Seeking legal representation is one of the best choices you can make when facing a civil case. Before you start working with an attorney, you can schedule a consultation to learn more about them and how they can help your case. To get the most out of your consultations, you can prepare before meeting with civil litigation attorneys California.
Meeting with an attorney is a big step, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Here are some tips on getting the most out of your first consultation with a legal representative.
1. Find a Suitable Attorney
There are many kinds of attorneys, but not all of them will be suitable for your specific court case. If you’re dealing with a civil case, you need a lawyer with experience in civil law.
You can also get into more specific areas of expertise. Each will have the right approach to your case to increase your chances of getting a reasonable settlement.
An employment lawyer can help you settle disputes over unpaid overtime or wrongful termination. A personal injury lawyer can help you negotiate a settlement for a car accident or other situation.
Ideally, your lawyer will also have a personality compatible with yours. It’s hard to work with a lawyer you don’t trust, so meeting in person is important! Choosing a friendly, personable lawyer will make your overall experience much more positive.
2. Ask Background Questions About Your Lawyer
Before working together, you may have a few questions about your lawyer’s academic and legal background. Asking where your lawyer went to school and their career history is part of your due diligence.
You can ask how many years your lawyer has practiced law, how much experience they have in this field, and more. Any questions that will make you feel more comfortable working with your lawyer are fair game.
You may discover something new and helpful about your attorney, such as experience at a firm that specializes in something related to your case. Getting more information about your lawyer can help break ties if you’re torn between two different lawyers.
Understanding your lawyer’s background can make you feel more comfortable about choosing them.
3. Collect Relevant Documents
Before your meeting, make sure to gather any potentially relevant documents from around your home.
The type of documents you need depends on each case. Your civil attorney will appreciate documents like your employment contract or pay stubs, for example, in an employment dispute. It might also include a buying contract for a home, piece, or property.
These documents can provide proof and give the attorney more context for your legal situation. The more information your attorney has to work with, the better. This will help your attorney create a legal plan that reflects your reality and promises the best possible results.
Bringing these documents also ensures that your lawyer will get context for your case and have the means to start working on it as soon as possible. The easier you make things for your attorney, the better your outcome will be!
4. Ask About the Legal Plan
During your first meeting, your attorney will suggest a plan of action for your case. This will be the essential, overarching argument that guides their approach to your case.
Your lawyer’s strategy will determine the procedures that come into play and how long it will take to resolve the case. This also lets you see how transparent and forthcoming your attorney will be.
Once you receive answers, you can see if their approach aligns with your personal goals and desired outcome. For example, not all cases go to trial. Many people prefer to settle outside of court to save time and money. If you prefer to go to court, you’ll need to discuss with your attorney beforehand and potentially shop around to find one who has the same point of view.
Understanding your attorney’s legal approach can put your mind at ease and assure you that they are working hard to resolve your issue.
5. Settle Questions About Fees and Payment Plans
Transparency builds essential trust between clients and attorneys. Money and finances are a big part of any working relationship, including your relationship with your attorney. Lawyers have many different fee systems. Some bill by the hour, while others ask for a retainer fee.
Some lawyers offer contingency billing, which means that there’s no fee due until your case comes to a conclusion, and the bill will depend upon the size of your settlement. The lawyer fee may be determined by the settlement before or after taxes.
To avoid confusion and dispute over the final bill, make sure your lawyer has clear, detailed answers to all your billing questions. Finding an honest, straightforward attorney will make payment much simpler and prevent surprises when you receive the bill!
6. Find Out Your Attorney’s Policies
Before you start working with an attorney formally, it’s good to learn about their policies and general approach to work.
Lawyers tend to get help from their legal team, such as researchers, to streamline each case. During your consultation, you can ask about the team and who will be working on your case. You may also learn how much time your lawyer spends working on cases.
These questions will let you know how much attention you can expect from your attorney and whether or not it’s a good fit for the complexity of your case.
Best Civil Litigation Attorneys – California
LibertyBell Law Group P.C. is dedicated to providing high-quality legal services for clients of all kinds. We are highly responsive to questions and even have chat support available after hours.
Contact us today for a free consultation with one of our attorneys. We can assess your case and propose a plan of action to get you the settlement you deserve!