Do You Need A Lawyer? Or Not?
When do you need a lawyer?
You most likely need a lawyer, or at least need to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible:
It is wise to consult a lawyer for advise if:
If you doubt whether you need a lawyer or not, why not ask a lawyer about it?
They are actually the best people to tell you if you really need them or not. It's better to get legal advice early on; as it will often dictate your course of action.
Initial consultations are offered free of charge by many legal professionals. You may also inquire with a lawyer referral service.
Experience has proven that a little "preventive" legal advice goes a long way. It's always more prudent to take to correct approach to begin with, rather than to try to "undo" an action later.
Another option is representing yourself. You have the right to represent yourself in a civil or criminal case. However, you should consider this only if you completely understand the legal issues and the procedures involved.
Often, you are at an immediate disadvantage in court because you are not seen as much of a threat to an opposing prosecutor. Representation by an attorney makes the other side work a little harder at negotiation and compromise.
Additionally, you may be at a disadvantage if you get too emotionally caught up in the case, which tends to hinder your ability to view the "big picture" and proceed accordingly.
You should represent yourself only if you are willing to accept that risk as well as others. Be aware that the ruling judge generally has the option to require that you have a lawyer represent you.
There may be other ways to get help for your particular issue. Consider sources such as your local, state, or federal governmental agency that may be able to answer your questions or solve your problem.
Also, consider checking with your local Better Business Bureau, Consumer Credit Counseling Service, alternative dispute resolution center, television station, or some other consumer protection agency to see if they can help.
Depending on your issue, other sources you may consider are insurance agents, accountants, bankers, stockbrokers, your minister, state legislators, or private counselors. Research your problem on the interent. See what outcome others with similar issues have had. Past history is generally a good predictor of future results.
All in all, remember; early information is better than after-the-fact. Our favorite saying is "an ounce of prevention....". Finding an attorney with expertise in the area of your problem; particularly one that is willing to give a quick, free, consultation, is probably the safest place to start.
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