Do I need a Lawyer?

Douglas D. Church

Author: Douglas D. Church

POST DATE: 4.21.16
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Here are a few scenarios that may seem familiar: 

-          I’ve decided to buy a house.

-          I’ve decided to sell my house.

-          I just got a speeding/DUI/reckless driving ticket.

-          I received a notice that the property next to mine is going through a re-zone.

-          My neighbor has started an addition to their house.

-          I want to start an addition to my house.

-          My son/daughter was just involved in a traffic accident.

-          My employer has asked me to sign an employment agreement.

-          My employer has asked me to sign a non-compete agreement.

-          I’m getting married.

-          I’m getting divorced.

-          My Mom/Dad is getting to the point that they can’t care for themselves.

-          My Mom/Dad just died and she/he didn’t have a will.

-          My Mom/Dad just died and she/he did have a will.

-          I am considering adoption.

-          I just got fired.

-          I just got laid off.

-          I just got a notice that my home-owners policy is being cancelled.

-          I lost my credit card and I think someone has made charges on it.

-          My son/daughter has been offered an athletic scholarship.

-          I have been diagnosed with a serious illness.

-          My spouse has been diagnosed with a serious illness.

-          I’ve been offered an early retirement buy-out.

-          I am approaching retirement age.

-          I am ready to sign up for social security.

-          I have just been notified of an inheritance coming my way.

-          I just won the lottery.

-          My dog just bit a neighbor.

-          I just got bit by my neighbor’s dog.

These are just a few of the real life situations that should compel a rational person to seek legal advice acting.  It is a common lament among lawyers:  “If only my client had talked to me before they did….whatever.”  It is not uncommon for intelligent and well educated people to ignore the warning signs that call for consultation with an attorney.  In many cases it is because the person is concerned about the cost of the visit and, in many cases, this concern is based upon a misconception about the amount of fees that may be incurred just for making the call!  Perhaps just as bad, even when consulting with an attorney crosses their mind, many otherwise intelligent people will look for the “low cost” lawyer. 

Here is a threshold suggestion:  , if you are confronted with one of the scenarios above, or any other, that has even the hint of legal implications, call your lawyer before you do anything else.  If you don’t have a lawyer, call CCHA.  If we don’t have the right lawyer for you given your issue, we’ll direct you to one that is qualified and competent to deal with your problem.  , when you call your lawyer, ask how much they will charge for a consultation on the specific topic that concerns you.  Many lawyers offer free initial consultations.  Many others have a nominal consultation fee that is preliminary to an engagement.  It may be that after you discuss your problem with a qualified attorney that he/she says you really don’t need a lawyer after all.  In any event, no lawyer should refuse to let you know engagement what the initial consultation cost will be.  , satisfy yourself that the lawyer you call is actually competent in the area that concerns you. Ask for references. A good lawyer will tell you immediately if they are not the right lawyer for you.  In this same regard, understand that even if one lawyer offers to represent you for significantly less per hour than another lawyer – that is not the only consideration.  A lawyer skilled in your area of concern may take far less time to solve the problem than the “low cost” lawyer.  One hour of competent legal time for $300 may be far more cost effective than ten hours of guess work or research by the inexperienced lawyer at $150 per hour.  In the end, your objective should always be to avoid an even more costly result from your failure to seek and obtain competent legal advice before you take action.

At CCHA we do our best to inform and educate our clients about our fees before the first dollar of fee is earned on a case.  We also pride ourselves in a long tradition of attempting to serve our client’s interests in the most effective and cost efficient manner possible.  That’s one reason that many, if not most, of our clients have been with us for a very long time and it is also one of the most important goals of our firm:  To represent families for generations, meeting their personal and business needs.  If you need a lawyer, we hope we are your first call.

To learn more about Doug and his practice, please visit his profile.