There are basically two types of situations where you will consider hiring a legal professional to represent your interests in a court of law. The first is a criminal situation, where you have been arrested and accused of breaking a law serious enough that it may result in incarceration for you. The second is called a tort situation, one in which you determine that another party has mistreated you in such a grievous way that you are forced to seek compensation in the courts.
These different types of legal disquiet require different types of legal professionals to address them on your behalf. Here are some tips to help you evaluate the various types of legal counsel required for the myriad types of legal circumstances that you may encounter.
- Finding a Criminal Lawyer
A big part of your decision on picking the right criminal lawyer will depend upon what sort of a crime you have been accused of committing. If you were arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI), you’ll need an attorney experienced in evaluating blood alcohol level reports, along with knowing exactly what sort of procedures portend a DUI arrest.
If you were arrested for distribution or possession of a controlled substance, you will require an attorney who is an expert at search and seizure procedures, as well as one who is totally familiar with all aspects of the 4th Amendment and probable cause police procedure.
If your crime was more serious, like one of the BARRK felonies: Burglary, Arson Robbery, Rape or Kidnapping, you will need an expert court litigator – someone experienced and totally comfortable presenting evidence to a jury in a court of law.
Just make sure you match the type of attorney you’re hiring to the crime for which you’ve been accused.
- Finding a Divorce Lawyer
A good divorce lawyer is really a negotiator, because very few divorces end up being fully litigated in a jury trial. What you’re looking for here is a compassionate marriage counselor with a law degree who has passed the state bar exam.
The best method for finding a good divorce lawyer is by asking some friend or family member, who has recently endured a divorce, for their opinion about the attorney who handled their dissolution. If it was a positive experience, in the face of all the negative things that can happen during a divorce, that’s about as good an endorsement as any you can get.
If you don’t know anyone who has gone through a divorce recently, you’ll have to depend on crowd-sourced review forum websites like Yelp or Angie’s List. Always be mindful when you’re reading reviews on these websites that the person writing the review may have a hidden agenda.
- Finding a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you go to a hospital, or a doctor or another type of health professional for medical care and that person or organization, through an act negligence or omission, causes an injury to you the patient, you may have grounds to sue for medical malpractice. The negligence might be the result of errors in diagnosis, treatment, aftercare or health management.
But you should be mindful that medical malpractices cases could require special legal procedures. Fightingforyou.com attorney Steven Schwartzapfel explains why, “Medical malpractice requires special scientific and/or medical knowledge and skill that the ordinary layman does not possess. In contrast, ordinary negligence can be assessed by a judge or jury members’ everyday experiences. For this reason, expert medical witnesses are required to prove a medical malpractice claim.”
So rather than just hiring a tort lawyer for your medical malpractice case, make sure you retain an attorney experienced in deposing medical experts, because they will undoubtedly play a big part in presenting your side of the story.
- Finding a Contract Lawyer
If you need help with a contract for services rendered or starting a corporation or LLC, you need a contract lawyer. These types of lawyers are ubiquitous and quite easy to find, since there’s little need for them to present a case to a jury in a court of law. Their expertise is matching the standard contract wording, often called “boilerplate” in the legal industry, to the particular negotiation in which you are partaking.
Just be sure your contract lawyer keeps your best interest in mind, first and foremost, at all times. Contract lawyers often work at a set price for, as an example, incorporating your company. If the lawyer has been working on a sticky issue, he or she may be a little too willing to comply with the wishes of an opposing contractor, just to button this deal up – and move on to the next client.