The common fee is in excess of 1/3 after all, but with a Lawyer on your side you may find your settlement offer gets much larger. Often you will not make claims for items because you are unsure if you legally qualify, a good Personal Injury Attorney will be able to find those items you missed and most of the time makes the increased amount far greater than that of the original offer. 9. Insurance Rates Are Going Up Because of Lawsuits – This is being painted in a bad light, of course insurance rates are going up but that is not through fault of the Lawyer, it is the high profit margins the Insurance Industry demands that cause this ever increasing rate. Frivolous lawsuits are not caused by the Lawyers but by their clientele’s demands and deceits. Insurance Companies will use any factor they can to increase rates justifiably and legal costs is an easy scapegoat.

The Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, based in Tallahassee, regulates the functioning of criminal lawyers in Florida. Founded in 1988, it has nearly 1,500 members. Usually people imagine a criminal lawyer to be a professional involved in highly dramatic situations in courtrooms. However, this is only one aspect of their work. A criminal lawyer may spend one day with the client discussing the legal problem. He may spend yet another day in trial practice, actually pleading before the judge in court. Sometimes, he may also be visiting the scene of the crime. Most criminal lawyers spend hours researching and developing legal reports and documents. Though the advantages of information and communication technology are immense, there is a downside too, particularly in relation to cyber and transnational crimes. This means that today’s criminal lawyers need to be equipped with the latest methods to handle these issues. In the US, there have always been excellent facilities for continuing legal education programs. The Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers offers regular programs for its members.

The state bar should be able to provide information on the lawyer’s education/training (including any continuing education in his/her specialization), additional licenses held (for example, a CPA license), and complaints filed, if any. You should be aware, however, that the state bar may be less-than-eager to provide disciplinary information on its members to the general public. As in so many professions, there may be a certain amount of behind-closed-doors “hand slapping” of members who have been found at fault for ethics or other violations, and you may have no way of finding out about such actions. A question in some people’s minds who are lawyer-shopping is whether the prestige of a given attorney’s law school should be an issue – should you favor an Ivy-leaguer, for example, over a state-law-school grad? Generally, it’s pretty easy to find out where a lawyer went to law school – this is usually available through the state board or the online directories mentioned above. But is it really important? Practically speaking, it seems very doubtful a Harvard or Yale lawyer will do a better job of representing you in your divorce or tax proceeding than one from, say, Penn State. As in the medical field experience and a history of success are what really count. Would you rather have a surgeon right out of Stanford perform your triple-bypass, or one from Cal State who’s done several hundred such procedures successfully in the past? I think the answer is obvious, and probably applies equally well to the legal profession. Your next step in checking out a prospective lawyer will involve some serious public records checking. I discuss this step in detail in the full version of this article as cited below.

Trial Attorneys Charge Hourly – Some Attorneys do charge an hourly rate but this is far from standard practice, there is a precedent that was made only decades after the founding of our country that made it so anyone could obtain representation by paying a percentage of their award at the end of trial. They do this at great risk, they could end up spending months fighting a case that their client lied about to them and they make no money for their hard work. One industry or another designed these myths, they benefit from you being afraid to approach a Lawyer. These industries see huge profits from cutting legal fees out of their budgeting, if they can get you to fear a lawyer then when they tell you that they think you don’t need one you will listen. The worst thing you can possibly do is decide not to seek legal representation, your opponents will not be so foolish, though many industries tell you not to get a Lawyer they will always use a Lawyer’s services for themselves. Attorneys are just normal people with a complicated profession, no different from many professions. They are providing a valuable service and I for one do not want to have to read up on all the articles of law regarding breaking my ankle on a college campus if such a situation were to happen. So don’t fear them, consult them for sagely advise as you would any expert of any particular field.