In the field of law, your reputation is your best advertisement. Clients will trust you, want to work with you, and there will be more of them if what they have heard about you is positive.
On the other hand, if you manage to attract a negative reputation, chances are the phone will ring far less often.
How people perceive you as a law firm will often play a larger role in their selection of lawyer than your actual services or prices.
Let’s take a look at how you can protect your reputation
Google yourself often
One of the best ways to tell what kind of a reputation you are attracting is to Google the name of your law firm and all of your lawyers every couple of months. That way, you will always know what kind of information is most prominently appearing in the eyes of the public and if you need to change anything about them.
Give special attention to the news and observe in what light you are cast. Try to make sure that you are mentioned online as often as possible, in a positive light.
Keep track of your social mentions
Make sure you set up alerts across all your social media platforms that will notify you whenever you are mentioned. That way, you can respond if you need to (and you should, even if it’s just to say thank you), and keep track of the people who talk about you.
If you are being dragged through the mud on social media, make sure you don’t get into a heated discussion publicly. Instead, take the matter further privately, but be aware that the other side might choose to screenshot your messages and construe them out of context, so your safest bet is to keep a record of your own.
Be careful what you post
When posting on social media, even on their private profiles, all of your lawyers and yourself need to think twice before hitting publish. Even if you feel a post is innocent enough, the wider public might disagree, and you don’t want to be roped into a discussion about your actions or beliefs.
You can keep a very private account on social networks where you can only be found by friends and family, if you feel the need for complete privacy. However, you may be tagged in the images and videos of others, so always keep that in mind as well.
Hire someone to help you out
If you are worried about the news articles that are casting you in a negative light and how high up in the search results they appear, you can use an SEO agency to help you tackle the issue.
They can build links to the more positive mentions of your law firm or yourself and ensure that that is what people see first and foremost when they google you. Just remember that there will be no instant results, and that it may take a while before a post travels further down.
Instead of waiting for others to write about you, you need to encourage them to do so and do some promotion yourself.
Ask your clients to provide reviews and testimonials, both on Google and on the most important websites in your area and industry.
Create a blog on your website, and publish relevant and industry-specific articles. Promote them not just on social media, but also on forums and communities, and anywhere else you think your target clients might be congregating.
Give interviews, join podcasts, and make it easy for people to cover you – if you hand someone a piece of news, ready to go, they will be much more likely to run it.
If you stay vigilant and keep monitoring your reputation, you will be well-positioned to react if a negative piece of news or a malicious piece of criticism arises. Remember to keep your cool and remain professional, no matter how low below the belt the other side is punching.
Finding the right lawyer for your needs may seem daunting, but if you do your research, the whole process can be a lot less intimidating than you thought. There are a vast number of situations that people can find themselves in where the expertise and experience of a lawyer will be necessary.
Here’s How to Choose the Right Lawyer
1. Compile a list
- You want to start with the names of several lawyers, with some being from personal referrals and others being ones you found yourself. A nice mix is always best. You can compile your list by asking friends, neighbors, or business associates.
2. State bar associations
- If you don’t have a list of names, your state’s bar associations are good resources for finding lawyers who practice in the field in which you require assistance. Online resources are another great source and such sources have the added benefit of offering consumer reviews. You also want to make sure that you are searching for lawyers who are accredited, or passed the bar in your state. For instance, if you live in Missouri, you would want to check out a personal injury lawyer in Missouri or whichever type of lawyer you need to represent you.
3. Prepare questions for consultation
- Once your list is compiled, you can start evaluating. A lot of firms offer a free consultation and you should take full advantage.Come with a list of questions and make sure you take notes as well. Questions to ask include:
- What are your areas of expertise?
- You want to make sure who you hire has experience in the area of law you require.
- What are your potential costs?
- Legal advice can be costly so you should know how much your lawyer charges and they should be able to give you a ballpark figure.
- Who is on your team?
- Some lawyers work alone. Others have paralegals or outsource some of their work to other lawyers. You should know who is handling your information.
- How do you communicate with your client?
