Litigation & Arbitration

  The lawyer will be helping you solve your problems. So, you must feel comfortable enough to tell him or her, honestly and completely, all personal facts necessary to resolve your problem. No one you listen to and nothing you read will tell you which particular lawyer will be the best for you; you must judge that for yourself. Most lawyers will meet you briefly to "get acquainted", This will allow you to talk with your prospective lawyer before making a final decision.

  It is important that you trust the lawyer you hire. Furthermore, you should believe that he or she will do the best job possible in protecting your legal rights. However, remember that lawyers cannot work magic. No lawyer can be expected to win every case, and the best legal advice may not be what you want to hear.

  The lawyer's area of expertise and prior experience are important. You may ask about your lawyer's areas of concentration. You also may wish to ask about the type of cases your lawyer has handled.

  Another consideration is the convenience of the lawyer's office location. Also consider the amount of fees charged and the length of time a case may take. Although there are not always wise guidelines, consider your personal preferences about the lawyer's age, sex, and personality. These preferences may guide you in locating someone with whom you feel most comfortable.

  There are many sources for finding a reliable lawyer. Some of the best are recommendations from a trusted friend, relative, or acquaintance. Be aware, however, that a lawyer who is right for someone else may not suit you or your legal problem.

  Many lawyers are willing to meet with you briefly without charge so the two of you can get acquainted. During this first meeting, you can decide whether you want to hire that lawyer. Many people feel nervous or intimidated when meeting lawyers. However, remember that you are the one doing the hiring. Most importantly, the lawyer's services should satisfy you, especially when you consider the money you will be paying. Before you make any hiring decisions, you might want to ask certain questions to aid in your evaluation.

  Ask about the lawyer's experience and areas of practice. How long has the lawyer and the firm been practicing law? What kinds of legal problems does the lawyer handle most often? Are most clients individuals or businesses?

  Ask if nonlawyers, such as paralegals or law clerks, will be used in researching or preparing the case. If so, will there be separate charges for their services? Who will be consulted if the lawyer is unsure about some aspects of your case? Will the lawyer recommend another attorney or firm if this one is unable to handle your case?

  Occasionally, a lawyer will suggest that someone else in the same firm or an outside lawyer handle your specific problem. Perhaps the original lawyer is too busy to give your case the full attention it deserves. Maybe your problem requires another's expertise, No one likes to feel that a lawyer is shifting him or her to another attorney. However, most reassignments within firms occur for a good reason. Do not hesitate to request a meeting with the new attorney to make sure you are comfortable with him or her.

  Ask about fees and costs. How are fees charged by the hour, by the case, or by the amount won? About how much money will be required to handle the case from start to finish? When must you pay the bill? May you pay it in installments? Ask for a written statement of what will be charged.

  Beware of any lawyer who guarantees a big settlement or assures a victory in court. Remember that there are at Least two sidles to every legal issue, and many facts enter into how it will be resolved. Ask for the lawyer's opinion of your case's strengths and weaknesses. Will the lawyer most likely settle your case out of court, or will it go to trial? What kind of experience does the lawyer have in trial work? If you lose at the trial, will the lawyer be willing to appeal the decision?

  It is in your best interests for you to ask how you may participate. When you hire a lawyer, you are paying for legal advice. Your lawyer should make no major decision about whether and how to go on with the case without your permission. Pay special attention to whether the lawyer seems willing and able to explain the case to you and answer your questions clearly and completely. Also ask what information will be supplied to you. How, and how of ten, will the lawyer keep you informed about the progress of your case? Will copies of relevant documents be sent to you?

Client Testimonial

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