Legal Topics


Questions to Ask When Seeking Legal Help

The time will come when you need legal assistance. Whether you will be represented in defense or you are the plaintiff in a case, getting a rapport with your lawyer and getting a strategy planned out is integral for your case. Before committing to a lawyer, there are some questions you must ask before moving forward. It is your right to seek the best available legal help and it is your right to appraise the lawyer and shop for the best fee.


Tenure: How long has the lawyer been practicing law? Does the lawyer practice a certain field of law? How long has that lawyer been practicing in that particular field?


Fees: Find out what the fee is overall representation. And of course, prior to even discussing a word of the case, find out if there is a consultation fee.


Forms: Even before the first consultation, you should at least ask if there are any specific forms, documentation, evidence or information (known or withheld) to present.


Now given the first consultation and the case is presented, the lawyer should get an idea of what action will need to take place. As for you, you should still be appraising the attorney and asking questions.


Resolution: They should give you an idea of how, when and how long it should take to resolve or take care of your case. They should give you an idea of what they need to do and especially what you need to do to resolve the case.


Alternatives: They should show you all sides to the argument. They should also share all action that can be taken to resolve your case. All possible results, judgments should be presented.


Your team: Will they need more help? More lawyers? Legal secretaries? Interns? This may cost more money on your end.


Moving forward: Will the case go to trial rather than settlement? If so, will the attorney go to trial and are they fit to represent your case? Not all lawyer spend time in the courtroom, a lot of work is done on settlements and deals. Find out their history and their record in trials.


More fees: At this point, you should find out how you will be charged. You’ve gone through the consultation fees. But the trial may incur more charges or a different pay structure or timekeeping structure.


The final thing to get and it resembles getting automotive repairs: Get an estimate. Get it in writing. This is a tangible object you can compare against other attorneys and/or firms. Be smart and do your research in finding an attorney. But don’t hire the cheapest. When it comes to your legal matters, go with the best and most experienced.


Image credit: Daniel Oines on Flickr


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