- Make sure you know how to get in touch with them and what their response time is like. You should be a priority to them.
- What are your areas of expertise?
4. Make sure you are a personality fit
- You want to ask yourself if you feel at ease with your lawyer. Will you feel comfortable asking them questions and bringing up your concerns?
5. Additional research
- Once you have selected your attorney, it is a good idea to call the organization in your state that handles attorney disciplinary matters to make sure they haven’t been the subject of any disciplinary actions. This will most likely be the state bar association, but it can vary depending on where you live.
There are more than 1.35 million lawyers in the United States and you may think they all do the same thing. Go to court and argue on behalf of their client.
But that is not actually the case for many lawyers.
The law industry has so many different parts and it can be confusing if you don’t understand them separately.
A corporate attorney is one of the highly misunderstood areas of law. But what they do is actually a very important practice that affects many aspects of daily life.
Let’s take a deeper look into corporate law and attorneys and how they impact us
Attorney vs Lawyer
The first thing we need to distinguish is the difference between an attorney and a lawyer. This may be the very biggest misunderstanding regarding the law.
An attorney at law is someone who is trained in law and practices. This means that they have gone through the schooling process, passed the bar exam, and met any other requirements to work in the court system in their area.
A lawyer, on the other hand, is someone who has been trained in law but is not practicing. This means they have done all the steps to qualify but do not participate in court proceedings. Instead they may just offer advice and counsel.
For the most part these two titles basically mean the same thing, which is why they are often used interchangeably.
The only real distinction is from the Bar Association but it doesn’t affect the average person much.
Corporate law is the study of the rights and standards of conduct for businesses, corporations, or organizations. It is sometimes called business or enterprise law as well.
Basically anything pertaining to the inner workings and dealings of a company fall within this study of law.
This area of law covers any type of organization from the very beginning to the very end. It is important to set up a company in the right way following all legal proceedings to be protected and starting out on the right foot. It is the same with ending a company.
A very common area of corporate law is also dealing with all kinds of negotiations within the business world. Obviously a company wants their deals to be done legally to avoid any problems or consequences.
When most people think of corporate law they think of a fancy lawyer arguing in the courtroom but this generally is not the case.
Most dealings with corporate law happen outside of the courtroom and don’t require any formal litigation. Corporate law deals more with the executing of transactions rather than the consequences of bad ones.
A corporate attorney or business lawyer has an interesting job, which is saying a lot because the whole law industry can be interesting.
One thing that makes the responsibilities of a corporate attorney stand out is that they need to have a lot of outside knowledge in order to do their job right. Having a moderate understanding of financing and business is really crucial to brokering good deals.
Often a corporate attorney will be the one who drafts proposals and things of that nature so compelling writing skills are also necessary.
When a corporate attorney works for a business it is their job to make sure that all transactions are completely compliant with the law. These transactions can include acquiring new ventures, selling parts of the company, bankruptcy, or working on employee benefits.
A very important part of working in corporate law is giving legal advice and counsel to the business and its employees.
These attorneys may have to look at different advertisements or marketing materials to look for potential legal issues. They may have to go over legal questions that relate to sales or distribution. Whatever the case may be, the attorney is in charge of making sure everything is compliant with the law.
Being a corporate attorney is not very straight forward and can have a lot of variation in the work that is done. Which is why it is such an exciting field to be in.
Law Firms Vs Individual Companies
There are two places that a corporate attorney might work.
The first is in a firm where they have multiple clients and possibly multiple specialties within that company. This corporate law firm has a variety of clients who come to them for all of their legal questions.
Working for a law firm has its advantages in that the attorney gets to see a lot of variety and help a lot of different businesses. In the law firm setting, an attorney may be able to become super-specialized in one type of transaction and be able to do that full-time.
Generally, law firms offer a variety of law specialities and that can also be interesting.
The second place a corporate attorney can work is in-house at a company. Most larger businesses have a team on-site that works specifically for them.
This option also has a lot of benefits because the attorney can see projects through from beginning to end. They will also have very specialized knowledge of that industry which will make brokering deals and things easier.
