Monthly Archives: April 2018

Help of the San Diego Divorce Lawyer

A divorce lawyer is by definition an attorney that deals with family law. San Diego divorce lawyer offices are considered to be very good because, as always, experience makes the difference between winning and losing and they have it.

Divorce in San Diego has a long history, the first cases being filed back in the 1850’s so you can say that any San Diego divorce lawyer knows what he’s doing since this is a family business. Another thing you can say about a San Diego divorce lawyer is that he is prepared for any type of case. A mediation case, litigation or even a case that is settled outside of court – a San Diego divorce lawyer can handle it.

Another thing you can do if you don’t want to hire a San Diego divorce lawyer is fill out an online divorce form. This means that you will spare a few hundred dollars, but you won’t settle anything very complicated. You will represent yourself in court, but all the paperwork is done by other lawyers. This way you can have all the legal work done by an attorney, but you will be forced to do al the physical work. This way you can be represented by a San Diego divorce lawyer without even being from the state of California. This is a risky job because you, as a physical person, don’t know all the insides and you can be tricked easily by an experienced attorney.

This kind of trick can be pulled if you are sure that your case is going to be mediated and settled outside of court without any disputes. This usually happens when the couple doesn’t have any assets to split and, most importantly, the case doesn’t involve child custody. If a simple breakup case turns into litigation, under these circumstances, you will most certainly need a lawyer and not just any, but a good one. There is another problem with filling out an online form: the laws of the state you live in might be different than the ones of the state in which the law office that takes your case is. If we take as an example a San Diego divorce lawyer office which is known to be very good, but the client lives in New York then the advice that a San Diego divorce lawyer gives is useless because the laws are different.

Still a San Diego divorce lawyer can help you with a case in another state (even if the laws are different) if he is well prepared. It will take time for him to learn the laws, to get acquainted with the case and the problems it involves and, most importantly, to understand what the client’s plan is for the case and what he should get out of it. It is very important to develop a healthy relationship with your attorney; it can even be called a symbiosis. This is another matter in which experience makes a statement: having dealt with a lot of cases like your own, a San Diego divorce lawyer can understand the plan you have better and even improve it. A condition for a San Diego divorce lawyer is to have seen everything in his lifetime, concerning divorce cases. This way he won’t be taken by surprise by your case and will know how to deal with it in the best possible way. By the end of the case, by following these rules, you might get what you want and not give in to your ex’s demands.

A lot of jokes have been made on behalf of attorneys like “what do you call a thousand lawyers on the bottom of the ocean? A good beginning”, but the most common thing said about lawyers is that they’re just a little inhuman. These unfunny jokes are made because a lawyer doesn’t think of the emotional side when he is in the middle of a case. This is one of the good trademarks of a San Diego divorce lawyer. Even though, as an attorney you have to understand your client, this doesn’t mean you have to take his weaknesses. A lawyer just needs all the information his client has. Emotions get in the way of obtaining what you want from your ex and for a San Diego divorce lawyer with a certain name to protect, letting a case get to him is not too good.

Lawyers have to be cold hearted to play the rough game of the law. They can even be called sharks sometimes because they attack their prey without any remorse. However, these facts are benefic to everyone: to the client because he wins the case and to the San Diego divorce lawyer because he can do his job well and have a normal life without being affected by his job.

When Lawyers Say

Have you ever heard a lawyer say that; I stand corrected? As if it is a huge big deal? Well, the way they say it is as if they are never wrong, yet this one time they admit it and stand corrected. Well I say to you lawyers; blow me. You scum. “I stand corrected?” you lawyers are the biggest bunch of minutia and largest lying sacks of dung one could even imagine?

I was recently in a committee meeting and had a small problem with the line of malarkey that one of the other members was purporting; you guessed it he was a god-darn lawyer. During the conversation he figured it was obvious he was out of his intellectual league and unable to secure his BS line of reasoning on the current reality of things no matter how he attempted to corral the issue using word smithing and convenient definitions.

First for the record I would like to state that all lawyers should be culled, as they are a contagious virus on human civilization and society and Caesar was right and we know what the first thing we must do is. Indeed.

Eventually seeing that this lawyer was looking like a complete moron in his suit and tie he said in a condescending way; “I stand corrected” as if the argument he started and defended to the best of his ability was no longer important and that he was conceding his point only so the committee could move on. Great right?

