Get quick $ 200 realistic loans Modesto California no faxing Get $700 tonight fast wire transfer. You can also apply urgent $ 900 christmas loanscom Memphis Tennessee within overnight .
Have you been within a financial bind? Are you feeling like you need a very little funds to pay for all of your current expenses? Nicely, investigate the items in this post and find out what you could learn then you can definitely think about acquiring a cash advance. There are several tips that follow to assist you to figure out if pay day loans are the right choice for you, so ensure you keep reading.
Constantly realize that the cash that you borrow from the payday advance will probably be repaid immediately from the paycheck. You must prepare for this. Should you not, as soon as the end of the spend time is available about, you will recognize that there is no need enough cash to pay for your other expenses.
Put together a summary of every single financial debt you may have when acquiring a payday loan. This consists of your medical monthly bills, unpaid bills, mortgage payments, plus more. Using this type of list, you can establish your regular monthly costs. Do a comparison to your regular monthly cash flow. This should help you make certain you get the best possible determination for paying back your debt.
Know what APR indicates just before agreeing into a pay day loan. APR, or yearly percent rate, is the quantity of interest that this firm expenses around the financial loan while you are having to pay it back again. Despite the fact that payday loans are fast and hassle-free, assess their APRs together with the APR incurred with a financial institution or perhaps your credit card business. Most likely, the pay day loan’s APR will likely be better. Check with what the paycheck loan’s interest rate is very first, before making a determination to use anything.
It is important to recognize all the factors associated with payday cash loans. Keep all of your current paperwork in the harmless place and maintain close up a record of any expected times so you can get the loan repaid promptly. If you do not create your payment you will have sizeable charges and assortment organizations contacting you.
Be cautious going above any type of cash advance. Frequently, individuals think that they will pay about the pursuing pay time period, however their financial loan eventually ends up getting larger and larger sized right up until they are still left with very little dollars arriving in off their income. They may be found in a pattern where they could not pay it again.
There are many companies which you can use to have a cash advance. Even when in a situation, utilize your head. Consider 1 hour approximately to check out a number of options and find a single with a reduced interest than the others. It can save you cash and frustration in the foreseeable future.
Do some shopping around when searching for a payday advance. Different companies will give you varying rates of interest and suitable charges. The best offers are usually too great to be real, so research your options on them initial. Tend not to do anything whatsoever till you carry out some thorough research.
Once you get a financial loan, ensure you just take that loan to have an sum you are able to pay back. Sometimes you will certainly be offered more cash, which can just result in greater monthly payments at the end through attention.
If you abruptly are available more money than you require, the sensible option is to change them lower. Payday loan firms receive more cash in curiosity and fees should you use additional money. Obtain only what exactly you need, nothing much more.
Make certain you see the rules and regards to your cash advance carefully, in order to stay away from any unsuspected surprises in the future. You should comprehend the entire personal loan agreement before signing it and receive your loan. This will help come up with a better option as to which bank loan you should acknowledge.
An excellent idea for everyone seeking to get a payday advance would be to prevent supplying your information to lender coordinating websites. Some pay day loan sites match up you with loan companies by sharing your details. This could be rather high-risk and also steer to numerous spam emails and unwelcome telephone calls.
As you now have got some time to see with these ideas and knowledge, you happen to be in a better position to make your decision. The cash advance may be just what you essential to purchase your unexpected emergency oral function, or perhaps to fix your car. It could help you save from the bad condition. Be sure that you take advantage of the details you figured out on this page, for the best bank loan.

Lawyer website marketing helps a law firm to launch a better internet presence. It is vital for the law practitioners to list the services of some web marketing consultant who specializes in the promotional marketing for lawyers to assist them with their marketing efforts.

Every individual lawyer is in need of a distinct marketing plan. Single strategy cannot apply to all the lawyers. For example, a senior lawyer needs a different strategy to be applied in terms of lawyer website marketing, while a new lawyer who has just entered the legal business needs something else.

Every law firm is ought to be prepared for the new advertising components to be added to the lawyer website marketing plan. A legal representative can gain immensely through proper utilization of the techniques of content management so as to keep the content of his website fresh and interesting and such that it appeals to the client’s eye.

Lawyer website marketing must also have the interaction element incorporated in it. It should not just be a website but should also have some blog posts, forums, or some social media website or tool that the law firm can access. Moreover, the techniques used must clearly meet with the needs of a legal website. Internet presence depends largely on the abilities of the legal practitioner’s marketing capabilities to stay up to date in the field. Lawyer website marketing also relies on the advices given by experts specializing in advertising through various forms so as to remain current in the Search engine optimization results.

Improved internet presence also improves the brand awareness for a law firm. Legal firms should therefore make use of some services of the website design firms that specialize in lawyer website marketing to achieve the desired addressees.