In either setting, a corporate lawyer is critical to the success of a business and keeping it in line with the law.
Find a Corporate Attorney
If you own a business it may be tempting to think that you don’t need a corporate attorney. Maybe you are small and don’t broker many major deals.
But it is critically important to at least consult with an attorney on your business dealings to make sure that things are in order. That is much less of a hassle than dealing with problems that may come as a result of not following the law.
A corporate lawyer is trained in these specific laws and knows how to make sure everything is in order.
If you are looking for a corporate attorney, check out our recommendations!
Did you know that there are over 6 million car accidents in America every year? And, many of those car accidents lead to long lawsuits. If you’re going through this process, you might keep hearing the word “discovery” being thrown around. But what does that mean?
We’ve put together this guide to help walk you through the discovery process and show you what happens next.
Let’s get started below
What Is the Discovery Process?
After you file a car accident lawsuit and hire a lawyer, you will enter the pre-trial process. This is when the discovery phase happens.
During discovery, your Polito & Harrington attorney (and the defendant’s attorney) will gather information about your case. This will allow them to find and put together evidence that’ll support your side of the story.
This process can include several steps. Here are a few of the most common.
This is the first step in the discovery phase.
The attornies on both sides of the case will put together and send interrogatories, or a serious of written questions. You and the defendant then have to answer these questions honestly and under oath.
In most cases, you, as the plaintiff will be able to send the interrogatories first. This will allow you to see what the defendant is claiming happened during the accident.
If there are any questions that are unclear, your attorney can help you object to them.
Request for Production of Documents
After both sides you and the defendant answer the interrogatories, both attornies will make requests for production of documents.
For example, the defense attorney may ask for all your medical records, treatment bills, vehicle repair receipts, proof of income, etc. Your attorney will do the same for the defendant.
There may be a business or organization that has relevant information to your case, but they themselves aren’t involved in your lawsuit. If this is the case, your attorney will issue a subpoena that orders the business to provide any necessary documents.
This might include getting your wage loss report from your work or your medical records from your doctor.
However, your attorney may not need to go through this step. So if you don’t hear your attorney talking about subpoenas, that’s normal.
Depositions give the attornies on both sides a chance to question anyone involved in the accident. Like interrogatories, you will be under oath when you answer these questions, but you will be talking to the defense attorney face to face instead of writing your answers on paper.
Both attornies can also question any witnesses, medical professionals, or other people involved in the accident/recovery.
Independent Medical Exam
Even if you’ve already had a medical exam, the defense will likely want to schedule their own exam.
Make sure you show up to this exam will all your medical records and the results of your previous exams. Remember, the medical examiner the defense hires will work for them, and they may try to make your injuries look less serious than they are.
Request for Admissions
This is less common than the other steps on this list.
Your attorney, for example, may request the defense remove certain details, such as the time of the accident or other information that shouldn’t be contested. If the defense refuses to remove these details, they’ll have to prove them to be true, which can cost time and money.
A request for admissions ensures all the details on both sides of the case are correct.
What Happens After Discovery?
After you finish the discovery phase, a couple of different things can happen next. Here’s what you need to know.
The discovery may uncover evidence that will be hard for the defendant to work around. If this is the case, they may decide to offer you a settlement instead.
Your attorney may negotiate with the defense attorney if the settlement is too low. After this, the defense may choose to raise the settlement and put an end to the case.
If you can’t come to an agreement about the settlement size (or if the defendant refuses to offer one), you have a decision to make.
The next step in the lawsuit process involves going to trial.
Spend some time thinking about your case before making a final decision.
Do you have a strong case? Talk to your attorney about whether or not they think you can win in court. In most cases, you’ll already have a strong case if you make it this far.
That said, you shouldn’t go to trial if you don’t think you can win. You’ll also want to make sure your attorney is willing to fight for your case.
If you have a strong case and a good lawyer, it’s probably worth it to move ahead with the trial.
Understanding the Steps in the Discovery Process
The discovery process might seem overwhelming, but it is an important part of your lawsuit. It gives your attorney the chance to gather evidence that supports your case.
