Hiring a Lawyer – Everything You Need to Know

26 Feb 2019

Why consult a lawyer?

A good lawyer makes sure your interests are protected from the minute you retain them, and hopefully that is well before trial. A good lawyer can act with foresight to advise you, give you his opinion on the strength of the legal action you think you will take, the risks you incur and your chances of success. A good lawyer is not a litigator: he will try to reconcile you with your opponent and will do his best to avoid going to trial.  But, should trial be the only last option, then that lawyer should be skilled in making sure you have every advantage possible to win your case.

How to find the right lawyer?

Schematically, there are two kinds of lawyers: criminal lawyers (criminal law) and civil lawyers (personal injury, human rights, family, divorce, social law, real estate law, etc.). Logic, therefore, suggests that if you find yourself in a criminal situation, arrested, or charged with a crime, you would seek out a criminal attorney to represent you.  That same logic would apply to a person who needs an attorney to represent them for a civil lawsuit, divorce, personal injury, wrongful death, or otherwise – you would seek out a civil trial lawyer.

A civil trial attorney can go to the district court, high court or the administrative court – in Florida the court system is set up such as Small Claims Court, County Court, Circuit Court, and then the appellate Courts which includes the Florida Supreme Court.  Since 1992, lawyers have been allowed to indicate their specialty on their professional law license. But, to avoid potential customers who are not interested in their specialty, many do not report it.

If you get names of lawyers without any specific recommendation, try to find out from a consumer association if you have a consumer problem, a union, staff representatives or the works council if it is is a labor law dispute to know if those organizations have experience with any of them and what is their local legal reputation.

What are the fees of a lawyer?

There is no “standard” fee schedule in hourly cases – which means you can negotiate with your attorney on how you will be charged.  The cost varies according to many parameters such as reputation of the lawyer, structure and location of his firm, the complexity of your business and of course, how much you can afford to pay.

For example, the hourly prices of lawyers vary from $75 for a green-lawyer and can go as high as $500 or even more for a reputable lawyer in an experienced law firm.

The lawyer can also work on a fixed-rate basis: the lawyer and his client agree early on an overall remuneration. Finally, an attorney can also, in case of success of your business, take a percentage on what he got in addition to his basic fees. Everything is potentially negotiable.

Lastly, some attorneys can be hired on a contingency basis.  A contingency basis means that the lawyer will charge the client a percentage of the recovery – if a recovery is made.  The Florida Bar has restrictions on what a lawyer can charge a client in personal injury cases.  For instance, if an attorney is able to settle your case without needing to file a lawsuit, then that lawyer’s contingency fee is capped at 33 1/3 percent.  However, should your lawyer need to file a lawsuit? The Florida Bar authorizes the lawyer to charge a 40 percent contingency fee. Contingency fees are good for the public because they are typically the client’s “key to the courthouse” since most individuals cannot afford an attorney on an hourly basis.

You need to figure out whether the lawyer is serious about your case or not – and if your lawyer has the skills to win your case. One of the best lawyers that you can hire for your legal case is David I. Shiner. David Shiner and his Florida based law firm have an excellent reputation and litigation experience with years of knowledge and practical application under his belt. Mr. Shiner graduated from the University of South Florida in Political Sciences and minored in Religious Studies in 1999. He is the founder of Florida Buds LLC a medical marijuana consulting business and has guided many other businesses all while maintaining a growing legal practice throughout Florida.  This experience helps his clients with business litigation.

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