Efficient internet marketing firms can help law practitioners to get a customized design for their brand. Several law firms may require different types of campaigning strategies for their publicity. The law firm must be able to design website marketing strategies which are not only successful, but are even receptive to the attorney’s wants and corporate goals.

Personal injury lawyer marketing is an absolute essential for any attorney who wants to increase his or her earnings, and increase case their case load as well. However, attorney marketing can be so competitive that it is tough to stand out from your competition. In this article I want to share with you how you can use personal injury lawyer marketing correctly in order to separate yourself from other attorneys in your city, state, or country!

The key to marketing your law firm in an effective manner is knowing how to use the power of the Internet to stand out from your competition. Many law firms are marketing online, however few are using principles that can substantially increase caseloads and earnings. In this article I am going to reveal to you some online personal injury lawyer marketing strategies that you can use in order to make your law firm stand out online.

Rock the Blog. Attorneys need to be actively blogging in order to increase caseloads. Blogging is no longer a teenage phenomenon, but a real business tool that fortune 500 companies are now using in an effective manner. You see, blogging is important because it presents you and your law firm as accessible and relatable to the public. No matter what demographic you are targeting, this is an effective way to build relationships and trust with potential clients. In addition, blogging also provides your website with fresh, unique content, which will cause your search engine rankings to increase for your targeted keyword phrases.

Learn to Leverage Social Media. Social media platforms such as Twitter have the ability to bring in new clients left and right; when used correctly. Often times attorneys sign up for Twitter, but do not really know how to use it. Again, personal injury lawyer marketing is all about building relationships with prospective clients, and in order to do that you must use social media correctly. Often times business owners of all types sign up for Twitter, and simply use blatant promotion techniques over and over again. Twitter is a social networking platform, and you must mix business with relationship building in an effective way.

Use Article Marketing to Spike Your Traffic. Personal injury lawyer marketing involves driving targeted website traffic to your main website, and in order to do this you need to write articles for your business on a consistent basis. The good thing about this task is that it can be outsourced to a skilled Internet marketing consulting firm, and every aspect taken care of for you! Combine proper keyword research with articles syndicated to high traffic directories, and you can potentially have hundreds of potential clients coming to your website on a daily basis!

If your law firm wants to learn more about how to brand itself online, then I suggest you contact me today about designing an Internet marketing campaign for your law firm. Personal injury lawyer marketing is very competitive, and thus you need to invest your resources in someone that knows Internet marketing, and can make your law firm stand out, and increase profits!

If your law firm wants to learn more about how to brand itself online, then I suggest you contact me today about designing an Internet marketing campaign for your law firm!

For lawyers, communication is the keystone for delivery of effective services. From the time a law student enrolls in school, they are taught methods of effective communication. Communication for lawyers is about much more than verbal discussion. It impacts all areas for attorneys, from marketing initiatives through all matters covered under attorney-client privilege.

Most clients do not consult an attorney for pleasant reasons. More often it’s because they have time sensitive problems that create stress and cloud their thinking. It’s up to the lawyer to introduce a note of calm and reason through effective communication.

American Bar Association Rules require attorneys to communicate with their clients in an effective, timely way. In fact, violating this rule is the leading cause for ABA discipline. The reality is that communication is essential for the attorney-client relationship to work.

Lawyers have to be able to plainly and succinctly express themselves in print and in conversation. This is the subject of endless hours of study and drill throughout law school. But in the real world when it comes to marketing communications, what does a lawyer say after “Hello”?

One of the most important sales closing skills that any professional can bring to the table is the ability to listen carefully to what prospects and clients say. This directly relates to the importance of understanding their needs. It also is the single most important factor in being able to respond to them when it comes to winning contracts, and it directly translates to the firm’s bottom line. In order to communicate in any meaningful way, a lawyer has to be able to listen.

Listening goes beyond simply hearing words or understanding the letter of the client’s statements. As we’ve established, most clients are under at least a little bit of pressure or they wouldn’t be consulting an attorney at all. Listening requires that ineffable quality of empathy balanced with pure reason. A good attorney understands what the client is saying when they’re not saying a word, through the context of their communication. The art of listening is developed through experience and practice, and it means moderating content with context.

How to Make Bad News Good For Your Bottom Line

Whether your preferred morning reading is the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post or a local paper, you’re probably reading plenty of bleak economic news. The Dow Jones average is up, then it’s down. First the end of the recession is in sight – but then, no, wait, maybe not. However you aren’t the only one reading the news. Your customers, competition, prospective clients and future employees scan the same business and legal articles you do.

So what are you doing with this information? Are you using it to pass the time over your morning cup of coffee? Or are you using this information as context for your clients? You can leverage the news of the day as an effective business tool in routine conversations to provide perspective and expertise for your clients. Chatting up the news of the day is certainly acceptable in polite society. But it also creates the opportunity for a foot in the door to clients and prospects when the news is relevant to your area of expertise.

