Here are some typical questions people have for their attorney:
What is the difference between a lawyer and an attorney?
The terms are often used interchangeably and there is no real difference between the two terms in this country. In England there is a difference in that barristers represent people in court and lawyers don’t appear in court but do render legal advice to their clients.
What are the costs associated with hiring an attorney?
Attorney fees vary depending on the complexity and subject matter of the case, as well as the attorney’s experience and the location. Some subject matter is chargeable by hourly rates while others are on a contingency.
How long does it take to resolve a legal matter?
The duration varies depending on the type and complexity of the case. Attorneys can provide an estimate based on their experience, however with the advent of COVID, it is even more difficult to estimate how long a case will take.
What information should I bring to my initial consultation with an attorney?
Bring everything that has anything to do with what you are consulting the attorney for, whether you think it is relevant or not. Let the attorney decide what is relevant.
How does attorney-client privilege work?
Attorney-client privilege protects communications between a client and their attorney from being disclosed without the client’s consent. The client holds the confidentiality privilege and not the attorney, meaning that the confidentiality is for the protection of the client.
What is a retainer fee, and how does it work?
A retainer fee is an upfront payment to secure an attorney’s services. The attorney then bills against this retainer as they work on the case and the client is given a billing statement. Usually retainers are held in escrow by the attorney until services are rendered or litigation costs are paid.
What are alternative dispute resolution methods, and are they suitable for my case?
Mediation and arbitration are alternative methods to resolve disputes outside of court, and they are used more often now than prior to COVID. An attorney can advise on whether these methods are appropriate for your situation.
How can I keep legal costs down?
Clear communication with your attorney, providing organized and relevant information, along with following their advice can help keep legal fees down.
What is the likelihood of success in my case?
While no attorney can guarantee specific outcomes, they can provide an assessment based on their experience with the subject matter and the court to advise of the possible remedies and/or strategies.
What should I do if I cannot afford an attorney?
Explore options such as legal aid, pro bono services, clinics at law schools or places that offer sliding scale fees. Some attorneys offer free initial consultations.
Remember, these are general questions, and the specific details will depend on the jurisdiction, the type of law and the unique circumstances of each case. Always consult with a qualified attorney for advice tailored to your situation.