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When should I contact a lawyer about my legal problem?
You should consider hiring a lawyer when you first decide to take legal action. Keep in mind that a lawyer will need time to review all the facts and conduct legal research to prepare your case. He or she will also likely need to request discovery (pertinent documents) from the opposing side, which can take time to obtain. All these things must be done within the time frame of court-scheduled hearings and statutes of limitations.
What is a statute of limitations?
It is legal deadline by which you must file the appropriate document in court or facing losing your rights to pursue legal action permanently.
Why do I even need a lawyer?
Parties are legally allowed to represent themselves, but keep in mind that the law is highly nuanced. A lawyer will help you organize your case, suggest the best tactics, prepare you for what to expect if and when you have to go to court, and be another voice advocating on your behalf. The chances are that a lawyer has seen a case like yours many times before and will know the right approach to take in your situation. It is important that your lawyer is well versed in the type of case you are facing, which is why even lawyers themselves will retain another lawyer when they are facing a personal legal battle.
What skills should my lawyer possess?
First and foremost a lawyer must be well organized, as he is often working on several cases at the same time, and each case has its own deadlines. The lawyer should also be knowledgeable in the area of law that concerns your case: this will ensure that the lawyer can represent you well, and it will also cut down on the amount of legal research the lawyer will have to do to prepare. Finally, it is important for a lawyer to have good communication skills, so that he is able to advocate effectively on your behalf, and also to explain to you what’s going on in your case in understandable terms and in a timely manner.
What documents do I need to bring to my lawyer’s office?
All documentation you have or received in connection with your case is important, so make sure to keep copies of all the documents. You should bring all or most important documents (if bringing all of them is too bulky) when you first meet with a lawyer.
How can I stop solicitors from calling my house?
You can register your home or mobile phone number for free at donotcall.gov. You can also submit a complaint on the same website if telemarketers still call you after you register. Keep in mind, though, that you may still be contacted by small organizations, such as local charities.
What is a typical lawyer’s fee?
The typical fee varies based on lawyer’s experience, the nature of the legal matter, and other factors. However, you can expect to free structure to be one of the following three types: flat fee, hourly fee, or contingency fee.
Flat fees are usually charged for simple and well-defined legal matters, such as an uncontested divorce, or preparation of a will. A contingent free structure is one where the client pays no money up-front, but rather the lawyer is paid a percentage of the final judgment or settlement. A contingent fee structure is most often used in cases such as civil suits resulting from a car accidents or other personal injury matters. Keep in mind that a lawyer may not charge a contingency fee in criminal cases and in most family law cases, such as divorces and custody cases.
An hourly fee structure is the most common one and is used for all types of cases. In this payment arrangement, the lawyer charges the client based on the time the lawyer spends on the case (including reviewing relevant documents, conducting legal research, attending court hearings, etc.). The lawyer will frequently request a retainer fee (an upfront payment from the client) and then take what he has earned out of that sum, returning any unused portion of the retainer to the client at the conclusion of the case.
How long will my case take start to finish?
This varies widely from case to case, depending on the specific circumstances. However, be prepared for it to last for at least several months. There are many steps that take time (such as requesting and receiving discovery), and if your case goes to court, keep in mind that court calendars tend to be very busy and hearings are usually scheduled weeks or sometimes months in advance.
How often should I hear from my lawyer about my case?
This depends on what is happening in your case. For example, if you and your lawyer have prepared for a hearing and are simply waiting for the hearing to take place, you may not hear from your lawyer for weeks. However, your lawyer should be contacting you and briefing you regularly on actions he takes, such as filing motions in court. He also must consult you before taking actions such as retaining an expert witness or accepting a settlement offer on your behalf.
You can make appointments by contacting us online or by calling our main office at (301)762-7007. Our office is located in Rockville, Maryland near the Rockville District and Circuit Courts and is convenient to Metro. Appointments can usually be scheduled within the week.