November 4, 2011

Finding and Keeping a Lawyer

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     Lots of people go through their entire lives without ever going to a lawyer. Lots of people never go to a foreign country, either. Both visiting a foreign country, and getting involved with lawyers and the legal system to solve a problem, require adjustment to foreign languages, rules and laws known only to others. In the foreign country, you may not be able to read street signs, know which side of the road to drive on, where to find a parking place, and when to speak and when to be silent, and how to choose an interpreter who will be able to read your mind as to what you want. And who to trust.

     And, all of the same potential problems in resolving your problem with lawyers and in the legal system.

     Finding a lawyer, and buying the ticket to the foreign country may not seem to be insurmountable (see my web site page

     But what do you do when you catch one?

     You listen to the lawyer’s answers to your questions during the initial interview. Taking notes is okay. You read the contract before signing it, and again later when you have questions. If there are things you don’t understand, you ask questions. You pay her according to the terms of your contract, and trust her to do her best for you.

     When you don’t know the territory, it is especially important to choose somebody to trust. That doesn’t mean you have to agree with them, but it does mean you’ve got to tell them the truth about what you think, and intend to do, and listen to them. If you can’t trust them, meaning respect and believe the truth of their opinions and advice, find somebody else. It’s okay to find someone else even if you trust and like her, but just don’t feel like the relationship is “a good fit” for you. Your lawyer might be as frustrated with you as you are with her/him. And if you’ve been courteous, honest and forthright in conversations, paid your bill(s) and kept your appointments, she may even give you suggestions as to other lawyer(s) and give you a reference.

     The scales of justice represent the efforts to balance the interests of opposing parties in disputes. The scales are not balanced –and the frustrating laws and rules of procedure are designed to help lawyers and judges work their way through peoples’ problems in a fair way. Each party’s lawyer’s job includes making sure that her client’s side of the scale is receiving its full weight by the system.

Posted by Peggy S. Hedrick at 11:30am

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Excellent Mom! I would only add one thing…BREATHE!
Posted by Kay Hedrick on 11/7/2011 at 3:16pm