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What You Don't Know About Divorce Lawyers

Jan 14th 2018, 1:03 am
Posted by susanabird
In case you haven't by now, probably sometime in your own life you will have to retain legal counsel. With the help of my interview with Tampa Attorney Christina Mesa, this is a variety of responses to common and imperative questions.

1. QUESTION: Do I need to hire an attorney or lawyer in the county where the problem occurs?
ANSWER: No. Many lawyers practice in other jurisdictions and other states, based 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 neighborhood courthouse personnel, attorneys (likely opposing counsel) and judges. One thing to consider in hiring a lawyer away from area wherein the matter occurs is cost of journey time. Some attorneys do not charge for travel, others offer a lowered rate or maintain a billable rate for all work performed. Clarify that question with each attorney consulted.

2. QUESTION: How will I make sure my attorney is resolving my issues?
ANSWER: Every good lawyer accounts for his time (fees) and expenses (costs). Your retainer arrangement should include a statement of how the attorney bills his clients - up front, quarterly, etc. You can also track your case in some jurisidictions that offer on-line access to case dockets. If the county has that available, you are wise to periodically review the docket and see what changes have transpired by your attorney and the other party/counsel. In addition feel comfortable contacting your attorney at intervals to determine the status of the matter, understanding you'll likely be billed for these communications.

3. QUESTION: Exactly how do I select an attorney or lawyer?
ANSWER: Legal difficulties are as vast as those in other industries, such as medicine, construction, finance, etc. and might be just as complex. To safeguard your legal rights and remedies, the ideal practice would be to investigate your area of need and research what law firms are around to help you. A recommendation from somebody you know and admire can add a personal element to the plan to hire an attorney but shouldn't be the exclusive reason counsel is selected. Research the attorney's background of education, expertise and area(s) of practice. Asking important questions should be encouraged in this process. Self-help could be strengthening but can also reduce or negate your recovery. Hiring a lawyer should be contemplated with the exact same level of thought and consideration as that directed at the choice of a doctor, accountant, financial advisor or therapist.

4. QUESTION: How do I determine if I require a lawyer or attorney?
ANSWER: If you have 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 begin a lawsuit require responses that involve exact deadlines; missing out on those deadlines could damage your defense, restrict or avoid your recovery. Some matters by statute involve a "pre-suit" period of time that enable you to think about the legal issues and potential resolution before a suit is filed. Similarly, seeking a lawyer as soon as possible is recommended.

5. QUESTION: What exactly is mediation?
ANSWER: Mediation is a course of action whereby the parties to the issue present at an agreed local with their counsel (if retained) and a chosen mediator to try and solve all or a number of the problems involved. Mediators need to be unrelated to all parties and the litigation at issue, are to stay impartial amongst the parties and their counsel, and continue maintaining the confidential nature of the conference to recommend settlement and resolution. Typically the parties share the fee of the mediation evenly but other arrangements can be made if all parties are in agreement in advance of the conference.

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