People Make in Hiring a Lawyer

I hate to see people taken advantage of and I hate to see people suffer after choosing the wrong lawyer. Maybe those are two of the reasons that I became a lawyer, so that I could do something about those situations. I have seen clients who had lawyers neglect their cases for not just weeks but years. I have heard complaints about lawyers who would not tell the client what was going on with their cases, but would bill the client when the client called to ask what was happening. I have heard complaints about lawyers who took money from clients without a clear understanding of the expectations on either side.

I also hate to have to clean up a mess made by another lawyer. It is much easier to assist a client and avoid potential problems than it is to repair damage from choosing the wrong lawyer. I have seen poorly drafted prenuptial agreements and separation agreements. I have had to step in to repair and finish a botched annulment. I have had to step in to repair and finish a botched divorce.

One woman’s tale of woe especially comes to mind. Around the office, we call her story “The Tale of the Nine Year Divorce.” She had hired an attorney to defend a divorce action here in Virginia and to counter sue for divorce. She was living out of state at the time and paid the attorney a significant retainer. There was no written contract. The lawyer she had chosen seemed to be afraid of the opposing counsel and did nothing to move the case forward. In fact, the lawyer allowed the case to be dismissed from the court docket for inaction.

Cases are not dismissed on this basis without prior notice to counsel of record. The lawyer did not notify his client of the potential dismissal. It was not until the court notified her of the dismissal that she found out what had happened. The client was in an automobile accident, as a result of which she was hospitalized and undergoing multiple surgeries. She trusted her lawyer to look out for her interests; she did not know or understand what should have been taking place and had no idea until she received notification from the court that the case had been dismissed.

When the client contacted the lawyer, he had the case reinstated. However, it was not until the opposing attorney withdrew from the case, that the lawyer acted to put forward the interests of his client. Meanwhile, the lawyer allowed the woman’s husband to abscond, fleeing the jurisdiction of the court, with the bulk of the marital assets. The lawyer did get an order of spousal support, but did nothing effective to collect or enforce the spousal support order against the defendant who was not paying.

In fact, the lawyer allowed tens of thousands of dollars of arrears to accumulate. Meanwhile, the lawyer asked for and got a court award of $10,000 of attorney’s fees from the absconded husband. When the lawyer realized that the husband had spent the money and the attorney fee award would not be easily collected, he began to demand money from the client. Being disabled and not having received a penny of the support award, she was unable to pay the lawyer and he withdrew from her case at the final hearing. Needless to say all of this left the woman with a bad taste in her mouth when it comes to lawyers.

The woman heard about me and came to me despite having had a bad experience, because she was in need of help. We were able to finish up the divorce and property division, which had been started 9-10 years prior and we began enforcement of the support award by attaching social security and retirement income due her husband.

Through our efforts collection began and an income stream began to flow to the client. We were also able to successfully defend the woman from an attempt by her husband to stop support payments and at the same time recover some of the items of personal property which had been awarded to her by the court. The woman still had to defend herself from a law suit brought by the lawyer who was demanding over $10,000 and had not credited the retainer which the woman paid at the beginning of the representation.

I have written this article in hopes that it may help you avoid the costly mistakes of the Nine Year Divorce.
There are two areas where people make mistakes. The first area is in selecting the lawyer and the second area is mistakes made after selecting the lawyer.

HYPE IN LAWYER ADVERTISING

COMBINED EXPERIENCE HYPE. Law firms that tout “*** years of combined experience” are probably trying to magnify or enhance their credentials. If you are looking for a lawyer with experience, this hype does little to inform you of the actual experience of the individual lawyers. My question is if the lawyers each have significant years of experience, why don’t they say how much experience each lawyer has? Why? Because it sounds grander to use the combined figure. Even an ant looks like a mighty monster under a magnifying glass.

LAUNDRY LIST HYPE. Law firms that have a laundry list of services may not be the best choice for your situation. Remember the proverb “Jack of all trades, master of none”? You can certainly be a jack of all trades, but can you be a master at all trades? How much of the practice of the firm is devoted to your type of case? For example, does the law firm (and the particular lawyer) you are considering devote a significant portion of the practice to the type of case for which you are seeking representation?

Perhaps you are looking at one stop shopping and it is important to you to find a lawyer or law firm that can handle multiple matters for you. Then you may want to ask if the lawyer handles each of those areas, but you should also ask how much of the practice is devoted to each area and how much experience the lawyer has in each area. Are there client testimonials available for each area? Think carefully and decide if it may be worthwhile to seek out a more specialized practice for each of your problems.