Taking this concept one step further, lawyers can use the daily news to create a platform for establishing their own expertise within the media. Writing is often an attorney’s greatest gift. It makes sense then to take advantage of the burgeoning writing opportunities that modern technology presents to all professionals, not just attorneys, and generate new business for the firm.

Online publishing opportunities abound through blogs, guest blogging, article directories and news websites. The shrinking print newspaper business, coupled with a tight economy, and a growing online presence, all create a rich opportunity for lawyers to offer themselves as a credible resource for issues that affect their areas of expertise. In fact, now is a great time not just for lawyers but also for small and mid-sized firms, companies and consultancies to use communication as a primary business development tool.

But if writing for the Wall Street Journal seems out of your league, you may opt to be the big fish in the small pond. Try contacting reporters at your local newspapers and industry publications and offering them an interview. Become their “go-to person,” and your name will appear in more and more of their feature articles as trust is established. Building your reputation as an expert in print will go a long way toward closing the sale before you ever communicate with your prospect.

You can’t believe it’s happening to you. There’s a pit in your stomach as the cop starts coming toward you and utters the words “I’m arresting you for a criminal offense.”

Your mind starts racing with thoughts like ” What in the world am I going to do? How is this going to affect my life, freedom, family, job? What can I do to protect myself? How do I decide on the right lawyer so I have the best legal help possible?”

Regrettably, this crisis is a possibility for anyone. Innocent people are charged with crimes as a result of many different circumstances, such as honest mistakes, or overzealous, or malicious actions by others. Good people also make mistakes and choose the wrong course of action in a difficult situation.

Whatever the case is, you sure enough need the best representation you can get.

All of a Sudden Nothing is More Important

You realize that a conviction will have ruinous effects on your life so it’s important to seek the best attorney you can afford, whether you need an Oklahoma criminal defense lawyer (my state) or one who can represent you in another state of the U.S.

And even though you are “under the gun” to hire someone, this decision must be made with care. After all, if your life was threatened in a medical emergency, such as needing brain surgery, you probably wouldn’t want the cheapest doctor to perform it. Moreover, you shouldn’t choose an attorney based on who charges the least. At the same time, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to hire the most expensive person.

How Are You Supposed to Pick a Criminal Defense Attorney, then?

Should you hire your brother-in-law’s estate planning lawyer, or the attorney who handled your high school friend’s divorce? What about going to the yellow pages and picking the lawyer on the first page of the attorney listings, or the law firm with a two page ad?

I don’t advocate any of those methods for someone charged with a criminal offense. The problem is that just because someone went to law school and passed the bar exam, that doesn’t mean he or she is effective and experienced in criminal defense. Many have never set foot in a courtroom.

All Lawyers Are Not the Same

In the medical field there are doctors who specialize in certain parts of the body and so, too, many lawyers concentrate on just a few areas of the law. There are just too many types of law for someone to be an expert in every area.

Think of it this way. Do you really think that someone who spends most of their time writing and negotiating contracts for businesses would be as effective in the courtroom as a lawyer with decades of experience in criminal law?

What’s more, when you hire an expert, you have to expect that the cost is going to be higher than hiring someone else with only a moderate amount of knowledge or experience.

That leads us to:

7 Key Questions to Find the Right Lawyer for your Criminal Defense

1. The first question to ask would be simply, How many years has the lawyer practiced criminal law.Someone with a fair number of years of experience, such as 10 years or more, would be preferred. Your future is too important to hand over your defense to a new law school graduate.

2. The second question you’ll want to learn the answer to will be how many trials has the lawyer handled. This is important because your lawyer should be familiar and confident with the process. There are some so called “criminal lawyers” who rarely, or never go to trial and are known as “settling attorneys”. Many times they aren’t comfortable in trials, and even if it isn’t best for their client, they find a way to settle without going to trial. The prosecution can sense that fear of going to trial, which can have a detrimental effect on possible plea bargaining for the client. Definitely, a lawyer who has tried 50 to 100 or more cases will maintain a stronger bargaining position.

3. Another thing you should determine is the number of jury trials the attorney has handled. Additional areas of expertise are needed in jury trial with facets like selecting jurors, and knowing how to be persuasive to jury members. As you can probably guess, more experience with jury trials is better than less. If your lawyer has handled 40 or 50 jury trials, he or she should have learned a lot about strategy in that area.

4. While you can certainly ask a potential lawyer about his or her experience, an even better way to determine that is is through a reliable certification process. Some states recognize specializations in different areas of law and if a lawyer qualifies according to the state’s requirements, he can reflect that specialization in his marketing and advertising materials. However, many states don’t allow specializations (including my state of Oklahoma). Fortunately, there is a national certification available through the National Board of Trial Advocacy This is a very rigorous certification process, requiring significant experience in criminal trials, a written exam, peer review and recertification every 5 years.

