You Make These Divorce Lawyer Mistakes?

In case you haven't previously, chances are that sometime in your own lifetime you will need to hire an attorney at law. With the help of my consultation with Tampa Lawyer Christina Mesa, listed here is a group of responses to basic along with imperative questions.

1. QUESTION: How do I know if I need a lawyer or attorney?
ANSWER: If you have recently been served with a Summons and related documents (Complaint, Petition, Motion), you should endeavor to find legal assistance right away. Papers filed in court that start a lawsuit call for responses that involve exact deadlines; missing out on those deadlines could damage your defense, limit or avoid your recovery. Some concerns by statute involve a "pre-suit" time period that allow you to take into account the legal issues and potential resolution before a suit is filed. Similarly, seeking a lawyer immediately is recommended.

2. QUESTION: Do I have to hire an attorney at law in the county where the issue occurs?
ANSWER: No. Many lawyers or attorneys practice in other counties and other states, depending on their licensure for the latter. Having knowledge in the county wherein the matter will be litigated is crucial as that attorney will have a comfort level with the community courthouse personnel, attorneys (likely opposing lawyer) and judges. One thing to consider in retaining legal counsel away from area in which the matter occurs is cost of travel time. Some attorneys do not charge for travel, others give you a lowered rate or preserve a billable rate for all work performed. Clarify that question with each lawyer consulted.

3. QUESTION: Exactly what is mediation?
ANSWER: Mediation is a process whereby the parties to the issue present at an agreed place with their counsel (if retained) and a chosen mediator to try and solve all or a number of the problems 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 maintain the confidential aspect of the conference to encourage settlement and resolution. Typically the parties share the cost of the mediation equally but other arrangements may be made if all parties are in agreement ahead of the conference. Mediation is normally required in just about every case filed in court and before a trial is held.

4. QUESTION: What kind of attorney at law do I need?
ANSWER: Again, like other industries, lawyers may specialize in a certain or more than one area. Similarly, law firms may specialize, offer general legal needs or offer services in a few specific areas of law. Trial lawyers handle cases involving lawsuits; family law lawyers handle divorce, child custody/visitation, child support, alimony and related matters; general practitioners handle nearly all matters. Some areas of law are very technical, like bankruptcy or taxation; others are delineated by statute, like worker's compensation. Any attorney should be able to talk about 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 specialized area.

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

6. QUESTION: Just how do I select an attorney or lawyer?
ANSWER: Legal concerns are as vast as those in other industries, such as medicine, construction, finance, etc. and tend to be just as complex. To protect your legal rights and remedies, the best practice would be to study your area of need and research what legal professionals are available to assist you. A recommendation from someone you know and regard can add a personal element to the plan to hire an law firm but really should not be the only reason counsel is chosen. Research the attorney's background of schooling, experience and area(s) of practice. Asking basic questions should be urged in this process. Self-help could be strengthening but may also limit or negate your recovery. Hiring a law firm should be contemplated with the exact same degree of thought and consideration as that directed at the pick of a medical professional, accountant, financial advisor or therapist.

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