A lawyer can help you understand your rights and solve legal problems. Here are some things to know when hiring a lawyer.
Finding the best lawyer for your legal matter is similar to making any other financial decision: it is better to compare. RS Chase Lawyers can help you find local lawyers. Be sure to get answers to the following answers before hiring a lawyer:
How do you know which lawyer to hire?
This depends on how you feel after meeting the lawyer. Base your decision on how you feel the lawyer can handle your case, rather than worrying about the lawyer’s age.
Another question you can ask is whether the lawyer will work on your case personally or have another member of your firm handle all or part of the case. If there is a second lawyer or other members of the firm involved, you should speak to them as well. Keep in mind that most cases do not have certain results. Be careful if the lawyer guarantees results. However, what a lawyer can do is assess and articulate the strengths and weaknesses of your case.
If you don’t understand everything the lawyer says, ask for an explanation in layman’s terms. Find out how long the lawyer expects your case to take, what steps you will take to be involved in preparing and bringing the case to trial (if necessary), what you will need to do to prepare the case, and how you will be charged for the lawyer’s services.
How do lawyers set their fees?
Lawyers consider several factors when setting their fees. A more experienced and successful lawyer will typically charge a higher hourly rate than a new lawyer.
Lawyers can also consider how complicated your case is and the amount of time it will take. Even if the trial only takes half a day, investigating the law, finding and interviewing witnesses, as well as preparing documents and arguments for the trial can take days, weeks, or even longer. Sometimes unexpected things happen that make the case even more complicated, which can result in higher fees.
What types of fee agreements are there?
Aside from the fees that some lawyers charge for the first consultation, you will typically be charged fixed, hourly, advance, contingent, or statutory fees.
Fixed or standard fees. This type of fee is frequently used by law clinics and some law firms or lawyers for routine legal matters, such as writing a simple will or handling a non-contentious divorce. When you agree to a fixed rate, make sure you know what is included and what is not. You should also find out what other charges may be added in the future.
Hourly fees. Hourly fees may vary between different lawyers. To find out the approximate total of your account, ask the lawyer how long she estimates the case will take. Just remember that circumstances may change and your case may take longer than your lawyer originally estimated.
Advance fees. Advance fees can be used to ensure that the lawyer will be available to work on your case, which could mean that you would have to reject other cases to be available to you. As a result, you will probably be charged a higher fee for the legal work done. If the settlement says the advances are non-refundable, you may not get your money back, even if the lawyer does not handle your case or does not complete your work.
Conditional fees. This class of fees is commonly used in personal injury, medical malpractice, workers compensation, and other cases involving money claims. This means that you will pay your lawyer a certain percentage of the money you receive if you win the case or reach a settlement. If you lose, the lawyer receives no fee. However, you will still have to pay court costs and other associated expenses. Depending on the circumstances, these costs can be quite high.
Statutory fees. For certain legal matters, the cost is set by statute or law. This means that the lawyer’s fees are fixed or must be approved by the court.
When you reach a rate agreement with your lawyer, remember that:
- All conditional fee agreements must be in writing.
- The other types of settlement should include the hourly, fixed or statutory lawyer fees and other fees and charges that would apply to your case.
- Sometimes, it is impossible for the lawyer to know exactly how long her case will take. Therefore, ask that an estimate of the costs and time involved in the fee agreement be included.
Some questions to ask the lawyer include:
- How are you going to charge for your time?
- Who else will work on the case: associate lawyers, paralegals, paralegals? How will you be charged for your work?
- What can be done to reduce fees and costs?
- What is the best strategy to work with your lawyer?
- Make sure that you and your lawyer have the same goals and that your expectations are realistic.
- Make sure you understand and are comfortable with the lawyer’s work style.
- Make sure you have a clear idea of the approximate time your case will take, when you can expect significant developments, as well as when and how often the lawyer intends to contact you with updates.
- Be sure to give the lawyer all the information and documents necessary to properly understand and prepare your case.
- Be sure to provide information about any developments in your case, even if you think it may be harmful or unimportant. It could be important to your lawyer.
This article is intended to be useful and informative, but legal issues can be complicated and stressful. A qualified litigation and appeals lawyer can attend to your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a qualified litigation and appeals lawyer near you to discuss your particular legal situation.
Here at RS Chase Lawyers you will receive legal assistance to ensure you are making the right decision regarding any of these issues.