If you’re unsure about what the process will look like exactly, spend some time talking to your attorney. They will help you understand the steps and keep you up to date with what they’re doing and when.
Were you recently involved in a car accident? Do you have other questions?
Make sure you take a look at the rest of our blog to learn more information that can help you win your case.
When you are dealing with any legal action, you may lose a case that you believe you should have won. You must work with an appeals attorney who will help you protect yourself and your family or money. The tips below explain what an appeal attorney does when you want to extend the legal process beyond a lower court decision.
What Is An Appeal?
You can appeal any decision you want. Your attorney will collect all the information that is needed, and they will file an appeal with the court. If you contact Jacksonville appeal attorneys Johnson & Lufrano, they can assess your case. The appeal will be filed if your attorney thinks that you have enough evidence. Your attorney needs to argue your case in court, and they must schedule a court date.
Can An Appeal Reverse An Earlier Decision?
An appeal can reverse a decision made by a lower court. your lawyer will tell you which court must hear the case, and you will learn about the chain of command in the federal court system. An appeal might overturn part of a case’s decision, but the appeal might not overturn everything about that decision.
How Far Can You Go?
You can go all the way to the Supreme Court if they will hear the case, but most cases go to a lower federal court. There is a circuit court of appeals that will hear your case, and the government can send your case through the chain of command when needed. You should ask your lawyer how far they believe you can take the case, and you must ask your lawyer to be honest with you. Some cases can go a long way, but other cases will not.
Will You Need To Testify?
When your case is appealed, you may need to repeat the court experience from the first trial. Your lawyer needs to examine you, and you must be cross-examined by the attorney for the other side. You must be prepared to spend time in court, and you should ask your lawyer how long they think a court case will last. Your lawyer cannot ethically give you a timeline for a court case, but they can let you know what they think will happen.
Can You Settle Your Case?
Your lawyer may want to settle your case to get a resolution that is good for everyone involved. You may go back to settlement talks, or the court might tell you to settle your case outside of court. Your lawyer can work out an agreement with the other side, or you might need to negotiate because the court does not want to hear your case.
You Should Consult With A Lawyer As Soon As Possible
You should consult with your lawyer as soon as possible when you lose a case. You might want to consult with a lawyer because you believe certain pieces of evidence were not revealed in court. You should ask your lawyer to let you know how quickly they can file an appeal, and you can come to a resolution as quickly as possible. Your lawyer needs time to prepare, and you can hire a new lawyer to argue your case when it goes to the appeals court.
You can use the tips above to ensure that you get the justice you deserve. You can continue to appeal the court’s decision if you need to, and you will find that the court reviews everything in an appeal. The decision could change, and you will feel much better knowing that you can state your case again.
Lawyers: they’re everywhere.
Radio ads, billboards, commercials, and buses, are constantly advertising legal services. However, even though there are over 1.3 million active lawyers in the United States, it doesn’t mean they’re all affordable.
Do you need help finding an attorney that will work within your budget? For those looking to get legal help, without going broke, we can help.
We’re here to present the top ways to find quality attorneys, that won’t put you in debt. So take a look, you might just find the answer to all of your problems.
Finding an Attorney
You should never rush the attorney hiring process. Instead, take your time as you compare the prices and services different attorneys offer.
Here are the best tips for finding an attorney you can afford:
- Contact legal aid society
- Find pro bono lawyer
- Explorer payment plans
- Visit a law school
- Price shop attorneys
First, let’s look at how you can find free legal help.
Federally Funded Legal Aid Programs
Did you know that there’s a large network of legal aid programs that solely operate using federal grants? These programs employ paralegals as well as lawyers who can offer free services to anyone who qualifies.
Here are a few of the things legal aid programs can help with:
- Divorce proceedings
- Tenant or landlord issues
- Employment issues
- Miscellaneous legal issues
Getting free legal help is wonderful, however, it’s not always the best option for every situation. For example, if you’re looking to launch a lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company, find a lawyer who specializes in that industry. However, if you have a common legal need, such as a divorce, free legal aid is still a good option, if you qualify.