If a lawyer has achieved this certification, you have an unbiased third party validation of her experience, instead of having to rely simply on what the lawyer says about her ability.

5. Something else you should ask about is how and when the lawyer will communicate with you. Use the first consultation (which is often free, however be sure to ask ahead of time) to assess whether you will be comfortable and confident handing your case over to this person.

6. Make sure to ask if the lawyer you think you are hiring will actually be the one who is handling your case. This is important because some firms will have you talk to a lead lawyer initially and then give your case to a newer lawyer in the firm to handle. I believe a criminal charge deserves an experienced and seasoned lawyer, not someone just out of law school.

7. Ask about the costs involved. Find out whether the lawyer charges an hourly rate or a flat fee. Obviously, it is better for you, the client, to get a flat fee. That way you know exactly how much you need to pay as opposed to being concerned that the lawyer is trying to string things along in order to increase his fees. Also, determine what is covered in the flat fee, such as does that fee cover fees for a trial or will there be additional costs for that?

Remember if the lawyer’s fee is much lower than others that it could be a red flag.

A much lower fee can mean he is not as experienced (not good for you), or he may handle a high volume of cases. The problem with the high volume situation is that he won’t be able to spend as much time or attention on your case (also not desirable) as the lawyer who takes fewer cases but charges more.

I’ve also known of attorneys who entice clients by stating they will only charge a small amount such as $100.00 to go to court for you. However, they don’t mention that you’ll have to continue to pay them for every phone call or each document they do for you. And, pretty soon the total expense can be higher than a set fee charged by someone else.

A lower fee could also indicate that the lawyer is the “settling” kind of lawyer as I mentioned before, who won’t go to trial even if its in your best interest. And since he knows he won’t ever be going to trial he can charge less, as trials involve significantly more work.

I believe these questions will allow you to become informed in this important decision making process so you can find a criminal defense lawyer who will skillfully protect your rights and freedom.

Almost everything we do is affected by laws. There are so many laws that it would take a person with an average reading skill over a thousand years just to read the law book. As if we have nothing else to do with our lives but read laws. So what do we do when a legal situation arises? Do we handle it ourselves or do we call a lawyer who’s been trained in the legal field? For many people, the thought of calling a lawyer may be frightening. Sometimes they might not even know if they need a lawyer or how to even choose one, so they might avoid contacting a lawyer even when it is in their best interests to do so. However, do your homework before you hire a lawyer for yourself and/or your business. At the time when you are faced with serious legal or medical problems, you still need to make a good, informed decision about who will represent you. And it doesn’t have to be as hard or as costly as you may think to find a good lawyer. Provided below are some quick tips that can take the stress out of finding a lawyer.

Can I represent myself?

You have the right to represent yourself. However, the law is extremely complex and changes frequently. Unless you dedicate 100% of your time into educating yourself with all of the laws and legal procedures relevant to your case, you stand a good chance of losing. You may very easily overlook a legal aspect affecting your case that may sometimes bring unanticipated legal consequences that can be difficult and expensive to undo. So, you need to weigh the risks and benefits of representing yourself vs. hiring a lawyer to represent your case.

When do I contact a lawyer?

When faced with a problem that you think it needs legal attention, you may wish to consult with a lawyer about your legal rights and responsibilities as soon as possible. Many states have deadlines for filing lawsuits especially for personal injuries. These so called “statute of limitations” laws are designed to encourage people to promptly come forward and present their case. But this doesn’t mean that you have to simply pick the first lawyer you bump into because you’re in a hurry, as you will learn from these tips.

How do I choose the “right” lawyer for me?

From a personal aspect, selecting a lawyer is always a personal matter. But, as with any service providers, the lawyer is just providing his/her service to his/her client. So, the lawyer-client relationship needs be based on trust and open and honest communication so the lawyer could provide the best of his/her service. It requires a mutual commitment from both the client and the lawyer. If the client is not cooperating fully, the lawyer could not provide the best of his/her service. At the same time, if the lawyer is not easily accessible and prompt in responding to your phone calls, emails, and requests, you’re going to get nothing but frustration. Hence, when choosing the “right” lawyer for your case you need to feel 100% comfortable when talking to that lawyer and feel confident in his or her abilities. If there’s even a single doubt, you need to keep looking. Your case is too important to entrust to someone who does not inspire your confidence.

From a professional aspect, people often believe that simply any lawyer could handle any case. This misleading confidence frequently works to the client’s disadvantage. No lawyer is skilled in every area of the law. So, to find the “right” lawyer for your case you need not to be shy about asking your prospective lawyer questions until you gain full confidence in his or her ability. Only then would you select that lawyer. Actually, while asking the questions, you’ll be able to observe the lawyer’s responsiveness and readiness to cooperate with you. Some of the most important questions you need to ask your prospective lawyer when going through the selection process are:

– What amount of experience do you have in this area of the law (the area of your legal need)?

