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


If you haven't already, chances are that sometime in your lifetime you will want to retain legal counsel. With the help of my discussion with Tampa Lawyer Christina Mesa, here's a number of responses to frequent and important questions.

1. QUESTION: How may I make certain my attorney is resolving my problems?
ANSWER: Every good lawyer accounts for his time (fees) and expenditures (costs). Your retainer contract should include a affirmation of how the lawyer bills his clients - month-to-month, quarterly, etc. You can also track your case in some jurisidictions that supply on-line access to case dockets. If the county has that set up, you're wise to often review the docket and see what changes have occurred by your counsel and the other party/counsel. In addition feel comfortable getting in touch with your attorney at intervals to learn the status of the matter, understanding you'll likely be charged for these interactions.

2. QUESTION: Do I need to hire an attorney at law in the county where the problem occurs?
ANSWER: No. Many lawyers practice in other counties and other states, based on their licensure for the latter. Having experience in the county in which the matter will be litigated is essential as that lawyer will have a level of comfort with the local courthouse personnel, lawyers (likely opposing counsel) and judges. One consideration in hiring an attorney away from area in which the matter occurs is cost of journey time. Some lawyers don't charge for travel, others offer a reduced rate or maintain a billable rate for all work performed. Talk about that question with each attorney consulted.

3. QUESTION: How do I determine if I need a lawyer?
ANSWER: If you have already been served with a Summons and related documents (Complaint, Petition, Motion), you really should endeavor to find legal guidance now. Documents filed in court that begin a lawsuit require responses that involve exact deadlines; skipping those deadlines could compromise your defense, limit or avoid your recovery. Some concerns by statute involve a "pre-suit" period of time that allow you to think about the legal issues and potential resolution before a suit is filed. Similarly, seeking legal counsel as quickly as possible is advised.

4. QUESTION: Precisely what is mediation?
ANSWER: Mediation is a process whereby the parties to the matter present at an agreed area with their counsel (if retained) and a selected mediator to try and resolve all or a number of the problems involved. Mediators need to be unrelated to all parties and the litigation at issue, are to remain impartial amongst the parties and their lawyer, and maintain the confidential aspect of the conference to encourage settlement and resolution. Generally the parties share the fee of the mediation equally but other arrangements can be made if all parties are in agreement ahead of the conference. Mediation is generally required in just about every case filed in court and before a trial is held.

5. QUESTION: What kind of lawyer do I need?
ANSWER: Again, like other businesses, lawyers may specialise in a certain or more than one area. Similarly, law firms may specialize, offer general legal needs or offer you services in several specific areas of law. Trial lawyers deal with cases involving lawsuits; family law lawyers handle separation and divorce, child custody/visitation, child support, alimony and associated matters; general practitioners handle almost all matters. Some areas of law are very specialized, like bankruptcy or taxation; some are delineated by statute, like worker's compensation. Any lawyer should be able to go over your particular issue, determine if he/she is prepared to take care of such matters or inform you of the need to consult with another in a specialized area.

6. QUESTION: Just how do I pick an attorney?
ANSWER: Legal difficulties are as vast as those in other industries, such as medicine, construction, finance, etc. and are generally just as complicated. To safeguard your legal rights and remedies, the very best practice is to research your area of need and research what legal professionals are out there to assist you. A referral from someone you know and regard can add a personal element to the plan to hire an law firm but shouldn't be the only reason counsel is picked. Research the attorney's background of training, expertise and area(s) of practice. Asking questions should be urged in this process. Self-help can be empowering but can also restrict 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 choice of a physician, accountant, financial expert or therapist.

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