BIGGER IS BETTER HYPE When it comes to law firms, bigger is not necessarily better, much less the best. If you want personal attention, you may find that a medium sized or smaller firm will be more attentive. Law firms that have group photographs with all of the clerks and secretaries are trying to look bigger to compete with mega firms with dozens or hundreds of lawyers. But in the final analysis size does not matter; bigger is not better than smaller, nor is smaller better than bigger. What does matter is personal care and attention. This is something that you will have to ask about and be sensitive to as you call on various lawyers and law firms in your search for the right lawyer and law firm for you and for your case.

IF IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE… [CHOOSING A LAWYER BASED ON COST] Cheapest is seldom the best. On the other hand, just because something costs a lot does not make it better than something that costs less. Would you choose a doctor or dentist based on how cheap his services are? No, not if you can help it. You want the best doctor, the most attentive doctor, the smartest doctor, the most knowledgeable doctor at the best price. Cost may be a legitimate factor in choosing a lawyer but it should be the last and least significant factor. Cost certainly should not override other factors such as ability, experience, reputation within the legal community and client testimonials. Can you afford cheap legal advice that may be bad or wrong?

ASSUMING AND NOT CHECKING Related to falling for hype in lawyer advertising is assuming and not checking. Don’t believe the yellow page ads. All lawyers are not equal. You should investigate any lawyer or law firm before engaging them. Inquire about his/her reputation in the legal community. Check out what clients have to say about the lawyer and the law firm. ASSUMING PRE-PAID LEGAL IS THE WAY TO GO. Don’t assume that pre-paid legal is the way to go. Just because you have pre-paid legal available for use does not mean that you should use them. The best lawyers are seldom members of a pre-paid legal service panel. You certainly should not allow the pre-paid attorney to represent you without first investigating him/her.

Of course, you may not need the best lawyer, but you should at least want to insure that the lawyer you choose is a good lawyer for the matter at hand. You should also realize that a lawyer may be a good lawyer for some matters and not for others. This is where knowledge, experience and ability must be weighed and examined. Does the firm or attorney you are considering take a “no holds barred” approach to family law? If so, be prepared for lengthy and expensive proceedings.

You should investigate a pre-paid lawyer as diligently as you would any other lawyer and ask the same questions. If the lawyer does not devote a significant portion of his/her practice to the area of law involved in your matter, you should look elsewhere. If the lawyer does not have a good reputation within the legal community, you should look elsewhere. If the lawyer cannot point to articles written or cases won, if he/she cannot point to client testimonials, you should look elsewhere.

Once you have done your homework and selected the lawyer and law firm you believe will best serve your needs and protect your needs and protect your interests, you could still make costly mistakes in hiring your lawyer.

MISTAKES AFTER YOU HAVE SELECTED A LAWYER

NOT ASKING FOR A WRITTEN FEE AGREEMENT While oral contracts are recognized at law, enforcement can be problematic and requires proof of the essential terms. Without a written fee agreement, how can you be sure that you and your lawyer have truly reached an understanding? Basic contract law requires that there be a “meeting of the minds” to create a contract. It speaks of “an offer” and “an acceptance”. A written fee agreement serves to clarify and solidify the expectations of the client and the attorney. The agreement should spell out the responsibilities of each party and the parameters of the representation. This protects you and your lawyer. Written fee agreements are recommended by the Virginia State Bar and by the American Bar Association. If your lawyer does not bring up the subject of a written fee agreement or representation agreement, you should do so.

NOT ASKING TO READ A DOCUMENT BEFORE YOU SIGN IT. Whether it’s the fee agreement, a lease, an affidavit or a pleading, just because the document is presented to you by your lawyer, does not mean you should not read it carefully and ask questions about anything you do not understand. If the document is not correct or contains errors or omissions, you should bring those to the attention of your lawyer.

FAILURE TO ASK FOR A COPY OF WHAT YOU SIGN. You should always ask for a copy of a document that you are asked to sign. In our office, when we are retained, we give the client a pocket folder with copies of the fee agreement, office policies and, in appropriate cases, the client divorce manual.

