Why Almost Everything You've Learned About Divorce Lawyers Is Wrong And What You Should Know

In case you haven't before now, probably sometime in a lifetime you'll need to employ an attorney at law. With the help of my consultation with Tampa Attorney Christina Mesa, this is a group of responses to popular as well as imperative questions.

1. QUESTION: How do I know if I need a lawyer or attorney?
ANSWER: If you have been recently served with a Summons and similar documents (Complaint, Petition, Motion), you should really endeavor to find legal assistance immediately. Papers filed in court that begin a lawsuit necessitate responses that involve specific deadlines; missing out on those deadlines could compromise your defense, restrict or avoid your recovery. Some concerns by statute involve a "pre-suit" period of time that enable you to consider the legal issues and probable resolution before a lawsuit is filed. Similarly, seeking legal counsel 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 or attorneys practice in other counties and other states, depending on their licensure for the latter. Having experience in the county in which the matter is being litigated is important as that lawyer will have a comfort level with the local courthouse personnel, lawyers (likely opposing counsel) and judges. One consideration in hiring legal counsel away from area in which the matter takes place is cost of journey time. Some attorneys don't charge for travel, others give you a decreased rate or preserve a billable rate for all work carried out. Discuss that question with each attorney consulted.

3. QUESTION: Precisely 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 decided on mediator to try and resolve all or a number of the concerns involved. Mediators need to be unrelated to all parties and the litigation at issue, are to stay impartial amongst the parties and their lawyer, and continue maintaining the confidential aspect of the conference to recommend settlement and resolution. Generally the parties share the charge of the mediation evenly but other arrangements might be made if all parties are in agreement ahead of the conference. Mediation is usually 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 sectors, lawyers may specialize in a certain or more than one area. Similarly, law firms may specialize, provide general legal needs or offer you services in several specific areas of law. Trial attorneys handle cases involving lawsuits; family law attorneys handle separation and divorce, child custody/visitation, child support, alimony and associated matters; general practitioners handle nearly all matters. Some areas of law are very complex, like bankruptcy or taxation; some are delineated by statute, like 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 speak with another in a specialized area.

5. QUESTION: How am I able to be certain my lawyer is handling my issues?
ANSWER: Every good attorney monitors his time (fees) and expenses (costs). Your retainer arrangement should include a confirmation of how the lawyer bills his clients - monthly, quarterly, etc. You may also keep track of 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 events have taken place by your lawyer and the other party/counsel. You should also feel comfortable contacting your lawyer at intervals to determine the status of the issue, understanding you'll likely be billed for these interactions.

6. QUESTION: Exactly how do I select an attorney?
ANSWER: Legal difficulties are as vast as those in other industries, such as medicine, construction, finance, etc. and are generally just as complex. To protect your rights and remedies, the best practice would be to study your area of need and research what legal professionals are out there to assist you. A referral from someone you know and admire can bring a personal element to the decision to hire an attorney but should not be the exclusive reason counsel is picked. Look into the attorney's background of training, experience and area(s) of practice. Asking a lot of questions should be urged in this process. Self-help could be strengthening but may also restrict or negate your recovery. Hiring a law firm should be considered with the exact same degree of thought and consideration as that given to the selection of a medical doctor, accountant, financial advisor or therapist.

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