What Everybody Ought To Know About Divorce Lawyers


If perhaps you have not before now, probably sometime in your life you will need to hire legal counsel. Thanks to my discussion with Tampa Lawyer Christina Mesa, listed here is a selection of responses to popular and worthwhile questions.

1. QUESTION: Do I want to hire an attorney at law in the county where the issue occurs?
ANSWER: No. Many lawyers practice in other jurisdictions and other states, based 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 neighborhood courthouse personnel, attorneys (likely opposing lawyer) and judges. One consideration in hiring an attorney outside the area wherein the matter takes place is cost of journey time. Some lawyers do not charge for travel, others offer a reduced rate or preserve a billable rate for all work conducted. Clarify that question with each lawyer consulted.

2. QUESTION: How am I able to make sure my lawyer is handling my issues?
ANSWER: Every good attorney monitors his time (fees) and expenses (costs). Your retainer contract should include a confirmation of how the lawyer bills his clients - in advancemonthly, quarterly, etc. You may even keep track of your case in some jurisidictions that offer on-line access to case dockets. If the county has that set up, you're wise to periodically review the docket and see what activities have occurred by your attorney and the other party/counsel. You should also feel comfortable getting in touch with your attorney at intervals to determine the status of the issue, knowing you will likely be charged for these communications.

3. QUESTION: How do I pick an attorney at law?
ANSWER: Legal difficulties are as vast as those in other industries, such as medicine, construction, finance, etc. and may be just as complex. To protect your rights and remedies, the very best practice would be to research your area of need and research what law firms are around to help you. A recommendation from somebody you know and respect can bring a personal element to the decision to hire an attorney but really should not be the singular reason counsel is picked. Look into the lawyer's background of education, expertise and area(s) of practice. Asking basic questions should be encouraged in this process. Self-help could be strengthening but may also restrict or negate your recovery. Hiring a lawyer should be considered with exactly the same level of thought and consideration as that directed at the choice of a doctor, accountant, financial advisor or therapist.

4. QUESTION: How do I determine if I require a lawyer?
ANSWER: If you have been served with a Summons and comparable documents (Complaint, Petition, Motion), you really should endeavor to seek out legal guidance immediately. 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" period that allow you to take into account the legal issues and potential resolution before a lawsuit is filed. Similarly, seeking legal counsel as quickly as possible is recommended.

5. QUESTION: What exactly is mediation?
ANSWER: Mediation is a process whereby the parties to the issue present at an agreed place with their counsel (if retained) and a selected mediator to try and resolve all or a number of the concerns involved. Mediators are to be unrelated to all parties and the litigation at issue, are to remain impartial amongst the parties and their lawyer, and continue maintaining the confidential aspect of the conference to inspire settlement and resolution. Typically the parties share the cost of the mediation evenly but other arrangements may be made if all parties are in agreement in advance of the conference. Mediation is usually required in every case filed in court and just before a trial is held.

6. QUESTION: What type of legal professional do I need?
ANSWER: Again, like other businesses, attorneys may concentrate in a certain or more than one area. Similarly, law offices may specialize, offer general legal needs or provide services in a few specific areas of law. Trial attorneys deal with cases involving lawsuits; family law attorneys handle divorce cases, child custody/visitation, child support, alimony and associated 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 lawyer should be able to discuss your specific issue, determine if he/she is qualified to take care of such matters or inform you of the need to seek advice from another in a specialized area.

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Jeff is what's written on his birth certificate but people always misspell it.
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