– Will you or one of your associates handle my case? – if an associate handles your case, that’s the person you need to interview.

– How many cases like mine have you handled? – ask for specifics for each of the cases.

– Could you provide me with references from some or each of the cases? – make sure you call each of the clients to learn about their experience.

A responsible and a caring lawyer would have no problems providing you with answers. If the lawyer is giving you runarounds for each of the questions and not providing you with specific answers, you need to keep looking. Also, always check with your State Bar Association if that lawyer has been the subject of an ethical complaint or inquiry.

Where do I find a lawyer?

No matter where you look for a lawyer, always keep in mind the above tip for choosing the right lawyer for you. Nevertheless, here are a few places to look for a lawyer:

– Yellow Pages and Advertisements – When you open your local yellow pages doesn’t it seem like the doctors and the lawyers cover the half of the book with advertisements? It almost looks as if they’re the only ones having the money for full blown ad pages. Speaking of ads, unless you have a marketing/sales knowledge and experience, you would never know how advertisements work. The advertisements are developed to psychologically trigger your emotional senses and make you respond to the call of action of the ad. It’s a science of its own. So, you as an average consumer would have no idea which advertisement is telling the truth and which has the truth blown out of proportion. But, this is a very good place to at least get some names and phone numbers from local lawyers and start your selection process.

– Your Society Circle – Your family, friends, people you work with, people you talk to, people you know of … start asking around. This is one of your most reliable sources. You will have a chance to get the first hand experience. Someone who has been in a same or a similar situation could tell you about their experience (good or bad) with their lawyer. If their experience has been nothing but good, you have a half of your work done. And even if no one in your society circle could refer you to a lawyer, they might know of someone else from their society circle who might have been in a similar situation. Some of the most reliable referrals come from people you trust – fellow business owners, friends and family – who have used lawyers recently. Word of mouth from a satisfied customer generally is very reliable.

– Bar Associations – This is another reliable source. Your local attorney bar association may maintain an attorney referral service, which is a list of their members by specialty who will consult with you for free or at a special rate set by the bar association for the first conference. The Bar Association could also tell you if a lawyer has been a subject of an ethical complaint or inquiry from past clients.

– The Internet – Indeed the Internet. But, this is your least reliable source because everything could be put on the ‘net. However, just like with advertisements, you could use the Internet to at least get you a list of local lawyers practicing in your problem area so you could start the selection process. On the Internet, search for lawyer directories, such as Martindale.com; lawyer referral services, such as LegalMatch.com; people/business finding services, such as Anywho.com; and simply your favorite search engine.

Please refer to Part-1 of this 2-part article to read about the role of your lawyer and why it is important to have a strong lawyer-client working relationship with your attorney.

The following points will add to developing a strong work relationship with your lawyer and lead you to more successful results in your lawsuit.

First and Foremost, Give Your Lawyer the Whole Story – As soon as you hire your lawyer, tell him or her everything that is related to your case and provide him or her with every relevant document, even those facts and details that you think are damaging to your case. Lawyers have been trained to sift and sort through the information you provide and determine what information is useful for your case and what isn’t. Every fact and detail could be crucial to your case. Facts which may not seem important to you may have serious legal consequences. Your lawyer might be able to use a fact or a document you thought was unimportant as the basis for a creative legal argument. And if something might harm your case, your lawyer will have plenty of time to prepare defensive maneuvers.

Respond Promptly – This factor alone will certainly damage the relationship between you and your lawyer and almost always hurt your case – that is if your response is of an irresponsible nature. Lawyers often have to work under very tight deadlines. Your prompt response to your lawyer’s requests will insure those deadlines are met and your case is flowing smoothly. Your prompt response will also give your lawyer enough time to go over your information and better prepare his or her next step. If you are not able to respond quickly for one reason or another, let your lawyer know immediately. Your lawyer might be able to get an extension of time from your opponent or the court, or rearrange other matters to accommodate the delay.

Cooperation – During the course of your case, your lawyer will ask you for particular documents or certain facts relevant to your lawsuit. Instead of making your lawyer hunt down those details, remember that you’re the one who is undertaking this legal action. In most instances you have much easier access to the information relevant to your case than any one else. By cooperating with your lawyer in gathering the important details for winning your case, you will not only help your situation, but have your lawyer spend less time, which will reduce your legal cost.

At a beginning of a lawsuit, your lawyer may ask you to write down a summary of events leading up to the lawsuit. Make sure that what you write is extremely accurate – only known facts. Your lawyer will base your claims and defenses on this information.

Preparedness – Always remember that your attorney’s time is your money. Better prepared you are, less money your legal matter will cost you. When you meet with your lawyer, have with you already prepared written summary or detailed notes outlining your problem or questions; bring copies of all documents, letters and other correspondence relating to your case. Also, provide your lawyer with a list of all names, addresses, and telephone numbers of persons involved in the case. This will avoid unnecessary delays. Be as brief as possible in all interviews with your lawyer, and stick to business. At the rate that you are charged for calls and conferences, socializing gets very expensive.

