Why Have A Divorce Lawyer?

Assuming you haven't before now, chances are that sometime in your lifetime you will want to employ legal counsel. With the help of my interview with Tampa Lawyer Christina Mesa, this is a selection of responses to common and fundamental 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 specific deadlines; missing out on those deadlines could damage your defense, restrict or avoid your recovery. Some matters by statute involve a "pre-suit" time period that allow you to think about the legal issues and possible resolution before a lawsuit is filed. Similarly, seeking a lawyer immediately is recommended.

2. QUESTION: Do I have to hire an attorney or lawyer in the county where the issue occurs?
ANSWER: No. Many lawyers 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 attorney will have a comfort level with the neighborhood courthouse personnel, lawyers (likely opposing counsel) and judges. One thing to consider in retaining a lawyer outside the area in which the matter occurs is cost of journey time. Some attorneys do not charge for travel, others offer a reduced rate or maintain a billable rate for all work carried out. Discuss that question with each attorney consulted.

3. QUESTION: What exactly is mediation?
ANSWER: Mediation is a course of action whereby the parties to the matter present at an agreed site with their counsel (if retained) and a selected mediator to try and resolve all or a number of the problems involved. Mediators should 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 aspect of the conference to encourage settlement and resolution. Typically the parties share the fee of the mediation equally but other arrangements can be made if all parties are in agreement in advance of the conference. Mediation is typically 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 businesses, attorneys may specialize in a certain or more than one area. Similarly, law offices may specialize, provide general legal needs or offer services in a few precise areas of law. Trial attorneys deal with cases involving lawsuits; family law attorneys handle divorce, child custody/visitation, child support, alimony and related matters; general practitioners handle most matters. Some areas of law are extremely complex, like bankruptcy or taxation; others are delineated by statute, as in worker's compensation. Any lawyer can talk about your particular issue, determine if he/she is prepared to take care of such matters or advise you of the need to consult with another in a specialised area.

5. QUESTION: How am I able to be certain my lawyer is resolving my problems?
ANSWER: Every good lawyer keeps track of his time (fees) and expenditures (costs). Your retainer agreement should include a confirmation of how the lawyer bills his clients - once a month, quarterly, etc. You may even track your case in some jurisidictions that supply on-line accessibility to case dockets. If the county has that set up, you're wise to periodically review the docket and see what activities have transpired by your lawyer and the other party/counsel. You should also feel at ease contacting your lawyer at intervals to ascertain the status of the matter, knowing you will likely be billed for these communications.

6. QUESTION: Exactly how do I select an attorney at law?
ANSWER: Legal topics are as vast as those in other sectors, such as medicine, construction, finance, etc. and might be just as complex. To safeguard your rights and remedies, the ideal practice is to investigate your area of need and research what legal professionals are around to work with you. A referral from somebody you know and regard can bring a personal element to the decision to hire an lawyer but shouldn't be the only reason counsel is selected. Look into the attorney's background of training, expertise and area(s) of practice. Asking basic questions should be urged in this process. Self-help can be empowering but may also limit or negate your recovery. Hiring a law firm should be considered with the same degree of thought and consideration as that given to the pick of a medical doctor, accountant, financial expert or therapist.

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