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What You Need To Know About Divorce Lawyesr And Why

Assuming you have not before now, chances are that sometime in your life you'll need to employ an attorney. Thanks to my interview with Tampa Lawyer Christina Mesa, what follows is a selection of answers to popular and fundamental questions.

1. QUESTION: How do I know if I need a lawyer or attorney?
ANSWER: If you have already been served with a Summons and associated documents (Complaint, Petition, Motion), you really should endeavor to seek out legal advice right away. Papers filed in court that commence a lawsuit necessitate responses that involve specific deadlines; missing those deadlines could damage your defense, limit or avoid your recovery. Some concerns by statute involve a "pre-suit" period that enable you to think about the legal issues and potential resolution before a suit is filed. Similarly, seeking legal counsel at the earliest opportunity is recommended.

2. QUESTION: Do I have to hire an attorney in the county where the problem occurs?
ANSWER: No. Many attorneys practice in other counties and other states, based upon on their licensure for the latter. Having experience in the county wherein the matter is being litigated is crucial as that attorney will have a level of comfort with the local courthouse personnel, attorneys (likely opposing lawyer) and judges. One consideration in hiring an attorney outside the area in which the matter occurs is cost of travel time. Some lawyers do not charge for travel, others give you a reduced rate or maintain a billable rate for all work carried out. Discuss that question with each lawyer consulted.

3. QUESTION: What exactly is mediation?
ANSWER: Mediation is a process whereby the parties to the issue present at an agreed area with their counsel (if retained) and a chosen mediator to try and solve all or some of the issues involved. Mediators should be unrelated to all participants and the litigation at issue, are to remain impartial amongst the parties and their counsel, and maintain the confidential structure of the conference to inspire settlement and resolution. Generally the parties share the fee of the mediation evenly but other arrangements may 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 do I need?
ANSWER: Again, like other businesses, lawyers may concentrate in a specific or more than one area. Similarly, law firms may specialize, provide general legal needs or offer services in a few unique areas of law. Trial lawyers handle cases involving lawsuits; family law lawyers handle divorce cases, child custody/visitation, child support, alimony and associated matters; general practitioners handle most matters. Some areas of law are extremely complex, like bankruptcy or taxation; others are delineated by statute, like worker's compensation. Any lawyer can talk about your particular issue, determine if he/she is prepared to handle such matters or advise you of the need to speak with another in a specialized area.

5. QUESTION: How can I be sure my lawyer is resolving my problems?
ANSWER: Every good lawyer monitors his time (fees) and expenditures (costs). Your retainer agreement should include a confirmation of how the lawyer bills his clients - month-to-month, quarterly, etc. You may also keep track of your case in some jurisidictions that offer on-line access to case dockets. If the county has that established, you are wise to occasionally review the docket and see what activities have taken place by your counsel and the other party/counsel. It's also advisable to feel at ease contacting your attorney at intervals to learn the status of the matter, knowing you will likely be billed for these interactions.

6. QUESTION: Exactly how do I select an attorney at law?
ANSWER: Legal subjects are as vast as those in other industries, such as medicine, construction, finance, etc. and usually are just as complex. To safeguard your legal rights and remedies, the best practice would be to investigate your area of need and research what lawyers are around to help you. A recommendation from someone you know and admire can bring a personal element to the consideration to hire an law firm but should not be the sole reason counsel is chosen. Research the attorney's background of education, practical experience and area(s) of practice. Asking basic questions should be urged in this process. Self-help can be strengthening but may also limit or negate your recovery. Hiring a lawyer should be contemplated with the same degree of thought and consideration as that directed at the pick of a medical professional, accountant, financial expert or therapist.

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