FAILURE TO KEEP COPIES. You should have a safe place to keep important documents. If documents are from an attorney, they are important and worth keeping, at least until the case or matter is concluded and in some instances longer than that. The fact of the matter is, if you don’t keep the copies, you may not be able to get duplicates later. Believe it or not, I have had several clients over the years who were victims of unscrupulous lawyers who destroyed documents to avoid having to produce them when a conflict arose with the client. One actually shredded file documents in front of the client. Aside from those issues, most lawyers do not retain client files forever. In our office, we routinely shred aging closed files to make room for new files. We advise clients to retrieve anything they might want or need from their file when it is closed, because it is subject to destruction.

FAILURE TO ASK QUESTIONS. You should ask a lawyer you are considering who he/she would hire for a case such as yours. You should ask the lawyer you are considering questions about his/her experience and credentials. Can they point to satisfied clients who have given testimonials of their experiences with the lawyer and law firm? Who besides the lawyer will be working on your case? How do they handle telephone calls? How do they charge? What does the lawyer expect of you? How will he/she keep you informed of progress on your case? How does he/she plan to present your case/defense? You should ask questions about court procedures or other procedures pertaining to your case or legal matter. If there are terms that you do not understand, ask your lawyer to explain them to you.

FAILURE TO STAY IN TOUCH. If you move or change employment or telephone numbers, your lawyer may not be able to reach you to communicate about your case. It is important to keep your lawyer abreast of changes in your circumstances, employment and residence contact information.

FAILURE TO PROVIDE A CELL PHONE NUMBER. This is related to the failure to keep in touch. Depending on the nature of the representation, your lawyer may need to be able to reach you quickly. It is frustrating to the lawyer not to be able to reach you and it can adversely impact your case. You should take steps to insure that your attorney is able to reach you and speak with you promptly or within an hour or two. For example, suppose your lawyer is engaged in a negotiation in your behalf. If he/she is unable to reach you at a critical point in negotiation, it could result in “blowing” the negotiation or losing the deal.

In today’s world of instant communication, there is no reason not to facilitate communication with your lawyer.

What mistakes could have been avoided in the Tale of the Nine Year Divorce?

INVESTIGATION-The client could have investigated the lawyer before hiring him. She could have googled him. She could have interviewed more than one lawyer. She could have asked another lawyer who was the best divorce lawyer for a contested case with allegations of adultery and property issues. She could have asked the lawyer for client testimonials or client expressions of their experiences with him.

WRITTEN FEE AGREEMENT-She could have asked for a written fee agreement and a receipt for her retainer. Or she could have written the lawyer a letter setting out her understanding of the representation and of the fee charged or to be charged in the matter and the application of the retainer which she had paid, retaining a copy of the letter for her file.

QUESTIONS-She could have asked the lawyer how he charges and how much he would estimate the case would cost. She could have asked if he had experience with opposing counsel and if he was afraid of her or if he felt confident he could handle the case, despite opposing counsel. She could have asked what to expect and she could have asked about the procedure in a contested Virginia divorce.

She could have asked the lawyer what strategy he planned to use to defend her and how he planned to take her case on the offensive. She could have asked the lawyer how he planned to keep her abreast of developments and progress in her case and how long he estimated it would take to get to final hearing in the case. She could have asked him how he planned to enforce the spousal support order and what could be done to collect the money.

When the lawyer got a court order of attorney’s fees from her husband for $10,000, she could have questioned the lawyer about what he was doing and why. She could have asked for an itemization of charges and whether or not she would be responsible if her husband did not pay.

She could have consulted another attorney or the State Bar to ask about what was going on and what rights she had as a client.

COMMUNICATION – She could have made a greater effort to remain in touch with the lawyer and to keep him abreast of changes in her circumstances, such as her accident and being out of work due to disability from the accident. When time passed without hearing from the lawyer, she could have telephoned the lawyer. When the lawyer failed to return her telephone calls, she could have scheduled an appointment to see him or written him documenting his failure to return her telephone call and asking for a status report and what the next step would be.

When the lawyer began to demand money from the woman, she should have responded to the bills and letters in writing with questions about the charges. She could have demanded an itemization of charges and an accounting of the retainer which she had paid.

SECOND OPINION – When she became dissatisfied with the progress of her case, she could have sought a second opinion and considered changing counsel before the lawyer moved to withdraw from the case, or at least before the lawyer filed suit over the fees. In fact, when the case was dismissed by the court for inaction, she should have sought a second opinion and considered changing counsel and asking for the return of her retainer.

