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Hiring a Lawyer

When you are planning to hire an attorney, here is what you need to know:

What is the attorney's area of expertise?
Lawyers will specialize in a given area of law. These areas include bankruptcy, divorce, medical malpractice, personal injury, real estate, criminal defense, insurance, products liability, trusts and estates, wills and probate.
Ask for referrals of similar cases to yours, to make sure the lawyer actually has had similar experience. Ask how it was resolved (whether it went to court or was settled), and whether he or she won the case.
If you have a personal injury case, for example, you don't want an attorney-at-law who specializes in mesothelioma medical malpractice.
Will I still be in control of my legal affairs?
Most lawyers will allow you to steer the course. If an attorney insists on making all the decisions, find another lawyer to represent you.
How comfortable am I with the lawyer as a person?
Try to find a lawyer you are comfortable with. You will need to trust this person to represent your case in the best possible way, and to have influence on others. If a potential lawyer does not make a good impression with you, there is a good chance he or she will have the same effect on others as well, and may not be the best choice. Also, you may be spending a lot of time working closely with this person, and you want a certain comfort level. Make sure he or she is capable of explaining things to you in laymen's terms, so you can understand it, and discusses possible outcomes with you. Experts say to steer away from those who always want to sue. The best lawyers will first attempt to settle out of court
Will the lawyer be personally working on my case, or will another person for from the firm be handling much of the work? Who will that be? Will they be billed at a lower rate?
What are the possible outcomes of my case?
How often will the lawyer keep me informed of the progress of my case?
How much does the lawyer charge?
Although the fees may not be set in stone, you should be able to get something that let's you know what the fees will be based on. Not all lawyers handle fees the same. Some are on retainer, for example, while others charge an hourly or contingent fee. After meeting with a few lawyers, you should know if one is way out of the ballpark.
There may be additional fees as well, primarily for clerical tasks, travel, consultants, investigators or for expert testimony. You can usually ask for a ballpark figure of the total bill.

All towns should have access to competant lawyers, though you will have more attorneys to choose from in larger cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Atlanta, and others.

Once you hire a lawyer, what should you do if you aren't satisified with his or her services? All states maintain legal disciplinary offices, with the exceptions of Alaska, Alabama, Pennsylvania and Delaware. You can usually find a web site for your state's legal disciplinary office, in case you have a problem with the attorney you choose.

This web site will help you find a personal injury lawyer, divorce attorney, wrongful death law firm, malpractice attorney, criminal lawyer, and more.



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