Keep Your Lawyer Informed – Your lawyer can work only with the information that you provide him or her with. Failure to keep your lawyer updated with information about any new developments relevant to your case can be disastrous to your final outcome. Tell your lawyer immediately of changes or new information that might affect your case. On the same note, holding back information can as well prevent your lawyer from obtaining your desired results. That’s why it is very important for you to be truthful and complete about the facts of your situation.

Keep Your Schedule Flexible – There are certain legal events in which you must participate. Very often these events are scheduled weeks or even months in advance. Most of these events can be rescheduled to accommodate your schedule only if your lawyer knows in advance. But, be prepared to change your plans if you must because sometimes a judge may insist on holding the scheduled meeting whether your schedule permits or not.

Various Other Points

– Take your lawyer’s legal advice seriously. When an attorney gives legal advice, the attorney may be liable for malpractice if the advice is wrong. For that reason attorneys are hesitant to give legal advice and expose themselves to liability without first checking the most current legal facts. And that takes time. That’s why they charge a fee for legal advice because they give you facts and not an opinion. So when your lawyer gives you legal advice relevant to your legal issue, you better follow up on it because it’s a real deal.

– Many legal problems cannot be explained simply. We live in a complex society with an extremely complex legal system. So if you don’t understand something that your lawyer says, don’t just take it as is – ask for an explanation. Maybe you need to ask your lawyer to explain it with a non-legal jargon.

– Respect your attorney’s time. Avoid phoning repeatedly about every single question that comes on your mind. First of all you will pay for the time spent on the phone. Second, your lawyer has other clients who require attention too. So, it would be in your best interest and is usually more cost-effective to ask several questions at a time, rather than calling each time a question arises. By all means, do not wait to call your lawyer if your question is so important that it will affect your case significantly.

– Avoid legal debate. If you sometimes feel that your lawyer is not quite handling your legal issue the way you think he or she is suppose to, try to first gain an understanding by asking your lawyer questions about his or her course of action instead of directly engaging into a debate. But if you really must engage into a debate because you’re certain that you know it better, check the facts before you start the discussion. You don’t want to embarrass yourself when your lawyer proves you wrong. Lawyers have extensive legal training. Their actions sometimes may seem weird to you but they may be just the right move for obtaining positive results for your legal issue.

– Respect your lawyer’s pride. One common characteristic amongst all lawyers is their strong pride. That comes with their profession. Sometimes it may feel that this pride borders on arrogance or egotism. Maybe so. But, so what? Actually, this feature may win your case. It gives lawyers more confidence even if they lack the experience. So, treat your lawyer with respect and he or she will do more than their very best to get you your desired results.

– Your lawyer is a professional. As such, address your lawyer in a professional way in your communication, whether written or oral. You’ll get much better results. For an example, which of these two sentences do you think would get you better response by your lawyer? “We need to talk right now because my case is not moving the way I want and I want to see what you’re doing wrong” – or – “I would appreciate if we could schedule 30 minutes of your time to discuss the current developments of my case.” You get the point.

– Communicate your goals very clearly. Tell your lawyer exactly what your expectations are from your legal matter. If you deliver unclear picture to your lawyer, he or she wouldn’t know how to set the “Theory of the Case.” This is the first and most important step that will support every step of the trial. Your lawyer needs to know exactly what your case is truly about and establish your final objective accordingly.

– Be on time for appointments, whether in court or for anything related to your case.

– Be patient and understand that legal problems require time and research.

– Respond promptly to your lawyer’s requests and phone calls.

– And of course, pay your legal fees promptly as agreed in the fee arrangement you made.

Does the film producer really need a film lawyer or entertainment attorney as a matter of professional practice? An entertainment lawyer’s own bias and my stacking of the question notwithstanding, which might naturally indicate a “yes” answer 100% of the time – the forthright answer is, “it depends”. A number of producers these days are themselves film lawyers, entertainment attorneys, or other types of lawyers, and so, often can take care of themselves. But the film producers to worry about, are the ones who act as if they are entertainment lawyers – but without a license or entertainment attorney legal experience to back it up. Filmmaking and motion picture practice comprise an industry wherein these days, unfortunately, “bluff” and “bluster” sometimes serve as substitutes for actual knowledge and experience. But “bluffed” documents and inadequate production procedures will never escape the trained eye of entertainment attorneys working for the studios, the distributors, the banks, or the errors-and-omissions (E&O) insurance carriers. For this reason alone, I suppose, the job function of film production counsel and entertainment lawyer is still secure.

I also suppose that there will always be a few lucky filmmakers who, throughout the entire production process, fly under the proverbial radar without entertainment attorney accompaniment. They will seemingly avoid pitfalls and liabilities like flying bats are reputed to avoid people’s hair. By way of analogy, one of my best friends hasn’t had any health insurance for years, and he is still in good shape and economically afloat – this week, anyway. Taken in the aggregate, some people will always be luckier than others, and some people will always be more inclined than others to roll the dice.

