Here are some things to consider doing. Some items may not be applicable to you.
Finding a lawyer:
- Call 800 664-4435 for a free copy of the Consumer’s Resource Handbook – lists all Better Business Bureau’s, Consumer Affairs offices, Attorney and lawyer frims such as the personal injury lawyer san jose firm, etc. in the U.S. (published by the U.S. Office of Consumer Affairs)
- Contact your local Consumer Affairs office for guidance on finding a lawyer
- Determine which lawyers specialize in the area (e.g., personal injury, divorce) in which you need assistance
Go to your library and check the local (e.g., state) law journals for local lawyers who have been successful
But in civil cases, you do not have the right to a court-appointed lawyer so, if you cannot afford your own lawyer, you have to represent yourself. Some people choose to represent themselves even if they could pay a lawyer because they feel they can handle the case on their own. However, an Attorney Can Help You Avoid Problems. By having everything in place to begin with, you will be able to avoid issues down the road. You will understand all the aspects of your contract or what you need to have in place before starting a business. Based on all these reasons, it just makes sense to use an attorney.
Once you find a prospective lawyer:
- Get references
- Call the references
- Generally, avoid lawyers who advertise, e.g., on TV
- Negotiate a contingency fee agreement which ties the lawyer’s fees to the results you are seeking (try to avoid paying an hourly fee) most lawyers will negotiate if you ask
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