At some point in life, we all need a lawyer, be it for a minor thing like going over a contract or to get you out of legal trouble. The legal system is very complex, and the language used to write it isn’t understandable to the layperson. To most people, the language of the legal system is pure gobbledygook, and unless you’ve studied law or linguistics, you will most likely not understand it.
This is why you need to have a lawyer with you whenever you go to court, as they can understand this language and counter the things being held against you. So, without further ado, let’s dive into this blog and learn some of what you need to know before hiring a lawyer.
1. The presentation of your request
Once you have made sure that the lawyer you are going to meet with is competent to handle your case (lawyers are often specialized in specific areas), you should prepare a summary of your claim. This step is particularly important for several reasons. First, it allows you to rethink your request’s elements and formulate them calmly. It is not uncommon for ideas that seem clear at first glance to be less so when spoken.
Writing a summary of your claim will allow you to reread it to ensure that the presentation is as straightforward as possible. This is important so that the lawyer knows how best to help you. In addition, preparing a summary of the situation beforehand allows you to maintain certain objectivity. Indeed, in some cases, it can be difficult to keep a cool head. This is the case with divorce, inheritance, land disputes, or other corporate disputes. Writing a summary of your claims can allow you to step back and give an accurate account of the situation.
2. The Chronology of Events
In order for the lawyer to best appreciate your situation, it is necessary that he have as much information as possible. Indeed, he is called upon to intervene in a situation in which he has not been involved. Therefore, in order to advise you and/or represent you in the best possible way, he or she must know all the details of the situation from the beginning.
Preparing a chronology of events ensures that you will not miss important milestones. Note that it is essential to relate all of the facts, as what you may think is insignificant may be useful in handling the case. In addition, this exercise will allow you to identify the protagonists and other people involved or having intervened in your case.
This may also be useful in assessing your situation. The nature of the relationship between the parties in a dispute can be very important. For example, cases involving family members in criminal law may have special rules. Similarly, in the case of a dispute between the directors of a company, the solutions will depend on the ties that bind them (family, marriage, etc.).
3. Relevant documents
Once you have prepared a summary and chronology of your dispute, it is time to gather the documents that may be useful in handling the case. Do not limit yourself to selecting documents that you believe will serve your interests. Once again, it is essential to give the lawyer the opportunity to assess the situation as a whole.
Therefore, the only criterion for choosing whether or not to present a document should be whether it relates to the case. If the document is relevant to your case, it is recommended that you provide it to your lawyer. This way, if he decides to accept your file, he will take the time to study each of them and select those he finds relevant to his task.
This point could be addressed in the “questions” section, but its importance requires that it be treated separately. Indeed, the question of the lawyer’s fees is essential to the collaboration. It is, therefore, crucial to agree not only on the amount of the fees but also on the terms and means of payment. The establishment of a fee agreement is mandatory. Several formulas exist depending on the lawyer and the type of case.
Thus, it is possible to pay by the hour; to pay with a percentage of the sums involved in the litigation; to pay a flat fee; to pay according to the tiered method, or to pay a subscription when the lawyer is called upon to handle a large number of cases for the client. Once you have decided on a fee structure, you need to find out how to pay. You may not have a high income? In this case, you should ask the lawyer if he accepts legal aid and checks if you are eligible.
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