But it is all too simplistic and pedestrian to tell oneself that “I’ll avoid the need for film lawyers if I simply stay out of trouble and be careful”. An entertainment lawyer, especially in the realm of film (or other) production, can be a real constructive asset to a motion picture producer, as well as the film producer’s personally-selected inoculation against potential liabilities. If the producer’s entertainment attorney has been through the process of film production previously, then that entertainment lawyer has already learned many of the harsh lessons regularly dished out by the commercial world and the film business.

The film and entertainment lawyer can therefore spare the producer many of those pitfalls. How? By clear thinking, careful planning, and – this is the absolute key – skilled, thoughtful and complete documentation of all film production and related activity. The film lawyer should not be thought of as simply the person seeking to establish compliance. Sure, the entertainment lawyer may sometimes be the one who says “no”. But the entertainment attorney can be a positive force in the production as well.

The film lawyer can, in the course of legal representation, assist the producer as an effective business consultant, too. If that entertainment lawyer has been involved with scores of film productions, then the motion picture producer who hires that film lawyer entertainment attorney benefits from that very cache of experience. Yes, it sometimes may be difficult to stretch the film budget to allow for counsel, but professional filmmakers tend to view the legal cost expenditure to be a fixed, predictable, and necessary one – akin to the fixed obligation of rent for the production office, or the cost of film for the cameras. While some film and entertainment lawyers may price themselves out of the price range of the average independent film producer, other entertainment attorneys do not.

Enough generalities. For what specific tasks must a producer typically retain a film lawyer and entertainment attorney?:

1. INCORPORATION, OR FORMATION OF AN “LLC”: To paraphrase Michael Douglas’s Gordon Gekko character in the motion picture “Wall Street” when speaking to Bud Fox while on the morning beach on the oversized mobile phone, this entity-formation issue usually constitutes the entertainment attorney’s “wake-up call” to the film producer, telling the film producer that it is time. If the producer doesn’t properly create, file, and maintain a corporate or other appropriate entity through which to conduct business, and if the film producer doesn’t thereafter make every effort to keep that entity shielded, says the entertainment lawyer, then the film producer is potentially hurting himself or herself. Without the shield against liability that an entity can provide, the entertainment attorney opines, the motion picture producer’s personal assets (like house, car, bank account) are at risk and, in a worst-case scenario, could ultimately be seized to satisfy the debts and liabilities of the film producer’s business. In other words:

Patient: “Doctor, it hurts my head when I do that”.

Doctor: “So? Don’t do that”.

Like it or not, the film lawyer entertainment attorney continues, “Film is a speculative business, and the statistical majority of motion pictures can fail economically – even at the San Fernando Valley film studio level. It is irrational to run a film business or any other form of business out of one’s own personal bank account”. Besides, it looks unprofessional, a real concern if the producer wants to attract talent, bankers, and distributors at any point in the future.

The choices of where and how to file an entity are often prompted by entertainment lawyers but then driven by situation-specific variables, including tax concerns relating to the film or motion picture company sometimes. The film producer should let an entertainment attorney do it and do it correctly. Entity-creation is affordable. Good lawyers don’t look at incorporating a client as a profit-center anyway, because of the obvious potential for new business that an entity-creation brings. While the film producer should be aware that under U.S. law a client can fire his/her lawyer at any time at all, many entertainment lawyers who do the entity-creation work get asked to do further work for that same client – especially if the entertainment attorney bills the first job reasonably.

I wouldn’t recommend self-incorporation by a non-lawyer – any more than I would tell a film producer-client what actors to hire in a motion picture – or any more than I would tell a D.P.-client what lens to use on a specific film shot. As will be true on a film production set, everybody has their own job to do. And I believe that as soon as the producer lets a competent entertainment lawyer do his or her job, things will start to gel for the film production in ways that couldn’t even be originally foreseen by the motion picture producer.

2. SOLICITING INVESTMENT: This issue also often constitutes a wake-up call of sorts. Let’s say that the film producer wants to make a motion picture with other people’s money. (No, not an unusual scenario). The film producer will likely start soliciting funds for the movie from so-called “passive” investors in any number of possible ways, and may actually start collecting some monies as a result. Sometimes this occurs prior to the entertainment lawyer hearing about it post facto from his or her client.

If the film producer is not a lawyer, then the producer should not even think of “trying this at home”. Like it or not, the entertainment lawyer opines, the film producer will thereby be selling securities to people. If the producer promises investors some pie-in-the-sky results in the context of this inherently speculative business called film, and then collects money on the basis of that representation, believe me, the film producer will have even more grave problems than conscience to deal with. Securities compliance work is among the most difficult of matters faced by an entertainment attorney.

