Need Answers to Legal Questions? Tips on Researching Before Hiring an Attorney
Most small and medium sized businesses and corporations have legal counsel on retainer, to gain quick access to legal questions which may arise at any time. Typically, the attorney on retainer specializes in their type of business and is familiar with the laws particular to their enterprise. However, ordinary people can also suddenly find themselves in need of legal advice, but without the benefit of a personal attorney. Some common examples include auto accidents, or landlord-tenant disputes. So where do you begin to find some answers? Frequently, you can obtain good legal advice and direction by doing a little research before you rush off to retain a lawyer. Here we have a few tips to guide you to the right lawyer, or a simple resolution to your legal problems.
Let’s say your situation involves a dispute with your landlord. While your rental agreement stipulates that the grounds will be maintained by the landlord, he’s recently fallen down on the job. You’re afraid that the branches of an aging tree may well fall on your roof. You decide to withhold a portion of your rent until he comes and addresses the problem. Do you have the legal right to do this? What do you do if he fails to respond? Or, perhaps you are the landlord and your tenant is neglecting the grounds, allowing trash or debris to accumulate to the point of being an eyesore. Do you have the right to evict the tenant? These are the sort of everyday legal questions which may not seem so serious as to warrant hiring an attorney for an amicable resolution.
Your first step should be to go online and search out some of the free legal sites. To begin your search, it’s often smart to precede your search criteria with the name of your state, or state and county, as appropriate. Most often, these websites have a wealth of information on common legal questions. You can conduct some preliminary research on your issue by browsing through the topic of your legal questions, reading up on the laws and local ordinances pertaining to your question. The free legal websites also offer articles and legal FAQs which can provide you with basic guidance and help you get a handle on your position. If your legal questions involve a fairly simple and straightforward problem, you may find your answers without any further research. For example, you may find that you’re unequivocally in the wrong. All you need do is correct the situation and the problem is resolved.
On the other hand, you may discover that your legal questions are a bit more complicated, with several issues that are best handled by an attorney. You can then fill in a summary description of your situation and submit it to the site. One of the staff will direct your inquiry to a qualified legal advisor, who will assess your legal position and email you a response. You’ll be matched up with an attorney in your area who can then offer his or her best advice on how to proceed.
This is where the legal websites make their money. The website is paid for referrals by the attorney who takes your case. You have the benefit of finding the right attorney to handle and resolve your legal questions.
Doing just this minimal footwork online can save you both time and money in making the best decisions for your legal situation.