How to Qualify
If you want to qualify for free legal aid, you’ll have to find out what the income requirements are in your state. To receive the free services, your income will have to be below a specific number. Usually, your income has to be below the poverty line.
Every state has its definition of what qualifies as low income. If you’re not sure if you’d qualify, you can always call a local legal aid office to find out.
Make Payment Plans
If you don’t qualify for free legal help, because your income is too high, then you need to find an attorney that offers payment plans. We suggest looking for a sliding fee program.
Every state has its own set of programs specifically made to help people with legal issues when they have modest incomes. To find a program in your state, you should contact your state bar association.
Talk to Lawyers
We also suggest you call around and speak to lawyers who are local to you. Let them know about your case and your limited budget. Find out if they have any type of payment plans available so you don’t have to pay all of your legal fees at once.
Certain lawyers will lower their prices if you’re willing to help with the case. You might be able to help with the workload a little bit, such as helping with filing certain papers, to lower your costs.
As you call lawyers in your area, find out if any of them will work for a contingency fee. A contingency fee means that you’ll only pay the lawyer if the case ends in your favor. If you win the case, the lawyer will get a percentage of your award money.
If you lose the case, you don’t have to pay any lawyer fees. If you find an attorney that will agree to a contingency fee, find out how much they will be charging. What percentage of your winnings will they expect you to give over?
Next, take your time, and shop around to find the best deal. However, remember, it’s not always about getting the lowest price. Instead, you’ll want to focus on finding affordable, qualified attorneys, who specialize in what you need.
Local Pro Bono Programs
If you don’t qualify for federally funded legal aid programs, check out your local bar associations. It’s common for bar associations to have pro bono programs, where you can get lawyers to perform free work.
You can also check out any nonprofits in your area who dedicate themselves to helping those in need. Simply go online, and search local pro bono programs. if you don’t want to search online, you can contact your legal aid office to get a referral.
How to Qualify for Pro Bono
To qualify for pro bono programs your income will have to be below a certain amount. However, instead of needing to be below the poverty line, certain pro bono programs will allow you to have a slightly higher income.
You might also find that your local bar associations offer programs that can reduce your legal fees instead of eliminating them. For example, you might get to enjoy a free initial consultation with a qualified attorney.
Private Law Firms
It’s a good idea to check out private law firms too because they usually have pro bono departments. It’s common for private law firms to focus on issues that are specific to their community. If you’re dealing with a civil rights issue, or police misconduct, or a suit against the government, a private law firm could be your best option.
Are you the defendant in your criminal case? Remember, you always have the right to an attorney. If you’re not able to hire a private attorney on your own, you could qualify to get a court-appointed defense attorney.
How to Qualify for a Court-Appointed Lawyer
To find out if you qualify for a court-appointed lawyer, you’ll need to be able to prove your income. If your income reflects that you’re not able to afford legal services on your own, you’re likely to qualify for free help.
When you appear in front of the judge, they will ask if you’d like legal representation. If you say no, they are going to ask if you want a court-appointed attorney. Once they find an attorney for you, the next steps towards handling your case will vary depending on what state you live in.
Knowledge Is Power
There you go! The top tips for finding an attorney who can work with your budget. What method are you going to pursue to find your lawyer?
We hope that our article was able to give you the answers you deserve. After all, when it comes to legal issues, knowledge is the ultimate power. For more ways to get the upper hand on your case, check out the rest of this site!
What is an expert witness? A key component that can literally make or break the outcome of a trial.
But hiring one can cost anywhere from $200-$1000 an hour, or even into the triple digits for more specialized topics. So you want to be sure that the witness will provide the value that you’re looking for.
Read on to learn why you might need them for your case and how to find them.
What Is an Expert Witness?
Lawyers bring in expert witnesses when they need to explain something to the jury that the average layperson wouldn’t understand.
For example, doctors are often brought in to testify during medical malpractice cases. It’s important for juries to know what would (or wouldn’t) have happened had the doctor involved in the case taken different actions.
