Lawyer Survey Suggests Clients Have Unrealistic Expectations Or Misperceptions About Fees

In my national survey of lawyers, lawyers speak about the kinds of unrealistic client expectations or misperceptions they have encountered when clients approach or consult with them. One such unrealistic client expectation or misperception falls into the category of “what lawyers should be paid, when, and if they should be paid at all for the services they provide.”

The lawyers’ general feeling is the prospect or client’s view of lawyers and their role has been distorted by Hollywood and 50 years of TV law heroes. Those clients that do not have contact with lawyers regularly, and/or their only contact with them is when the are in trouble, are likely to have more misperceptions about lawyers and what they do and can do for their fees. Many seem to assume that fees should be the same as, or similar to, what a TV client paid “Perry Mason” or to other TV lawyers, for example: that is, nothing. Law-oriented entertainment programs, which are often the resource for many clients’ beliefs about lawyers and the law, rarely or never discuss fees. From a practical standpoint, doing so would be a distraction to the viewer and take away from the focus, action, and flow of the story.

Clients often believe that the lowest quoted price (a low-ball estimate) is the way to go. They do not want to pay what are considered the average retainers or fees that are deemed appropriate within the profession. Consequently, they may be shocked because they are comparing lawyer fees to the cost of some non-specific-problem software or fill-in forms that can be purchased at the local office store. They also do not see why they should pay for something the lawyer “already knows” since that information is supposed to be something they should already know as part of their being a lawyer. After all, if the lawyer does not have to spend hours researching the caselaw about the problem and can just print off a form on their computer, why should the client have to pay for it.

There was an overriding feeling that lawyers’ fees should not be set. That is, they should be free in some cases and flexible in others. Specifically, the client seems to feel that fees should depend upon the client’s case, circumstances, and ability to pay. The lawyer should charge certain clients less according to some sliding scale because of the type of case it is or the client has a particular personal problem or does not have much money. However, even those who make a fair amount of money to cover the fees sometimes seem unable to understand why the lawyer should want a retainer and be paid “appropriate fees for their services.”

There is also the expectation that the lawyer will not bill for time spent researching the case, making phone calls, or writing letters on the client’s behalf. The idea of a lawyer billing for time spent waiting in court also seems out of the question. There are clients who may not want to pay a lawyer’s fees because the client is unhappy with their legally-binding outcomes, even if these outcomes are the result of a negotiation or compromise to which the client has agreed.

This lawyers’ survey also suggests that there are unrealistic client expectations and misperceptions about what lawyers do, can do, and should do as well as what the clients can expect to achieve as a result of hiring a lawyer. This will be discussed further in other articles.

Understanding the Lawyers on Retainer Concept

In this life, people cannot do without the services of a good lawyer. Crime happens everyday around us. Sometimes we find ourselves in rare situations that make us suffer unfairly. Other personal circumstances such as bankruptcy, real estates and mortgage force us to hire lawyers. In one word, good lawyers are very imperative. Dealing with lawyers is not a simple thing. Many issues concerning hiring lawyers are crucial and they come first. For example, you many find yourself hiring lawyers on retainer. These lawyers are not any different from those you know.

The lawyers only ask for a retainer fee so that they can give you their services. What is a retainer fee? This type of a fee is on hourly basis. It is different from the normal charges you pay a lawyer because of defending your position in court. They include the following:

• Consultation fees – Before you can start working with a given lawyer, you have to set a few appointments with him or her.

• Research work – After listening to your side of story, your lawyer spends some time doing research to help you. You will have to pay for his or her time.

• Interviews – as the lawyer studies your case, you and him or her will look for possible witnesses. Then, your lawyer has to conduct an interview with each witness. Most lawyers want to receive a pay for their time.

Lawyers on retainer want only to ascertain your seriousness in the entire procedure. That is why they will ask for a specific deposit first. When looking for this kind of a lawyer, examine your budget first. Most people desire to save up money in legal matters as much as possible. You should look for a cheaper hourly rate lawyer. Some people do not take it kindly. However, if you think about it, you put aside huge amounts of money as down payment for the assets you love.

If you plan to hire a lawyer about a case related to the same assets, you should not feel bad if ask to pay a retainer fee. A retainer fee is just a small deposit compared to other types you have paid before. The more you refuse to pay the fee, the more you delay your justice. Even so, take your time to select a good lawyer. There is a big chance that you will sort out good lawyers from bad lawyers if you take your time. When you find a good lawyer, make sure that all retainer agreements are in writing.

Then you and your lawyer should sign the document. This is a good way of building a relationship with the attorney. The document should demonstrate how the lawyer allocates the money through out the legal procedure. You should not work with any lawyers on retainer if they cannot follow the document stipulating your agreements. The best place to look for these lawyers is the Internet. Many lawyers who could proof their expertise exist.

Hiring a Bankruptcy Lawyer is Worth the Investment

If you are having a difficult time managing your finances and paying your bills, you may want to consider finding a good bankruptcy lawyer. A bankruptcy can help you eliminate or reduce your debt. It will help you get rid of your credit card debt, medical bills, personal loans and such. Bankruptcy lawyers represent their clients and their services are affordable. If you cannot afford to pay the legal fees in full, you may be able to make payment arrangements with your lawyer. Filing for bankruptcy can be confusing for most people, so it is essential that you find an experienced lawyer. Do your research and compare bankruptcy lawyers. Find one that has a lot of experience.

