Tuesday, 06 April 2010 06:04

When do you need to consult with an attorney Pt2?

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When do you need to consult with an attorney?

The best time to consult with an attorney is before any life cycle event. Such

1. Before you go into business

2. Before you go into partnership with another person

3. Before you sign any sort of contract - apartment lease, promissory note,
finance a vehicle, finance furniture, employment contract, leases, etc.

4. Before you get married

5. Before you adopt or have children

6. Before you separate or decide to divorce your spouse

7. Before you buy or sell a house

8. Before you make a sizeable investment

9. Before your special needs child gets into trouble at school

10. Before you child gets suspended from school

11. Before you get ill

12. Before any medical procedure in a hospital

13. Before your parents get incapacitated

14. Before you get incapacitated

15. Before talking to the police (does anyone watch television shows like Law
and Order?)

16. Before being arrested and/or before going to prison

17. Before pleading guilty to a traffic ticket

18. Before problems with family, neighbors, employers, etc. get out of control

19. Before an agency removes your child from your home

20. Before someone's threats come reality

21. Before you take a minor child into your home

22. Before you date an underage girl

23. Before you stop payment on a check

24. Before your creditors are calling you at work

25. Before identity theft and your credit is ruined

26. Before you really need an attorney!

Beware of legal forms sold at stores and on-line. Several of my clients have
given me kits that have not worked. I enjoy sharing them in the office whenever
we need a good laugh. And, good luck getting your money back!

What sort of attorney do I need:

1. An attorney that practices primarily in your area of concern. For example,
I do family law in the State of Texas. I would never attempt to handle an
Oklahoma oil and gas question.

2. An attorney that speaks so that you can understand them. Someone willing
to try to explain the law to you in terms you can understand.

3. An attorney that explains the pros and cons of your case. As mentioned
earlier, there are always 2 sides to every story.

4. An attorney that you feel confident in. As I tell my clients, at some
point in your case I might recommend that we accept the offer the other side has
made. If I do so, you need to understand that I am on your side and after
evaluating all the pros and cons of your case, I believe this to be a fair

5. If you are not wealthy, most attorneys will work with you regarding
payment plans.

6. Check with the state bar association of your state to determine if the
attorney is currently licensed and if there are any grievances against the

7. An attorney that signs a clearly worded Legal Services Agreement that
states his/her fees, how much you will pay, etc.

What sort of attorney should I avoid:

1. An attorney that guarantees or promises you will win.

2. An attorney that only wants to discuss their fees.

3. An attorney you cannot afford. If the attorney's hourly rate is $600/hour
and you make minimum wage, there is no way you can afford to hire this attorney
for a prolonged child custody battle. Be realistic.

4. An attorney that claims they win 100% of their cases. I once had a
potential client ask me how many cases I had won. I told him I could not answer
that question since the only winners in a divorce are the attorneys. He hired an
attorney that claimed he won 99% of his cases. I deal in the death of a person's
marriage. The children are the biggest losers in divorces and custody battles.
If a registered sex offender gets custody of minor children, is that a victory?

5. An attorney that never sends you copies of correspondence in your case and
never returns your phone calls.

My office policy is to send a copy of any written communication to the client
and have someone in the office return all phone calls within 24 hours. Sometimes
people leave only 6 digits, their phones are disconnected or they won't answer
unidentified calls.
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