Adrienne Vernell Hughes, Freelance Paralegal
There are times when a legal matter or situation is not as complex and before you decide to hire an attorney, you just want to obtain some legal advice, or sometimes you just need a little assistance with business matters such as estate planning, contract negotiations, wills and trusts, etc. However, when it comes to criminal matters, it's often a no brainier as to when to call upon an attorney. And, most of the time, it's easy to know if you need to call upon an attorney if you're facing a divorce, a civil lawsuit or fines and fees from the IRS for back taxes. In these types of situations, the most important factors in seeking an attorney is (1) the area of law in which you need assistance; (2) your financial status; and (3) your time limitations.
Finding the Right Attorney:
Area of Law: You first need to ensure that you locate an attorney who works in the proper jurisdiction. You will also need to find an attorney that specializes in the area of law in which you need assistance, and one who knows how to best handle your case. For example, an attorney located in Cheboygan County, Michigan specializing in bankruptcy procedures won't be your best option if you're seeking a family law attorney located in Monroe County, Michigan.
Financial Situation: It's important to seek attorneys whose services and fees fall within your budget. Just because an attorney advertises free or lost cost services, does not necessarily mean that your legal matter will meet the qualifications for those promotional services.
Time Limitations: If you've been accused of a crime or find yourself the defendant in a legal suit, you should contact an attorney immediately. Likewise, you should avoid any delays in seeking an attorney if you've been injured a car accident, or plan to pursue your rights in a medical malpractice and/or negligence claim.
In many cases, you may be able to solve your problem without an attorney's help. If a company has wronged you, file a complaint with the customer service department. You can also contact the Consumer Protection section in your state's Attorney General's Office.
If a bank or insurance company has wronged you, locate the state-run agency in charge of watching that industry and contact them with your concerns. The agency itself may be able to deal with the problem on your behalf. There are also community groups that can offer you free advice on these types of legal matters.
"Even if you are thinking about legal help merely to avoid problems in the future, it's never too early to begin your legal search. For example, tax strategies, corporate and employment law advice, and estate planning shouldn't be put off for too long. Putting legal matters on the back burner might cost you more in the end." See LegalMatch.com.
"i diligunt legem"
"i diligunt legem" is the Latin phrase for "I Love the Law." This blog is created out of my love for the law and my desire to give back to my community.