When you meet with a bankruptcy lawyer, he will explain the process to you and address your concerns. Keep in mind that you will have to show him proof of your income, and you will have to provide your credit card account numbers, credit card statements and the like. Make sure you gather all the documents before you meet with your attorney. Bankruptcy lawyers can help you get your life together and they will make sure you do not receive harassing telephone calls from your creditors. If your accounts have gone into collections, keep in mind that your creditors can sue you for the balances that you owe. If you do not pay the balances off, your wages can be garnished and they can take everything you have in your savings or checking accounts. You can prevent this from happening by comparing bankruptcy lawyers until you find someone that is qualified for the job.

Don’t make the mistake of hiring an inexperienced lawyer to represent you. A good lawyer is knowledgeable, experienced and competent. Search for an expert attorney and you will improve your financial situation. Find one that specializes in bankruptcy if you want to be successful. The best bankruptcy lawyers are respectful, helpful, supportive, and good at what they do. When you find a good lawyer, make sure you ask a lot of questions. Find out what he will need from you in order to proceed with the bankruptcy. The truth is that a bankruptcy lawyer will help you eliminate your debts and he will save you money, so it is worth the investment.

Criminal Defense Lawyers: Is It Really Hard To Find One?

You must also see if the lawyer that is representing you is a qualified criminal attorney. This could save you the time of asking how long this person has been in the practice since getting such recognition means you’ve actively took part in a hundred cases concerning the taking of testimony.

Once the closing arguments are made, the jury will now deliberate. If you are seen to be not guilty, then you definitely walk. But if you are guilty, then you will be sentenced soon enough which might mean paying a fine, spending time in jail, carrying out community service and placed on probation. You can appeal your case of course which will be performed by the criminal defense lawyer.

Must you go to a lawyer? Many people do this promptly so they can be led throughout the process. For that, you have to hire one. Certainly you could get someone since if you do not, a state appointed lawyer is the one that will help you but they do not do that effectively compared to private counsel.

The life of a criminal defense lawyer is difficult regardless of how many times you’ve been in the court room. It is because you get to work with different clients each time since someone who was innocent can no longer be charged with the exact same offense due to the principle of double jeopardy. It is possible that you simply killed the person due to self-defense or perhaps you had been temporarily insane. If you do this, you will be evaluated by a psychiatrist because some people fake this. Since you are already in your office, make sure that the criminal defense lawyer you are speaking with is the one who will actually fight for you and not handed over to another person in the firm.

When you are brought in for questioning, the first thing you have to do is ask for an attorney. If you could not afford one, don’t worry since a state appointed attorney will be designated for you. But when you’ve got money, it’s always best to employ a private attorney simply because they have far better success rates as compared to public defenders.

Days before trial, your defense lawyer should already work towards a plan to produce acceptable doubt in the minds of the jury. She or he may hire professional witnesses to testify for you, present powerful counter justifications and strike weaknesses within the prosecution’s argument.

Ever been stopped with a DUI charge? Yes this happens but you could beat the system by using a criminal defense lawyer. If you do not wish to work out and choose to risk in court and lose, then you could try out to appeal the court’s decision. If you do not, there’ll likely be an increase in your insurance expense, limitations on employment options and you’ll have a permanent record.Before the trial starts or perhaps during, you can try to settle this matter out of court. You have the right to accept or turn it down but you have to first discuss this together with your client.

Men and Divorce – The Best Advice

Not all men are the same. The way your buddy feels about his divorce may not be the same way you feel about yours so taking advice from him may not be effective for you and you may feel lost even more. In taking divorce advice for men, keep in mind that you need to seek what best suits you and your situation. Once you hear the words of wisdom you’ve been waiting for, you can at last begin to accept and cope with the ending of your marriage.

Be True to Yourself

Acceptance of the divorce and how you feel about it is the first step towards recovery and moving on. Sometimes, men tend to maintain the strong image in them that they try to show the people around them that they are not affected. If you know deep down inside that this major life transition is hurting you, acknowledge this feeling. You do not need to shout to the whole world that you are upset, but it is important to take some time to admit to yourself your real feelings.

Have Someone to Talk To

Talk to someone you can trust and is a good listener like a friend or a family member so that you can confide your feelings. Counseling can also be helpful if there is no available person to talk to.

Think Before You Act

Men and women alike sometimes think that their sadness and grief about the divorce is an indication that they should reconcile with their former spouse. Before you attempt to call your ex-wife, you should first realize the root cause of your feelings. Is it because you really want to be with the person or is it because you are grieving over a loss? Grief because of loss will subside with time once you have accepted the end of your marriage.

Do Not Take Your Issues on Other People

Going through a difficult time does not give you the right to make it difficult for others as well and treat them in a mean way. If you cannot avoid displacing your negative feelings on others, the best thing to do is to either warn them that you are not in a good mood or try to stay away from them until you are relieved of your anger.

Be Careful When Dating

Some men start dating too soon. This is not a sign of being able to move on but a sign of trying to fill in your feelings of emptiness. As much as possible, do not get too involved in your first few dates because they are usually just for comfort or consolation.

Read Support Books about Divorce

Take time to read books about how to recover after divorce. These self-help books may provide you with enlightenment and inspiration to embrace this new chapter in your life.

Give It Time

Keeping yourself busy can be helpful. Focus on your work, your hobbies, or try to find new activities to do. Aside from the fact that it will help keep your mind off the painful experience you went through, it can also give you a chance to discover more positive things about yourself and your new life ahead.