You are involved in a legal issue. You have decided that it is too complex to deal with yourself and that you have the financial means to hire a lawyer. You are in the market for a lawyer, but how do you know which lawyer to hire?
When filing bankruptcy, your budget will be a key element. Therefore, you will want to make sure you have a full understanding of any and all fees your lawyer will be charging. Generally speaking, a bankruptcy News article about lawyers charges a sizable fee for his or her services. You will be responsible for paying for the actual bankruptcy, which varies depending on what type you file for. Chapter 7 bankruptcy runs around $300. Then, your lawyer will charge approximately $1000 to $2000. If the fee is too high, you will want to consider another lawyer. But keep in mind that legal services are going to cost something, and it may be to your advantage to pay a bit more for an excellent lawyer, rather than paying much less for a bankruptcy lawyer with far less experience.
You want to know what experience the lawyer has that is related to your claim. Have they had any similar cases to your case? If so, what was the result? This is important and can affect the price of a lawyer. If a lawyer has several years of experience, they may be more expensive than someone with less years of experience. If this is true, ask yourself whether the cost is worth the experience. You can find experienced lawyers at cheap rates, but you have to shop around.
Ask about experience and qualifications – does the lawyer have experience with your type of case? How long has the lawyer been practicing? Does the lawyer have any specialized training or certification?
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.
Ask about the process and timing – based on your circumstances, what does the lawyer advise be done and what is the process? How long will it take. It is important to have a realistic understanding of how long the process will take. Unfortunately, legal proceedings sometimes take months, or longer, to resolve depending on the issues.
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.