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

In the event that you haven't before now, chances are that sometime in your lifetime you will need to retain legal counsel. With the help of my discussion with Tampa Lawyer Christina Mesa, this is a selection of answers to frequent along with important questions.

1. QUESTION: Do I need to hire an attorney in the county where the problem occurs?
ANSWER: No. Many lawyers or attorneys practice in other jurisdictions and other states, depending on their licensure for the latter. Having experience in the county wherein the matter is being litigated is essential as that lawyer will have a comfort level with the community courthouse personnel, lawyers (likely opposing lawyer) and judges. One consideration in retaining an attorney away from area wherein the matter takes place is cost of travel time. Some lawyers do not charge for travel, others offer a reduced rate or maintain a billable rate for all work carried out. Clarify that question with each attorney consulted.

2. QUESTION: How may I be certain my lawyer is working on my issues?
ANSWER: Every good attorney accounts for his time (fees) and expenses (costs). Your retainer arrangement should include a statement of how the attorney bills his clients - up front, quarterly, etc. You can also keep track of your case in some jurisidictions that provide 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 taken place by your counsel and the other party/counsel. It's also advisable to feel comfortable contacting your attorney at intervals to determine the status of the issue, knowing you will likely be billed for these interactions.

3. QUESTION: Just how do I pick an attorney or lawyer?
ANSWER: Legal concerns are as vast as those in other industries, such as medicine, construction, finance, etc. and tend to be just as complex. To safeguard your rights and remedies, the best practice would be to study your area of need and research what attorneys are around to help you. A referral from somebody you know and regard can add a personal element to the consideration to hire an lawyer but should not be the sole reason counsel is chosen. Look into the lawyer's background of training, practical experience and area(s) of practice. Asking questions should be encouraged in this process. Self-help can be empowering but can also limit or negate your recovery. Hiring a lawyer should be considered with the exact same degree of thought and consideration as that given to the choice of a medical professional, accountant, financial specialist or therapist.

4. QUESTION: How do I determine if I need a legal professional?
ANSWER: If you have been recently served with a Summons and related documents (Complaint, Petition, Motion), you really should endeavor to look for legal guidance now. Documents filed in court that start a lawsuit call for responses that involve particular deadlines; skipping those deadlines could damage your defense, restrict or avoid your recovery. Some concerns by statute involve a "pre-suit" time period that allow you to take into account the legal issues and probable resolution before a lawsuit is filed. Similarly, seeking a lawyer immediately is advised.

5. QUESTION: Exactly what is mediation?
ANSWER: Mediation is a course of action whereby the parties to the case present at an agreed place with their counsel (if retained) and a decided on mediator to try and resolve all or some of the concerns involved. Mediators are to be unrelated to all parties and the litigation at issue, are to remain impartial between the parties and their lawyer, and maintain the confidential structure of the conference to recommend settlement and resolution. Typically the parties share the fee 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.

6. QUESTION: What kind of law firm do I need?
ANSWER: Again, like other businesses, lawyers may specialize in a certain or more than one area. Similarly, law firms may specialize, offer general legal needs or offer services in a few specific areas of law. Trial lawyers handle cases involving lawsuits; family law lawyers handle divorce, child custody/visitation, child support, alimony and related matters; general practitioners handle nearly all 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 go over your particular issue, determine if he or she is prepared to take care of such matters or advise you of the need to consult with another in a specialized area.

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