Archive for Lawyers

Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs Selecting A Criminal Defense Attorney

The moment that a person is charged with a crime can be the worst moment of his or her life. At that point you need an experienced lawyer that will handle your case to the best of their ability. An experienced lawyer knows the ins and outs of the system and will be able to best represent you or your loved one during this very tough time. There are many factors that go into the decision of choosing a lawyer; the main factors are experience and overall cost says Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs. While not everyone can choose the best most expensive lawyers, you can still pick some of the best ones out there that will get the best outcome for your situation. The first step is finding that attorney. When you are facing serious consequences, such as jail, fines, or probation, you can’t afford not to have a lawyer with experience, knowledge, and a stellar reputation with the courts, judges, and prosecutors sitting next to you in court.

Finding an Attorney

If you are charged with a violation of the law, even if you have been wrongfully accused you may still have a bit of an issue talking about your case to anyone. That is completely understandable, but you should know that you can get a list of available attorneys in your area via the state’s bar. You can ask for references to lawyers that will have experience in the type of case you are facing. A lot of people think that having a lawyer is enough, but the fact is that the good lawyers will not take a case if they do not have the right experience to help you. If you ask an attorney to represent you, but they handle divorces they should refer you to someone who can take your case explains Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs. If attorneys publish articles, books, or treatises (legal reference guides), they are already subjected to the toughest critics of all (other attorneys) and they are often regarded as experts in that subject matter. If attorneys win outright acquittals on very serious criminal charges, they prepare well, fight hard, play fair in the court’s eyes and win juries over with their arguments. An outright acquittal is a not guilty verdict (the closest response from a court to a statement of innocence).

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Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs Selecting A Criminal Defense Attorney

Comparing Lawyers

With so many lawyers out there, you may be wondering how to choose a criminal defense lawyer for your immediate needs. Perhaps the single most important criteria in choosing the right criminal defense lawyer for you and your situation is “trust.” Considering that this may be your very first contact with or need for a criminal defense lawyer, how can you possibly know which one to trust? You should not settle for the first lawyer that you visit. Even if they seem to have the most experience you will not know how good the lawyer is until you have several names to compare them with. You should also find out what kind of outcomes the lawyer has says Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs. You should go with a winner if you want to be cleared of the crime you have been charged with. If you would rather cut a deal, then the lawyer should have a lot of experience with plea bargains. Compare prices and ask questions about the way they would handle your particular case. What do they think the outcome will be based on their experience? Ask for best and worst case scenario, that way there will be no surprises. Often times, state bars provide an excellent reference source when a person is looking for an attorney. If the attorney has been disciplined, records of the past action are often available on the bar’s website. However, as a referral source, they are limited to providing the name of the next-in-line firm or attorney and usually prohibited from making any recommendation beyond that information.

You got a Lawyer, Now What?

The first priority for anyone recently released from jail on a cash or signature bond is to prepare for the next court date. Some event occurred that resulted in an arrest. An arrest occurred because evidence existed to substantiate a crime was committed by the person arrested. That evidence will be sitting on the other side of the courtroom in the very near future. The best way to prepare for your next court date is to immediately contact a very experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible; the sooner you involve your attorney in your case, the better your chances for a successful defense. If you are under investigation, or if you have been arrested but have not been charged yet, you should consult with an attorney right away and ask if it is possible to have the charges dismissed. Do not keep any information from your lawyer and do not give them any false information either. They need to know every detail to be able to best represent you. It is understandable that you will be hesitant to tell everything, but if they are missing some information and the prosecution happens to know that information that can be the piece of the puzzle that will decide your fate explains Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs. Your attorney is there to represent you and you have client privileges. The more your attorney knows about you and your case the more prepared they will be and that can only lead to the best possible outcome for you.

Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs Selecting A Criminal Defense Attorney

Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs on Tips About Paralegals

Paralegals, or legal assistants, perform many duties and work in varying environments. Lawyers often delegate responsibilities such as researching laws regarding current cases and analyzing data to paralegals. While they are usually prohibited from performing duties pertaining to the actual practice of law, most law offices could not function efficiently without the aid of paralegals. While paralegals work independently most days, the paralegal profession is a people-oriented profession. Paralegals may work in teams with one or more lawyers, paralegals, and legal secretaries as well as communicate with clients, witnesses, and court personnel. In preparation for hearings and trials, paralegals may look into facts and procedures to ensure relevance and accuracy. They may use this information to give advice to lawyers as to the proper operations necessary in a case says Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs. Paralegals, also, must possess proficient writing and communication skills as most of their time is spent drafting documents and reports to be used in court. They are also largely responsible for litigation in the courtroom, though are not allowed to give legal advice. Paralegals will organize and document information regarding past and present cases to be recalled in future cases.

Additional Duties

Although lawyers assume ultimate responsibility for legal work, they often delegate many of their tasks to paralegals. In fact, paralegals—also called legal assistants—are continuing to assume new responsibilities in legal offices and perform many of the same tasks as lawyers. Nevertheless, they are explicitly prohibited from carrying out duties considered to be within the scope of practice of law, such as setting legal fees, giving legal advice, and presenting cases in court explains Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs. Besides aiding on case work, paralegals also perform duties such as drafting legal documents in the form of contracts, mortgages, and separation agreements. You may find many paralegals working in other organizations or government offices where their responsibilities can range from intellectual property rights, bankruptcy, immigration services, and employee benefits. Paralegals working in these environments often have specialized functions in order to work quickly and efficiently. On average, paralegals employed by corporations and government offices work standard hours, Those who work in law firms can at times work long, late hours to meet deadlines.

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Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs on Tips About Paralegals

Educational Requirements

For paralegals, the educational demand is that most need to have at least an associates or bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies; however, some employers will train paralegals on the job. For most paralegal jobs, applicants should have a college level reading and writing ability. Taking a few college English courses can help someone thinking about a paralegal career get a head start. Many colleges offer at least a certificate program or a 2 year paralegal program, including most community colleges states Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs. To gain an advantage in the job market possible candidates should look into one of the 260 paralegal programs in the country that are approved by the ABA (American Bar Association). One may also start out as a legal secretary and, by gaining experience, acquire a promotion. Associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs usually combine paralegal training with courses in other academic subjects. Certificate programs vary significantly, with some taking only a few months to complete. Most certificate programs provide intensive paralegal training for individuals who already hold college degrees.

 

More than 1,000 colleges and universities, law schools, and proprietary schools offer formal paralegal training programs. Approximately 260 paralegal programs are approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). Although not required by many employers, graduation from an ABA-approved program can enhance employment opportunities. Admission requirements vary. Some schools require certain college courses or a bachelor’s degree, while others accept high school graduates or those with legal experience. A few schools require standardized tests and personal interviews.

Job Prospects

Employment outlook is expected to grow into the year 2020 but as more people take advantage of this opportunity, so is the rate of competition expected to expand. Paralegals can make anywhere from 40 to 60 thousand dollars annually, and many take advantage of benefits including paid vacation, health insurance and bonuses to compensate them for their hard work on difficult cases. Paralegals landing the best jobs can even see reimbursement for their education. There are other similar careers available for those considering a certificate as a paralegal, including claims adjusters, law clerks, occupational health and safety specialists, technicians, and title examiners. Most of these occupations require less education and training, and some can carry an equal or greater salary than that of a paralegal explains Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs. Demand for paralegals also is expected to grow as an expanding population increasingly requires legal services, especially in areas such as intellectual property, healthcare, international law, elder issues, criminal law, and environmental law. The growth of prepaid legal plans also should contribute to the demand for legal services. Private law firms will continue to be the largest employers of paralegals, but a growing array of other organizations, such as corporate legal departments, insurance companies, real-estate and title insurance firms, and banks also hire paralegals. Corporations in particular are expected to increase their in-house legal departments to cut costs. The wide range of tasks paralegals can perform has helped to increase their employment in small and medium-size establishments of all types. Paralegals and legal assistants held about 263,800 jobs in 2008. Private law firms employed 71 percent; most of the remainder worked for corporate legal departments and various levels of government. A small number of paralegals own their own businesses and work as freelance legal assistants, contracting their services to attorneys or corporate legal departments.

Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs on Tips About Paralegals

Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs How Much Will It Cost To Hire A Lawyer?

The cost of an attorney can vary substantially. Some types of cases are more costly to litigate than others. For example, hiring a lawyer to fight a traffic ticket will cost a lot less than hiring a lawyer to fight a felony criminal charge. Also, different lawyers charge different rates. It is not always true that the best lawyer costs the most, but the best lawyers usually do not charge the lowest rates. If you have legal concerns or troubles you want to be able to hire the best lawyer that you can possibly get. In order to do that you should be familiar with the different charges that you are likely to pay with a lawyer that is not provided by the state explains Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs. Keep in mind that the amount that a lawyer will charge may seem high but once you look at the details you’ll understand the reasoning. Simply knowing how their pay structure works will go a long way to making sure that you choose a lawyer that meets your needs. Though the fees may seem high, many lawyers will allow you to make payments to meet their financial requirements. Make sure that you have all the information before you decide to hire or pass on an attorney. It should be noted that “pro bono” is an abbreviation for “pro bono publico,” meaning “for the public good.” Most attorneys periodically take cases on a “pro bono” or “no fee” basis. This is usually done where the case is of particular interest to the attorney, and the issue involved in the case is significant to the public interest. Please note that attorneys receive many requests for pro bono work, and can at best take only a few of those cases.

Hourly

This structure means that the lawyer (and you) will keep track of the number of hours that they have worked on your particular case. The bill will then be issued by charging you an hourly rate which was previously agreed to by both parties. Keep in mind that the hourly rate can be very different depending on your location. You can expect the rates to go from 100 dollars an hour for a lawyer in a small town but they can be as high as 400 per hour in major cities and their surroundings say Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs. If your case does not require many hours of work then this pay structure would be advisable for you. Make sure to ask about other fees that may be involved. Don’t be afraid to offer a lower hourly rate. Negotiate, although please be aware that good attorneys tend to have the opportunity to take more work than they can handle, and thus may not be willing to reduce their fees. You can also challenge how you will be billed; if the lawyer bills in 15 minute increments, you can ask to be billed in 5 minute increments.

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Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs How Much Will It Cost To Hire A Lawyer?

Flat Fee

Some attorneys will prefer to charge you a flat fee for their services. The good thing about a flat fee is that there are no surprises. The flat fee can also save the client a lot of money if the legal issues are something that will take a lot of the attorney’s time. A lump sum payment means that no matter how much time your lawyer works your case you will not pay any additional money. A person who expects to be involved in a legal battle that will take a lot of time should look for a lawyer that charges a flat fee. The structure is beneficial to both the attorney and the client states Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs. At times, you may wish to negotiate a “flat fee.” The purpose of a flat fee is not to save money — most “flat fee” arrangements will end up costing you more than an hourly agreement. The purpose is to provide peace of mind.

Contingency Payment

We are seeing more and more attorneys using this type of payment structure especially in cases of lawsuits where a payment is not made unless there is a certain outcome to the case. If the outcome that is agreed upon is reached then the lawyer will charge for the services the agreed amount. You may have heard of lawyers that do not charge unless they win the case and that is a type of contingency payment. There are benefits and disadvantages to this type of payment structure. The good thing is that you do not have any payments up front. This is particularly nice for someone having a hard time coming up with the money for a lawyer that can make a big difference. The negative is that the lawyer will take up to a third of the settlement as a payment which could be a much higher payment than the previous two options explains Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs. Please note that there are legal costs involved in litigation, and that ordinarily you will be required to repay those costs even if you lose. Almost every state limits contingent fees for personal injury and workers’ compensation cases. If your case is potentially worth a lot of money, you may be able to negotiate a reduction of the attorney’s contingent fee — however, the best personal injury attorneys are sometimes able to recover substantially more money for their clients than attorneys with lesser skills, resulting in a greater award to you regardless of the percentage taken by the attorney.

Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs How Much Will It Cost To Hire A Lawyer?

Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs Hiring a Lawyer on a Retainer

Lawyers can be expensive, and, in some instances, you may be able to get a lawyer on a retainer fee. A retainer fee is a guarantee that the lawyer will be available to work solely on your case as the need arises. In other words, the lawyer will be on call for you and will be required to turn down other cases as the situation warrants. When you find a lawyer you may need that professional to be on call to work your case or issue exclusively. You should look for a lawyer who has previous experience or is specialized on the type of issue that you need help with says Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs. That is the easy part because you can get that information from different websites and your state’s bar. So finding the lawyer is always step one, but depending on your issue you may need them to be ready or on call. When that is the case you should try to get the lawyer on a retainer fee. The retainer fee means that the lawyer will always be available for you. That means that other cases will be turned down to give your case priority.

Find a Top Lawyer

First and foremost you should make sure that the lawyer has a proven track record on the type of case or legal issue that you need. Find a lawyer who has experience in the type of law that you need. Many different types of law are practiced, such as elder law, criminal defense, immigration defense, personal injury and contract law. The individual that you plan on retaining should have a proven track record. Most often, however, criminal cases and civil cases are the two areas in which lawyers will work on retainer. That information will be the most important thing that you can find out. Check out their track record with cases that are similar to yours. If there is no track record then you should not pay them a retainer fee. New lawyers may understand some of the latest changes and different tactics where an older lawyer may offer years of experience. There is a chance that they will be a brilliant lawyer in either case. Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs says part of the research should also include a confirmation that the lawyer is a member of the state’s bar association. If they are not, stay away or better yet report them. Determine if that lawyer is a current member of your state’s bar association. This is achieved by contacting your state’s bar. If he or she is not a member, then report them for the unauthorized practice of law.

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Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs Hiring a Lawyer on a Retainer

Contact the Lawyer

When you have made up your mind about the lawyer that you want to represent you, make an appointment for more information. During this appointment you will find a lot more information on what their schedule looks like as well as fees for services. Check for the firm’s policies regarding retainer fees, because not all types of law will require a retainer fee states Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs. The reason that is important is because you need to know the way a retainer fee is paid. Sometimes you will be paying the retainer fee up front as a sort of down payment. Other times the retainer fee will cover some of the services that you need. That means that it may also work as a payment for the lawyer’s time. Contact the lawyer you want to retain and inquire about their fee schedules. Ask him or her what the firm’s explicit retainer policy is. In some instances, certain types of legal services are covered under the retainer fee, or the retainer fee acts as a down payment towards your case. If this is the situation, your legal fees will be subtracted from the retainer and you will be required to make another payment at that point.

It’s Settled

Once you retain a lawyer, no one else can represent you unless you fire your current counsel and hire another attorney. Once the decision has been made to hire the lawyer on a retainer fee you will be asked to fill out some paper work and forms in order to complete the process. When you have completed the forms you will then be required to pay the retainer fee. Most lawyers will allow you to pay the retainer fee in several forms of payment. The usual forms of payment for lawyers are cash, credit cards or checks. You may think that the retainer fee is unnecessary, but it is a huge advantage to you as a client to hire a lawyer on a retainer. That means that all their attention will be placed on your case or legal issue explains Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs. The expenses that are used to calculate a retainer fee are usually based on the circumstances at that time. The lawyer should be able to give you an idea of what to expect. For example, if your case is filed with the court, you must pay court costs to file the case. You may also be expected to pay the costs for depositions, expert witnesses, long distance telephone charges made by your lawyer on your case, copying charges, courier and postal services, etc. Hiring a lawyer on a retainer fee is more costly than him or her working for you on a standard, hourly or contingency rate. Bear this in mind before retaining an attorney.

Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs Hiring a Lawyer on a Retainer

 

Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs Legal Ground of Verbal Promises

A contract, whether verbal or in writing, is a legally binding agreement enforceable in a court of law. However, not all agreements between two parties are legally binding contracts. For it to be considered a valid contract, certain elements must exist. The expression “a verbal contract is not worth the paper it’s printed on” is both true and false. Verbal contracts are, in many cases, legally enforceable and binding on the parties who make the agreement. However, proving the terms of a verbal contract can be difficult, and usually result in a “he said, she said” disagreement says Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs. Additionally, in certain cases, verbal agreements are prohibited from enforcement by law, even if you can prove the terms of the contract.

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“Pillow Talk”

Lawyers and judges often refer to certain agreements as “pillow talk“. The couple may be in bed enjoying a moment of intimacy, but one member of the couple feels insecure about the future. The other member of the couple offers reassurance along the lines of: “Don’t worry. I love you. I’ll take care of you. Everything will be okay. . . .” Sometime later, everything is not okay. One member of the couple decides to end the relationship, and the more vulnerable member of the couple does not feel taken care of at all. If person who feels that his or her continued care is severely lacking decides to file a lawsuit to collect on the promise, is she or he likely to succeed? Not at all, to begin with, such agreements are rarely in writing, so they are hard to prove in court. Second, even if the promise did not fail for lack of specificity, it could be viewed contingent on circumstances that are no longer in effect. If the promise means anything, it probably means, “I’ll support you financially as long as we are living together.” So, if the couple breaks up, a court probably would not find an enforceable promise for continued support. Third, a promise that “I’ll take care of you . . . Everything will by okay” probably is too vague to be enforceable. The court does not have a clear standard to determine the meaning of “I’ll take care” and “Everything will be okay.” In the absence of a clear agreement between the parties, courts are reluctant to create more definite terms of a contract. The quoted promise is not nearly as specific as an agreement to pay half the rent or to share equally the profits and expenses of running a ranch explains Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs. Fourth, there could be a problem with consideration. Contracts usually require each party to give something in order for there to be a valid agreement. Here, the promise might be viewed as one-way or gratuitous. One partner promised to take care of the other, but there was not a specific promise in return. So, the agreement could be unenforceable for that reason as well.

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Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs Legal Ground of Verbal Promises

Promises

The partner who is seeking support might argue that he or she promised to maintain the home and provide emotional support in exchange for a promise of being taken care of. A promise of taking care of a home and providing emotional support is not likely to be specific enough to be enforceable, and it may be viewed as contingent on continuation of the relationship. In addition, if a court thinks an agreement amounts to providing financial support in exchange for sexual relations, the court will not enforce it. Such an agreement will be viewed as uncomfortably close to a contract for prostitution explains Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs. Courts are more inclined to enforce agreements for tangible items such as payments of expenses or rights to property. A promise of housekeeping services or emotional support for a partner may be sincere, but it is much more amorphous than a promise to pay half the phone bill or share the proceeds of a condominium sale. Parties will sometimes verbally modify an agreement that was previously in writing. Be careful when you do this. Many contracts include provisions that state that no addendum or modification will be permitted unless it is in writing or signed. Even if a contract does not include this text, if the other party denies the existence of an oral addendum, you will somehow have to prove that the verbal agreement exists. If you cannot, you will still be bound to the terms of the original written contract.

Evidence

The biggest hurdle to overcome with verbal agreements in proving what the terms of the agreement are says Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs. Parties can easily forget the specifics of the agreement, such as promised timelines, payment agreements and other specific, numerical terms. If there are no witnesses to the verbal agreement, and none of the provisions were recorded, parties will find themselves in court arguing “he said, she said.” The best way to make sure your deal is seal is to get it in writing. If you make a verbal agreement and wish to avoid the problems with evidence, you can simply ask for written confirmation of the terms of your agreement. This can be done simply by writing an e-mail to the other person outlining the terms you verbally agreed on. When the other party writes back confirming your terms, you have essentially turned what was a verbal agreement into a written contract. This e-mail exchange can be used to prove the terms of your agreement in court.

Family Law Lawyer Colorado Springs Legal Ground of Verbal Promises