Expert witnesses are independent of the case. Unlike regular witnesses who are called in to tell the jury what they know about the case, expert witnesses don’t have any personal knowledge of the case.
As such, the rules for expert witnesses are a little different. Regular witnesses are only allowed to testify about what they saw or heard. They are not allowed to give their opinion.
Expert witnesses explain how something relevant to the case works. They also analyze the facts and give their professional opinion on them. The opinion must be based on sound science.
They are allowed to discuss even pieces of evidence that are considered inadmissible. For example, X-rays might normally be considered hearsay in court, but a doctor can examine and testify about them.
Who Can Be an Expert Witness?
Anyone who has specialized knowledge in a particular field or topic can be an expert witness. Doctors or medical specialists often testify in cases of malpractice. Accountants and other financial experts, forensic scientists, mental health practitioners, and vocational experts all commonly appear as expert witnesses in courts.
Sometimes, unusual expert witnesses are in order. Consider this example of a personal injury case in which the client slipped on a tree nut in the parking lot of a major company. The attorney called in an arborist as an expert witness to explain the life cycle of the tree nut.
His explanation indicated that the nut had been there for over a week. This, in turn, indicated that the nut had been there long enough that it should have been cleaned up during routine maintenance, thus winning the case.
The best expert witnesses take complex, high-level topics and explain them in a way that the average person can understand. Helping the jury understand a key component of the case can literally change the outcome.
In some cases, the information is as complex as the lifecycle of a tree nut.
Qualifications of an Expert Witness
Of course, in order to be an effective expert witness, their qualifications must first be established. It’s easy for the opposing counsel to discredit an expert witness if they don’t have a solid profile.
To that end, the witness will prepare a report detailing their credentials. The report will also show how their knowledge fits in with the case and why their opinion is relevant.
Additionally, as the witness gives their testimony, they should supply the court with facts and information as well as explain their relevance to the subject matter.
In the case of scientific testimony, the expert will also have to explain the process they used to arrive at their conclusion. Without this information, it is relatively simple for opposing counsel to call into question the witness’ testimony.
The admissibility of the witness’ testimony is entirely reliant on the judge. If the judge determines that their process was flawed, the rate of error is too high, or the results are not reproducible, they can deem the testimony inadmissible and the time and money you put into the witness go out the window.
How to Find an Expert Witness
Not all expert witnesses are created equal. The right one makes all the difference in court so you must choose carefully.
Simply typing “expert witness near me” in Google will probably return a list of results. But they will be mediocre at best. Hiring an expert witness is expensive, and as we’ve seen, everything has to be done right to avoid losing their testimony or its credibility.
Going through a company that provides expert witness referrals is a better move. They thoroughly vet each expert witness in their directory to ensure high-quality witnesses.
Some referral services specialize in a certain type of witness, like medical experts. Others are more general.
Your lawyer may also already have connections with expert witnesses they’ve used in the past. Or they may be able to ask around amongst their colleagues for a referral.
For a very specific or unusual type of expert, like an arborist, you might need to go knocking on doors at your local university to find a suitable expert. But if the expert you find has never testified in court before, be sure that your attorney is prepared to coach them well on how to present themselves and their opinion.
Turning the Tide of Your Court Case
We hope we’ve cleared up the question “what is an expert witness?” As you’ve learned, expert witnesses can be expensive but integral to the success of your case. As always, talk your situation over with your lawyer to effectively plan your strategy.
Looking for more great law advice? Keep browsing our site! We have information on everything from how to handle a personal injury case to filing for divorce.
Do you ever wonder what your lawyer would do, if you confessed to a crime?
Well, the good news is, he or she is ethically bound to keep it a secret. They can’t testify against you in court, nor can they record a private communication and use it as evidence against you.
And that, in a nutshell, explains attorney-client privilege.
You, as the client have the right to confidentiality. As the attorney, they have a duty to keep this confidentiality. As with any rule, there’s a lot more nuance to it than that, and there are also certain circumstances where this “privilege” could be waived.
