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Law and Justice: Chapter 6. Lawyers. Lawyers. What is a Lawyer Someone who argues points of law for a client Litigator – trial lawyer 65% of all lawyers are in private practice When do you NEED a lawyer? Many people wait until they are in trouble to seek the assistance of an attorney

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Presentation Transcript
lawyers
Lawyers
  • What is a Lawyer
    • Someone who argues points of law for a client
      • Litigator – trial lawyer
    • 65% of all lawyers are in private practice
  • When do you NEED a lawyer?
    • Many people wait until they are in trouble to seek the assistance of an attorney
    • Consider consulting a lawyer in the following instances:
      • Buying or selling a home or other real estate
      • Organizing a business
      • Changing your family’s status (divorce; adoption etc.)
      • Making a will or planning an estate
      • Signing a large or important contract
      • Handing accidents involving personal injury or property damage
      • Defending a criminal charge or bringing a civil suit
lawyers1
Lawyers
  • How do you FIND a lawyer?
    • Referrals, yellow pages, advertisements, or the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory in the local library
  • Fee Breakdown
    • Retainer – money given to a lawyer in advance for services
    • Contingency – lawyer only paid if they win, usually a percentage
  • Legal Aid Organizations
    • Provide funds to those who could not normally pay for an attorney in civilmatters
    • Different from Public Defenders
      • Paid by a government to defend people unable to pay in criminal matters
lawyers2
Lawyers
  • Regulations
    • Bar Association
      • Organizations that license lawyers
    • Malpractice
      • You can sue a lawyer for errors that result in injury or loss
    • Disbarred or Suspended
      • Lawyers have a code of ethics or Code of Professional Responsibility– see Problem 6.3
      • Violations of the canons can result in disciplinary action
      • Disbarred means the lawyer no longer has a license to practice
      • Suspended means they give up their right to practice for a set period of time
lawyers3
Lawyers
  • What to ASK your lawyer
    • What is the lawyers fee?
      • Flat fee, by the hour, is a retainer required? What about a contingency fee? (lawyer only gets paid if they win)
    • Will there be a written fee agreement?
      • What will it say? How often will you be billed? Will you be told when the fee exceeds a certain limit?
    • Has the lawyer ever handled cases like this before?
      • If so, what were the results?
    • Will you be provided with copies of all correspondence and documents prepared on your behalf?
    • Will the lawyer keep you informed of any new developments in your case and talk to you in “plain English”?
lawyers4
Lawyers
  • Working with your lawyer
    • TRUST is the foundation of the attorney client privilege
      • This is Attorney – Client Privilege
        • It encourages a client to speak freely
        • Information can only be released with your permission
        • All information is confidential
    • Attorney’s give you advice
      • Final decision on what to do is still yours
    • Lawyers must follow codes of conduct
      • Code is enforced by a state bar association
        • Violations can result in a lawyer being disbarred (losing their license)
    • Legal Malpractice
      • Suing a lawyer for serious errors that result in injury or loss