What Makes A Divorce Lawyer?

In the case you haven’t before now, chances are that sometime in your life you will have to employ a lawyer. With the help of my consultation with Tampa Lawyer Christina Mesa, here is a group of responses to common as well as worthwhile questions.

1. QUESTION: Do I need to hire an attorney in the county where the case occurs?

ANSWER: No. Many lawyers practice in other counties and other states, depending on their licensure for the latter. Having experience in the county wherein the matter will be litigated is essential as that attorney will have a level of comfort with the community courthouse personnel, attorneys (likely opposing lawyer) and judges. One consideration in retaining an attorney away from area in which the matter takes place is cost of travel time. Some lawyers do not charge for travel, others offer a reduced rate or preserve a billable rate for all work carried out. Talk about that question with each lawyer consulted.

2. QUESTION: How may I be certain my lawyer is handling my case?

ANSWER: Every good attorney keeps track of his time (fees) and expenditures (costs). Your retainer arrangement should include a confirmation of how the lawyer bills his clients – once a 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 set up, you are wise to routinely review the docket and see what activities have occurred by your lawyer and the other party/counsel. Also feel comfortable getting in touch with your lawyer at intervals to ascertain the status of the issue, knowing you’ll likely be billed for these interactions.

3. QUESTION: Just how do I pick an attorney or lawyer?

ANSWER: Legal subjects are as vast as those in other sectors, such as medicine, construction, finance, etc. and may be just as perplexing. To safeguard your rights and remedies, the ideal practice would be to study your area of need and research what law firms are out there to assist you. A recommendation from somebody you know and respect can add a personal element to the consideration to hire an lawyer but really should not be the only reason counsel is selected. Look into the lawyer’s background of education, experience and area(s) of practice. Asking questions should be urged in this process. Self-help could be strengthening but may also limit or negate your recovery. Hiring a legal professional should be considered with exactly the same degree of thought and consideration as that directed at the selection of a medical doctor, accountant, financial consultant or therapist.

4. QUESTION: How do I know if I require a lawyer?

ANSWER: If you have recently been served with a Summons and related documents (Complaint, Petition, Motion), you should endeavor to seek legal guidance right away. Papers filed in court that commence a lawsuit necessitate responses that involve particular deadlines; missing out on those deadlines could damage 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 suit is filed. Similarly, seeking a lawyer at the earliest opportunity is advised.

5. QUESTION: Precisely what is mediation?

ANSWER: Mediation is a process whereby the parties to the issue present at an agreed location with their counsel (if retained) and a selected mediator to try and resolve all or some of the problems involved. Mediators need to be unrelated to all participants and the litigation at issue, are to remain impartial between the parties and their lawyer, and maintain the confidential aspect of the conference to recommend settlement and resolution. Typically the parties share the charge of the mediation evenly but other arrangements can be made if all parties are in agreement in advance of the conference. Mediation is generally required in every case filed in court and before a trial is held.

6. QUESTION: What kind of attorney do I need?

ANSWER: Again, like other sectors, lawyers may specialise in a certain or more than one area. Similarly, law offices may specialize, offer general legal needs or offer you services in several unique areas of law. Trial lawyers deal with 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 extremely technical, like bankruptcy or taxation; some are delineated by statute, as in worker’s compensation. Any attorney can go over your specific issue, determine if he/she is qualified to handle such matters or advise you of the necessity to seek advice from another in a specialised area.

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11 January 2019

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