What The Experts Aren t Saying About Divorce Lawyers And How It Affects You

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In the instance that you have not already, chances are that sometime in your own lifetime you will want to retain the services of legal counsel. With the help of my discussion with Tampa Attorney Christina Mesa, this is a list of answers to very common as well as imperative questions.

1. QUESTION: How am I able to be certain my attorney is resolving my case?
ANSWER: Every good lawyer accounts for his time (fees) and expenditures (costs). Your retainer contract should include a confirmation of how the lawyer bills his clients - month-to-month, quarterly, etc. You can also track your case in some jurisidictions that provide on-line accessibility to case dockets. If the county has that set up, you're wise to often review the docket and see what events have transpired by your attorney and the other party/counsel. You should also feel comfortable contacting your attorney at intervals to determine the status of the issue, understanding you will likely be billed for these interactions.

2. QUESTION: Do I have to hire an attorney in the county where the issue occurs?
ANSWER: No. Many attorneys practice in other jurisdictions and other states, based on their licensure for the latter. Having knowledge in the county wherein the matter is being litigated is essential 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 wherein the matter takes place is cost of travel time. Some lawyers don't charge for travel, others offer a reduced rate or preserve a billable rate for all work carried out. Clarify that question with each lawyer consulted.

3. QUESTION: How do I know if I will need a lawyer?
ANSWER: If you have already been served with a Summons and comparable documents (Complaint, Petition, Motion), you really should endeavor to find legal guidance now. Documents filed in court that commence a lawsuit require responses that involve specific deadlines; missing those deadlines could damage your defense, restrict or avoid your recovery. Some concerns by statute involve a "pre-suit" period that enable you to consider the legal issues and potential resolution before a lawsuit is filed. Similarly, seeking a lawyer immediately is advised.

4. QUESTION: What is mediation?
ANSWER: Mediation is a course of action whereby the parties to the issue present at an agreed area with their counsel (if retained) and a chosen mediator to try and resolve all or some of the issues involved. Mediators are to be unrelated to all participants and the litigation at issue, are to remain impartial in between the parties and their counsel, and maintain the confidential aspect of the conference to recommend settlement and resolution. Generally the parties share the charge 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 every case filed in court and before a trial is held.

5. QUESTION: What kind of legal professional 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 a few precise areas of law. Trial attorneys handle 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 specialized, like bankruptcy or taxation; some are delineated by statute, like worker's compensation. Any lawyer can discuss your specific issue, determine if he or she is qualified to handle such matters or advise you of the necessity to consult with another in a specialized area.

6. QUESTION: Precisely how do I pick an attorney or lawyer?
ANSWER: Legal topics are as vast as those in other industries, such as medicine, construction, finance, etc. and might be just as complex. To safeguard your rights and remedies, the best practice is to study your area of need and research what attorneys are accessible to work with you. A referral from someone you know and regard can bring a personal element to the consideration to hire an law firm but should not be the sole reason counsel is selected. Look into the attorney's background of training, expertise and area(s) of practice. Asking a lot of questions should be urged in this process. Self-help can be strengthening but may also reduce or negate your recovery. Hiring a legal professional should be considered with exactly the same degree of thought and consideration as that given to the pick of a physician, accountant, financial specialist or therapist.

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