In most cases, what you say can be disclosed to nobody, however, it’s always good to familiarize yourself with the concept to make sure your own interests are protected at all times.
In What Situations Does Attorney-Client Privilege Apply?
What creates or imparts an obligation upon a lawyer to keep your conversations in confidence? One obvious factor would be the presence of an attorney-client relationship.
Here are a few general rules to keep in mind:
- You must either be an actual client or display the potential of being one.
- You must communicate with the attorney in the capacity of a client, where your attorney is acting in a professional capacity.
- You must have had the intention of keeping all communications completely private.
This, in turn, might beg the question – what if you disclosed something during a consultation, but chose not to retain your lawyer? The answer is – your attorney is still bound to keep your information private.
If you are a non-client, you can claim this privilege on the grounds of being a potential client. In most cases, the following circumstances will qualify you as one.
- You sought legal advice from the attorney.
- You intend to rely on such advice in the capacity of legal advice.
- The lawyer does not attempt to discourage you from following such advice.
If all these circumstances are met, the lawyer cannot disclose any of the information provided, without the express consent of the client. In general, even if the client were to die, the lawyer would still be bound by this rule and require to keep all discussions in their confidence.
The Rationale Behind the Duty of Confidentiality
The reason behind this rule is simply to allow clients to be able to communicate freely and openly with their attorneys in good faith. For this to remain a possibility, there, therefore, has to be some sort of rule that inhibits their attorneys from testifying against their own clients by using information divulged to them in confidence.
It allows room for the client to be as vulnerable as they want with the freedom of knowing that whatever they say cannot be used against them in a court of law.
Attorneys are therefore prohibited from discussing the client’s case with anyone else, whether in a formal or informal setting, without the permission of their clients.
However, if a client decides to communicate his affairs in the presence of others, the lawyer is not bound by a duty of confidentiality. For example – let’s assume you have a personal injury claim and you are communicating with a truck accident attorney in their own private cabin. Under these circumstances, your lawyer is not at liberty to divulge this information to anyone.
However, if you were to communicate the same information in a public cafe, in the presence of several other people, the same rule would not apply.
The Past and the Future
So what happens if you confess to fraudulent behavior in the past versus a plan to act fraudulently in the future?
In the former situation, you would still retain your client-attorney privilege. However, in the latter, you may not. Most states have exceptions that allow a lawyer to break this kind of confidentiality in the event that it would prevent some serious injury, death or crime.
Waiver of the Privilege
There are certain other circumstances where most state laws would allow for the waiver of the attorney-client privilege. In general, the following circumstances would allow it:
A Client Waiver
A client can choose to waive this privilege at any time they please. They can waive it with regard to certain people (a legal team) or waive it entirely.
When the Client Is a Corporation
When the client itself is a large corporation, the power to waive privilege would lie with the management. These might include the officers, directors or whoever else is specified as such within the company laws. Death of such directors, would not be considered the death of the corporation, which is the true client.
So, this privilege would then pass on to the next director in line and remain with the members of the main managing committee.
Exceptions to the Rule
Some exceptions to the rule include situations where the attorney represents two parties in a single matter. These parties cannot claim such privilege against each other in subsequent matters regarding the same dispute or subject.
Finding the Right Attorney
Now that you’re familiar with the rules of attorney-client privilege, be sure to look up your lawyer’s reputation before choosing one. Make sure you do a lot of research and find someone who is well-versed with the laws surrounding your case.
If you know any of their previous clients, consult them on their experiences and ask for honest reviews.
Like this article? Browse our legal categories to find more informative content under any branch of law.
Knowing when and how to hire an attorney can protect you. Your attorney will ensure that you ask for total compensation, negotiate with the insurance company, and look out for your best interests.
Keep reading to learn how to know you need an attorney.
The Insurance Company Is Not Your Friend
You’re entitled to compensation for the damages you incur. This includes both your vehicle and medical costs. We all like to think that insurance companies are there to protect us with our best interest in mind.
However, this is not the case. The insurance company’s priority is their own business and budget.
