Want To Step Up Your Divorce Lawyer? You Need To Read This First

Assuming you have not before now, chances are that sometime in your own life you will need to hire an attorney at law. Thanks to my consultation with Tampa Attorney Christina Mesa, this is a group of answers to frequent as well as imperative questions.

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

2. QUESTION: Do I need to hire an attorney at law in the county where the problem 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 is being litigated is essential as that lawyer will have a comfort level with the neighborhood courthouse personnel, attorneys (likely opposing counsel) and judges. One thing to consider in hiring legal counsel away from area wherein the matter takes place is cost of journey time. Some attorneys don't charge for travel, others give you a reduced rate or preserve a billable rate for all work conducted. Clarify that question with each attorney consulted.

3. QUESTION: What is mediation?
ANSWER: Mediation is a process whereby the parties to the matter present at an agreed location with their counsel (if retained) and a selected mediator to try and solve all or some of the concerns involved. Mediators need to be unrelated to all parties and the litigation at issue, are to remain impartial in between the parties and their lawyer, and maintain the confidential nature of the conference to encourage settlement and resolution. Typically the parties share the charge of the mediation evenly but other arrangements may be made if all parties are in agreement in advance of the conference. Mediation is usually required in every case filed in court and just before a trial is held.

4. QUESTION: What type of attorney at law do I need?
ANSWER: Again, like other businesses, lawyers may concentrate in a specific or more than one area. Similarly, law firms may specialize, offer general legal needs or provide 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 most matters. Some areas of law are very specialized, like bankruptcy or taxation; others are delineated by statute, such as worker's compensation. Any attorney can talk about your particular issue, determine if he or she is qualified to take care of such matters or inform you of the necessity to speak with another in a specialised area.

5. QUESTION: How may I be sure my attorney is resolving my problems?
ANSWER: Every good lawyer monitors his time (fees) and expenditures (costs). Your retainer arrangement should include a confirmation of how the attorney bills his clients - month-to-month, quarterly, etc. You may even track your case in some jurisidictions that offer on-line accessibility to case dockets. If the county has that established, you are wise to routinely review the docket and see what activities have transpired by your counsel and the other party/counsel. It's also advisable to feel comfortable getting in touch with your lawyer at intervals to learn the status of the issue, knowing you will likely be billed for these communications.

6. QUESTION: Just how do I select an attorney?
ANSWER: Legal concerns 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 ideal practice would be to research your area of need and research what law firms are out there to assist you. A recommendation from someone you know and admire can bring a personal element to the plan to hire an attorney but really should not be the singular reason counsel is selected. Research the lawyer's background of training, expertise and area(s) of practice. Asking basic questions should be encouraged 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 level of thought and consideration as that directed at the pick of a medical professional, accountant, financial specialist or therapist.

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