Lawyer That Will Help You Win Your Case

Finding the right lawyer can be tough today. There are so many choices, how do you pick one that will represent you best and help you win your case. Here is help on how to pick a good lawyer.

It is no surprise that most people struggle when looking for a lawyer today. There are so many choices it can be confusing and intimidating. The media doesn’t help much with all the stories about lawyers who are ruthless and are in it just for the money, or those that take advantage of people.

Luckily that type of lawyer is in the minority. Most are very professional and very good at what they do and will help you with best representation possible. These lawyers, the ones that excel in their work, are the ones you want to find.

It is important to know first that most if not all lawyers specialize in certain areas. Each lawyer will have a specific field of law they have studied and practice. The important thing is to find the best lawyer that has experience in whatever area you have the need for representation.

There is considerable information available online on criteria you can use to find good lawyers. Here are a few things that are often over looked and are important as well.

One important criterion that indicates a good lawyer is their writing skills. Lawyers have to do a lot of writing: to collect information, prepare arguments, for evidence and more. Every case requires a detailed writing of events and evidence related to the case. There are always a lot of important details that must be written accurately and so that they are clearly understood.

The other important criterion that good lawyers must have is a thorough understanding of laws. Good lawyers have a very good comprehension of the laws. They will know a back log of cases related to the specific laws. This is an indispensable quality of a good and successful lawyer because they have to use the law in favor of his clients.

A competent lawyer will also have won a number of his or her cases. You want to be working with someone that has a winning track record. This is always at the top of anyone’s list in selecting a lawyer-nothing new here-but important enough it should not be overlooked.

It is very important to work with a lawyer that has the ability to maintain an objective outlook. When you talk to prospective lawyers try to identify those that have the ability to remain objective and not become influenced by outside factors. The best lawyers should maintain their neutrality and be able to decide what is best for their clients.

Another important trait of successful lawyer is that they can look at things from the point of view of the opponent. They should not try to wrongly convict people because it might have an adverse effect on the convicted person. They should visualize the situation from the perspective of the opposing party, so that they can predict what kind of arguments the opposition might raise.

You can the bar council to get full information about a lawyer. Bar council will provide you with all the details like the license of the lawyer and their past record. You can also find out details about their professional life for example the number of cases that they have won or lost.

Defense Lawyer to Fight a Case

There are several reasons why one would be badly requiring the services of a criminal lawyer or a defense lawyer. The most basic reason is when one is charged with an offense. Being charged with an offense calls for the necessity of a lawyer who could pull out one from the tangles of law. Before choosing the lawyer, one need to make sure that the lawyer they are going to hire to fight their case is the right one and well qualified to take up the same. Having a good defense attorney to fight the case makes a big difference between winning and losing. There are several lawyers or defense attorneys out there, but not all are well qualified on certain parameters which are vital to the success of the arguments in that type of case one is charged with.

Choosing a right lawyer to fight the case is basically a shortlisting process and involves meeting a number of them during the process and interviewing them regarding the case issues. As such narrowing down to the right lawyer is the first step in the selection process. Taking the help of bar councils or bar associations of the respective areas can help in this process. Normally these councils have that required information about lawyers who have specialization in various fields within law.

When one is through with two or three lawyers whom they feel to be efficient enough to fight their case, they can then assess other parameters with regards to the case. It is always better to have meetings with these lawyers so that one can ascertain if the lawyer they are meeting is the right one to fight their case. These initial consultations may involve assessment of certain parameters that can be listed as follows.

1. One first needs to check the promptness of the criminal attorney in answering the questions posed to them. The answers should be satisfactory enough without any indication of dilemma or covering.
2. The concerned lawyer should be able to talk about various complications of the case or the applicability of law in the case. The lawyer should be able to answer any query pertaining to various procedures or tactics applied to resolve any dilemma
3. The concerned criminal attorney should have a prior experience in handling similar cases in the past and their winning or losing percentages in such cases.
4. The concerned criminal or defense attorney should be friendly and professional and should be able to support the client in times of need. This is a very important parameter that should be observed.
5. Most of the time it is important that a suitable reference be provided by the concerned criminal lawyer. This is another vital point to conclude their familiarity with others in the field of law in their locations.
6. It is also important that the criminal lawyer follows a proper fee contract in any case and does not charge exorbitant fees. It is better to find out the type of fee structure they follow in billing.