Look for an insurance claims attorney who has experience negotiating with insurance companies.
Know What You’re Entitled to
Do you know all of the damages that you have a right to ask for? You can recover medical expenses, property damage, and even lost wages. Then in some states, you can also ask for damages for pain and suffering.
Hire an attorney to ensure that you ask for all of the damages that you’re entitled to.
The Accident Is Complicated
If you experience severe injuries or there are multiple parties, then you’ll need an attorney. Cases that involve these characteristics tend to be more complicated and take longer to resolve.
An attorney will ensure that you file against the correct party. They will also fight for your right to compensation for all of your damages.
To collect, you need to prove liability. An attorney will know and understand the different elements of the law and how to provide acceptable proof for each.
Hiring an attorney will greatly increase your chances of successfully proving the different elements to establish liability.
Don’t Risk Financial Loss
If you don’t file your claim in time, you may miss the window for the statute of limitations. This means you lose your right to recover because you can’t file a claim.
Some states also have restrictions on when you need to seek medical treatment after the accident. For example, in Florida, you need to seek treatment within 10 days of the accident. Fail to seek treatment, and you will be barred from recovery.
Your attorney will ensure that you meet all of the deadlines. That way, you don’t accidentally end up costing yourself money by missing a key deadline.
Know How to Hire an Attorney
If you’ve just been injured in an accident, you need to know how to hire an attorney. That way, you have someone who is on your side looking out for your best interests.
Your attorney will walk you through the lawsuit process. They’ll help you determine what damages you can ask for compensation for. Then they’ll help you review the insurance company’s settlement offer and negotiate for the best possible outcome.
Search our inventory of lawyers to find the right one for your needs.
58% of people age 53 to 71 have estate planning documents that will help manage their estate in the event of their death.
When that happens, an estate executor is named that will take over the legal and financial obligations of the deceased. But if that person has a power of attorney, then what happens with power of attorney after death?
Figuring out the legal terms following a death is a difficult but necessary task. In this guide, we’ll tell you where one role starts and the other ends. Keep reading to learn more about the legal power of attorney and their role after death.
What Is Legal Power of Attorney?
A person who requires someone to make decisions and sign documents on their behalf can assign a Power of Attorney to another individual. They can choose a trusted individual from among their friends and family, or they might choose their attorney.
The person who designates the power of attorney is known as the principal. The individual who is given legal power of attorney is called the agent. They can be given broad or limited powers.
With broad powers, the power of attorney has unlimited authority over legal and financial transactions, as allowed by state law. Limited powers are restricted to a single matter or field.
The purpose of a power of attorney is to act as the person’s agent during their lifetime. The power of attorney is expected to help protect the individual’s estate while they’re alive.
What Happens to Power of Attorney After Death?
The law across all states dictates that power of attorney expires when the principal dies. However, expiration doesn’t take effect until the power of attorney is aware of the death of the principal. In practices, this means that they may continue to act on their behalf until they’re aware of the death.
Following the expiration of the power of attorney, the executor of the state is responsible for legal and financial matters. Named by the will, the executor is bound by the provisions of that will.
So while a power of attorney represents a principal in life, the executor represents the principal in death. Though the executor is only required to follow the instructions laid out by the will. In the case there is no will, the intestate laws of that state decide the estate of the deceased.
What About A Durable Power of Attorney?
There are two types of power of attorney: durable and non-durable.
If a person is assigned non-durable power of attorney, their duty expires when the principal becomes incapacitated. When the principal is incapable of handling their own affairs, a non-durable power of attorney is no longer valid.
On the other hand, a durable power of attorney would continue in their role despite incapacitation. This type of power of attorney doesn’t provide authority over life or death health care decisions. And although it provides a broader range of powers, it also expires upon death.
Need Legal Help?
The power of attorney after death ceases to have any power. Whether broad or limited, durable or non-durable, the legal power of attorney only grants powers while a person is alive. Following a death, the executor of the estate takes care of a person’s estate according to the terms of the will.
For more legal information regarding estate planning, be sure to check out our blog.