: What type of law firm do I need?
ANSWER: Again, like other sectors, attorneys may specialize in a certain or more than one area. Similarly, law offices may specialize, provide general legal needs or offer services in several unique areas of law. Trial attorneys deal with cases involving lawsuits; family law lawyers handle divorce, child custody/visitation, child support, alimony and associated matters; general practitioners handle nearly all matters. Some areas of law are very specialized, like bankruptcy or taxation; others are delineated by statute, like worker's compensation. Any lawyer should be able to go over your specific issue, determine if he or she is prepared to take care of such matters or advise you of the need to seek advice from another in a specialised area.

5. QUESTION: How am I able to be sure my lawyer is handling my issues?
ANSWER: Every good attorney monitors his time (fees) and expenses (costs). Your retainer agreement should include a confirmation of how the lawyer bills his clients - monthly, quarterly, etc. You may also keep track of your case in some jurisidictions that supply 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 counsel and the other party/counsel. It's also advisable to feel comfortable contacting your lawyer at intervals to determine the status of the issue, understanding you'll likely be billed for these interactions.

6. QUESTION: Exactly how do I select an attorney?
ANSWER: Legal dilemmas are as vast as those in other sectors, such as medicine, construction, finance, etc. and might be just as complicated. To safeguard your rights and remedies, the very best practice would be to investigate your area of need and research what law firms are available to assist you. A referral from someone you know and admire can add a personal element to the decision to hire an law firm but should not be the sole reason counsel is chosen. Look into the attorney's background of schooling, practical experience and area(s) of practice. Asking important questions should be urged in this process. Self-help could be strengthening but may also restrict or negate your recovery. Hiring a law firm should be contemplated with the same level of thought and consideration as that given to the pick of a doctor, accountant, financial consultant or therapist.

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