Tips on when you should seek legal advice, and other options that may be available.

Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash

It is not what a lawyer tells me I may do; but what humanity, reason, and justice tell me I ought to do.  – Edmund Burke

I am not sure I need a lawyer but think I might…

Lawyers often help clients in matters that have nothing to do with legal disputes. For example, a business owner might seek a lawyer’s guidance on the legal aspects of starting a business or entering a partnership, or a consumer when buying or selling a home, or for information and advice on planning a will or trust. Like medical checkups, you can have a legal checkup for your life and/or business planning to lessen problems and headaches or prevent them altogether.

When do I really need a lawyer?

Some matters are hard to recognize if you need a lawyer. One should talk with a lawyer about significant life events or changes, which include:

  • being arrested for a crime;
  • being served with legal papers in a lawsuit;
  • being involved in an accident where someone was hurt or property was damaged ;
  • a change or anticipated change in family statuses such as adoption, marriage, divorce, or death;
  • a change or anticipated change in economic status such as obtaining or losing valuable personal property or real estate, starting a business, or considering filing for bankruptcy.

Is there anyone else who can help me besides a lawyer?

There are options to resolve challenges without having to hire a lawyer. If you believe you have been cheated, there may be a local, state, or federal agency, operated by the respective government, that can assist you. Many large entities have their own departments to help resolve consumer complaints. Some communities have an ombudsman, who is a government official whose job is to mediate and resolve smaller legal disputes involving landlord/tenant, consumer, or employment issues. Find out if your local television and/or radio stations have a program to help consumers.

Sometimes problems that seem to be legal may be resolved or prevented by other means. Many civic groups offer guidance and counseling for personal or business-related problems arising in business, elderly care, marriage, child-rearing, and financial management. Members of the clergy also may be able to refer you to resources for such help.

Most states have procedures that allow people to represent themselves in small-claims court if the total amount of their claim is under a certain dollar amount—in Arizona, it is $3,500. The cost to file is minimal and court procedures are simplified as well as more timely than in other courts.

In summary, an ounce of prevention has a lot more value than anxious hours and many dollars spent on a cure. If you think you may need professional legal help, seek it promptly.

The information provided does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information is for general informational purposes only. This information may not constitute the most up-to-date information. Links provided are only for the convenience of the reader, A. Ferraris Law, PLLC and its members do not endorse the contents of the third-party references.

Copyright©2022, A. Ferraris Law, PLLC. All Rights Reserved.

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