Tuesday, 06 April 2010 06:04

When do you need to consult with an attorney?

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The best time to consult with an attorney is when you don't need one.

When you have concerns about a potential problem, it's a good time to meet with an attorney.

I believe that knowledge reduces stress and is empowering.

Here are a few reasons to consult with an attorney:
1. Get the facts from someone that knows the current law in your state and the judges that sit on the bench in your county. Talk to a currently licensed attorney in your state that practices in the area of the law where you have questions. Tell them all the facts - good and bad. After practicing law for approximately 15 years, I've learned that each case is truly unique. The people and the facts are never the same.
2. Laws change. What was the law 20 years ago, might not be true today.
Example: DWI laws have changed dramatically in the past 20 years.
3. Most people assume that the judge will do the right thing when the judge hears their side of the story. Wrong - the judge must follow the laws of your state. Also, you must be able to get your facts into evidence in court and most lay people don't know how to do it.
4. Most people are scared and don't know what to do next. Not doing anything is usually a bad idea. Ignoring problems usually makes them worst. Talk to someone that can help you protect yourself from litigation or tell you what you need to do to acquire admissible evidence in court.
5. Most people try to negotiate with the other side. There are many reasons this might back-fire on you. One reason is you might tell the other side something that helps them and hurts your case.
6. As one judge said in court, even a think pancake has 2 sides. Even though all attorneys can read the same laws, obviously with all the lawsuits on file there are 2 interpretations and both sides think they are right. You need to talk to someone that will consider all possible outcomes in your case.
7. It can save you money. Many people try to do it themselves in an attempt to save money. Don't try to save a nickel and end up spending $5! I practice what I preach. Whenever I have a legal question, I go to an attorney that practices in that area of the law and pay for an hour of their time. It has always been money well spent. When I leave their office I know the following: (a) the current laws and how courts have interpreted them; (b) if there is a time limit to act on either side; (c) I know what I need to do to try to protect myself and (d) we discussed a strategy in case litigation becomes necessary. Also, I never represent myself in court. I always hire someone to represent me. I am too close to the situation to be objective. I need someone to guide me through the process.

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