As both entertainment lawyers and securities lawyers will opine, botching a solicitation for film (or any other) investment can have severe and federally-mandated consequences. No matter how great the film script is, it’s never worth monetary fines and jail time – not to mention the veritable unspooling of the unfinished motion picture if and when the producer gets nailed. All the while, it is shocking to see how many ersatz film producers in the real world try to float their own “investment prospectus”, complete with boastful anticipated multipliers of the box office figures of the famed motion pictures “E.T.” and “Jurassic Park” combined. They draft these monstrosities with their own sheer creativity and imagination, but usually with no entertainment or film lawyer or other legal counsel. I’m sure that some of these producers think of themselves as “visionaries” while writing the prospectus. Entertainment attorneys and the rest of the bar, and bench, may tend to think of them, instead, as prospective ‘Defendants’.

Enough said.

3. DEALING WITH THE GUILDS: Let’s assume that the film producer has decided, even without entertainment attorney guidance yet, that the production entity will need to be a signatory to collective bargaining agreements of unions such as Screen Actors Guild (SAG), the Directors Guild (DGA), and/or the Writers Guild (WGA). This is a subject matter area that some film producers can handle themselves, particularly producers with experience. But if the film producer can afford it, the producer should consult with a film lawyer or entertainment lawyer prior to making even any initial contact with the guilds. The producer should certainly consult with an entertainment attorney or film lawyer prior to issuing any writings to the guilds, or signing any of their documents. Failure to plan out these guild issues with film or entertainment attorney counsel ahead of time, could lead to problems and expenses that sometimes make it cost-prohibitive to thereafter continue with the picture’s further production.

4. CONTRACTUAL AFFAIRS GENERALLY: A film production’s agreements should all be in writing, and not saved until the last minute, as any entertainment attorney will observe. It will be more expensive to bring film counsel in, late in the day – sort of like booking an airline flight a few days before the planned travel. A film producer should remember that a plaintiff suing for breach of a bungled contract might not only seek money for damages, but could also seek the equitable relief of an injunction (translation: “Judge, stop this production… stop this motion picture… stop this film… Cut!”).

A film producer does not want to suffer a back claim for talent compensation, or a disgruntled location-landlord, or state child labor authorities – threatening to enjoin or shut the motion picture production down for reasons that could have been easily avoided by careful planning, drafting, research, and communication with one’s film lawyer or entertainment lawyer. The movie production’s agreements should be drafted with care by the entertainment attorney, and should be customized to encompass the special characteristics of the production.

As an entertainment lawyer, I have seen non-lawyer film producers try to do their own legal drafting for their own pictures. As mentioned above, some few are lucky, and remain under the proverbial radar. But consider this: if the film producer sells or options the project, one of the first things that the film distributor or film buyer (or its own film and entertainment attorney counsel) will want to see, is the “chain of title” and development and production file, complete with all signed agreements. The production’s insurance carrier may also want to see these same documents. So might the guilds, too. And their entertainment lawyers. The documents must be written so as to survive the audience.

Therefore, for a film producer to try to improvise law, is simply to put many problems off for another day, as well as create an air of non-attorney amateurism to the production file. It will be less expensive for the film producer to attack all of these issues earlier as opposed to later, through use of a film lawyer or entertainment attorney. And the likelihood is that any self-respecting film attorney and entertainment lawyer is going to have to re-draft substantial parts (if not all) of the producer’s self-drafted production file, once he or she sees what the non-lawyer film producer has done to it on his or her own – and that translates into unfortunate and wasted expense. I would no sooner want my chiropractor to draft and negotiate his own filmed motion picture contracts, than I would put myself on his table and try to crunch through my own adjustments. Furthermore, I wouldn’t do half of the chiropractic adjustment myself, and then call the chiropractor into the examining room to finish what I had started. (I use the chiropractic motif only to spare you the cliché of “performing surgery on oneself”).

There are many other reasons for retaining a film lawyer and entertainment attorney for motion picture work, and space won’t allow all of them. But the above-listed ones are the big ones.

Click the “Articles” button at: http://www.tormey.org/art.htm to return to the main Articles page.

ATTORNEY ADVERTISEMENT

This article is not intended to, and does not constitute, legal advice with respect to your particular situation and fact pattern. Do secure counsel promptly, if you see any legal issue looming on the horizon which may affect your career or your rights. What applies in one context, may not apply to the next one. Make sure that you seek individualized legal advice as to any important matter pertaining to your career or your rights generally.

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.

(c) 2009 by Virginia Perry, J.D. This article may be reproduced in whole or in part for personal, non-commercial use, provided the following language is included: “This copy right article/material is reproduced with the permission of the author, Virginia Perry, J.D.”

Virginia Perry, JD is a licensed Virginia attorney and has been actively engaged in the general practice of law with an emphasis on family law and trials for over 30 years.