Why Should I Hire a Lawyer?

When you have a toothache, do you consider going anywhere other than to the dentist? Doing your own legal work is a lot like doing your own dentistry. The results can be messy, painful, and often cost you much more than if you would have visited a professional. Here are at least four good reasons you should find a lawyer if you have a legal issue:

1. A good lawyer knows the law. You may not know all of the laws, rules of the Court, filing procedures, deadlines, or other requirements regarding your legal issue. Making legal mistakes often results in very serious and often irreversible consequences. If you make a mistake that does not involve involve a pending lawsuit, then you may expose yourself to risks, liabilities, or future lawsuits. If you make a mistake in a pending lawsuit, then you can seriously impair your chances of success, or worse yet, lose your case entirely based upon what seem like procedural “technicalities.”

2. A good lawyer actually SAVES you money. A lawyer can save you money in two ways. First, your lawyer will prepare your case correctly the first time.  Not all legal mistakes can be fixed by a lawyer. But when a mistake can be fixed, it will undoubtedly cost you much more money to correct the mistake than it costs to avoid the mistake from the outset. I was once hired to represent a client in a divorce matter.  In an effort to “save money,” the client and his spouse got together and drafted their own settlement agreement without consulting their attorneys.  The client reported to me that he had resolved his divorce matter with his new settlement agreement. Unfortunately, the agreement contained several avoidable mistakes and the parties ultimately disagreed what those portions of the agreement meant.  These simple mistakes ultimately resulted in a new trial, more discovery and tens of thousands of dollars of additional attorney’s fees to resolve.

Second, your lawyer will save you money by getting a “better deal” for you. Lawyers who litigate are experienced negotiators. Your lawyer can identify the important legal and factual “weaknesses” in an opposing party’s case. These weaknesses, when well articulated, drive down your opponents expectations in the case. This increases the possibility of settling the your case under the best possible terms. Moreover, you will save yourself the risks of losing your case and either paying the other side money and/or not getting paid what you are owed.

3. A good lawyer will ensure that you get to tell your story. A court will not automatically consider every document you bring to Court. Nor will a court hear everything your witness has to say. A court will only consider documents and witness testimony if you follow certain rules regarding the information you are trying to present.  I see many nonlawyers often become frustrated when the court refuses to hear certain testimony or review certain documents that are important to the case. Good lawyers know the rules that enable the court to hear your story and see your documents.

4. A good lawyer will save you pain. Dealing with legal issues is financially and emotionally exhausting. And it is easy to become tied to your emotions when making difficult decisions. A lawyer will give you unbiased advice that keeps your emotional and financial capital focused on your long term risks, goals, and objectives.  This type of approach will always help you maximize your results.

Hiring a lawyer – like going to the dentist – may not be cheap. But a good lawyer will almost always save you additional expense and pain. Regardless of what your legal issue involves, you should always have a trustworthy lawyer on your side.