Where Is The Best Divorce Lawyer?

If you haven't before now, chances are that sometime in your life you'll have to retain the services of an attorney. With the help of my discussion with Tampa Attorney Christina Mesa, what follows is a number of responses to common as well as imperative questions.

1. QUESTION: Do I have to hire an attorney or lawyer in the county where the case occurs?
ANSWER: No. Many lawyers or attorneys practice in other jurisdictions and other states, based on their licensure for the latter. Having experience in the county in which the matter will be litigated is crucial as that lawyer will have a comfort level with the neighborhood courthouse personnel, lawyers (likely opposing lawyer) and judges. One matter in hiring an attorney outside the area wherein the matter occurs is cost of travel time. Some lawyers do not charge for travel, others offer a lowered rate or preserve a billable rate for all work performed. Talk about that question with each lawyer consulted.

2. QUESTION: How am I able to be certain my lawyer is working on my problems?
ANSWER: Every good attorney accounts for his time (fees) and expenses (costs). Your retainer agreement should include a statement of how the lawyer bills his clients - up front, quarterly, etc. You may also track your case in some jurisidictions that provide on-line access to case dockets. If the county has that established, you're wise to occasionally review the docket and see what events have occurred by your counsel and the other party/counsel. You should also feel at ease contacting your attorney at intervals to learn the status of the issue, knowing you will likely be billed for these communications.

3. QUESTION: How do I pick an attorney or lawyer?
ANSWER: Legal matters are as vast as those in other industries, such as medicine, construction, finance, etc. and tend to be just as complex. To safeguard your legal rights and remedies, the best practice would be to study your area of need and research what legal professionals are accessible to help you. A referral from somebody you know and regard can bring a personal element to the decision to hire an lawyer but should not be the exclusive reason counsel is selected. Look into 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 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 pick of a medical professional, accountant, financial advisor or therapist.

4. QUESTION: How do I know if I will need a lawyer?
ANSWER: If you have recently been served with a Summons and related documents (Complaint, Petition, Motion), you should really endeavor to find legal assistance now. Documents filed in court that commence a lawsuit require responses that involve exact deadlines; missing those deadlines could damage your defense, reduce or avoid your recovery. Some issues 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 legal counsel at the earliest opportunity is recommended.

5. QUESTION: Exactly what is mediation?
ANSWER: Mediation is a process whereby the parties to the matter present at an agreed site with their counsel (if retained) and a selected mediator to try and solve all or some of the problems involved. Mediators should be unrelated to all parties and the litigation at issue, are to stay impartial between the parties and their counsel, and continue maintaining the confidential nature of the conference to encourage settlement and resolution. Typically the parties share the charge of the mediation equally but other arrangements may be made if all parties are in agreement in advance of the conference. Mediation is normally required in every case filed in court and just before a trial is held.

6. QUESTION: What kind of attorney do I need?
ANSWER: Again, like other businesses, attorneys 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 precise areas of law. Trial attorneys handle cases involving lawsuits; family law attorneys handle divorce cases, 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; some are delineated by statute, such as worker's compensation. Any attorney can go over your specific issue, determine if he or she is qualified to handle such matters or advise you of the need to speak with another in a specialized area.

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