There are some obvious situations when you need to hire a lawyer, like when you’re arrested or charged with a crime. However, lawyers can offer services in all kinds of situations. Although many people think that it is possible to resolve your legal issue without the help of an expensive lawyer, there are some major pitfalls with this approach. Having a lawyer can increase the efficiency of dealing with the problem and free you up to do the things that are more important to you.
Step 1: “What do I stand to loose or gain?”
When your money or freedom are on the line, you should not think twice before hiring a lawyer. A parking ticket is a legal issue, but paying the fine or even attending a local court hearing does not require the services of an attorney. However, if, for example, you have a large number of unpaid parking tickets and you are now at risk of arrest, you would want a lawyer who can act professionally to save you money or even defend your freeedom.
It doesn’t matter if there is a recession or a period of economic growth, individuals and businesses always seek legal services and rely on advice from lawyers in order to understant and protect their legal rights. Lawyers assist with activities as diverse as estate planning, business negotiations and navigating the ever growing of maze of regulation. Having consulted an expereinced, competant attorney can also bring peace of mind with the knowledge that important undertakings ot do with tax and estate planning, wills and trusts, business deals and all other legal matters have been dealt with in a professional and throrough manner.
Step 2: What do I need to think about before I hire a lawyer?
Keep mind the increasingly popular litigation alternatives such as mediation or arbitration, also known as alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Although these processes may also involve lawyers, they are recognised as offering alternatives which can much cheaper, faster, less complicated and stressful than traditional litigious legal process.
Step 3: When should I go to a lawyer?
In almost any legal matter, there will be deadlines within which you will need to act and there will almost always need to be time for a lawyer to consult with you, collect information and evidence or important documents, correspond with other parties involved in the matter which needs to be resolved and the courts or administrative bodies dealing with the matter. For these reasons, it is imperative that you act fast.
Some examples of the deadlines involved may be that, if you’ve been injured in an accident, there are time limits on your right to file a lawsuit. These are called “statutes of limitation” and are different in different states. As a general rule, if you sit on your rights, you could lose them. So it is bettter to act fast.
Step 4: What do I want out of this?
Obviously, if you are being sued or threatened with jail, your objectives will be clear. However, if you feel you were wrongfully terminated from a job, you may want to be reinstated or you may want a payout or other form of compensation. In a family law situation you may want custody over children or a divorce or an AVO. If you clearly understand you objectives before you start, you are much more likely to achieve them. You will also need to know whether your chance of achieveing your objective is high or low. Although it is sometimes difficult to see the immediate value of this, the process of case evaluation which a lawyer can undertake with you is one of the most valuable because it can save you from entering litigation without merit or from foregoing legal action which could have yielded you significant benefits from the realisation of your rights.
Step 5: Do I need a specialist – What type?
Many lawyers have a specialty are, some are also generalists. You need to choose one that will represent you effectively at all levels. Conveyancing was one of the first services to go online.