What to Look for in an Attorney

A lot of us have heard the same saying over and over: if you ever need to go to court, make sure you hire a good attorney. It seems like common sense, because it is. But, very few people know what to look for when searching for an attorney.

There are certain things you’ll want to look out for when choosing the attorney best suited for your needs.

Specialization

While many attorneys are skilled in a variety of practice areas, you’ll want to choose one who has experience representing clients in your particular situation. For example, if you’re facing a D.U.I. charge, you’ll want to reach out to a criminal defense attorney who has experience defending clients against D.U.I. charges in particular.

Experience will allow your attorney to best know how to handle your specific situation, and what argumentative tactics and strategies they should employ to help you reach the desired outcome in your case.

A great way to check out the experience an attorney has with a particular issue is to take a look at their website. Most attorneys will have a section on their website where they detail their practices areas to persuade potential clients into choosing them when picking out an attorney.

Cost

Let’s be real. Going to court takes up a lot of your time and energy and can have a huge impact on your mental health. The last thing you want to do is break the bank with attorney’s fees. Unfortunately, many have racked up extensive amounts of debt by seeking the best possible legal representation for their case.

Before officially hiring your attorney, make sure to inquire about their rates. Their rate will likely depend on the area of law they practice as well as the geographic location in which they practice. Don’t hesitate to mention finances with your attorney — it’s an important aspect of your life and is something you should definitely take into consideration.

The good news is that there are several non-profit organizations that help provide legal assistance to individuals needing an attorney in certain situations but cannot afford one. These non-profits often help individuals seeking immigration, domestic/sexual violence attorneys, and criminal defense attorneys.

Many attorneys are also required by their law firms to work a certain amount of hours pro bono (for free), so it is worth reaching out to a law firm you’re interested in and seeing if they can provide you with a pro bono attorney.

Chemistry

This may seem a little odd, but it is important to actually meet with any attorney you’re interested in to see if you click and get along with them. In many situations, you may be telling your attorney very private and sensitive information about your life, so you’ll want to make sure you feel comfortable around them. Some firms like Truslow & Truslow will allow you to discuss your case in a consultation in order to get a feel for the chemistry between you and your potential lawyer.

Don’t worry if the first attorney you reach out doesn’t feel right for you — you have the right to pick the attorney that is the best for you.

How to Be an Effective Witness

No matter your station in life, you are at risk of being involved in a lawsuit or criminal investigation. They are two very different things, but lawsuits and investigations do share some common traits. Most importantly, they rely on witnesses.

If someone is accused of a crime, witnesses can be used to determine the character of a person or to verify an alibi. Similarly, in a lawsuit, witnesses can be utilized as evidence-providing testifiers for the plaintiff or as experts for the defense. As evident from its conclusion on the website for the Lexington personal injury law firm, Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton, LLP, witness statements are an important part of the discovery process for investigations into accidents, explosions, and more.

At some point in life, you may be called on to provide a statement in writing or in court. This experience can be straight-forward or incredibly scary. Either way, you need to know how to act and what to say to be an effective witness!

They Can Always Handle the Truth

As a witness, it can be tempting to bend the truth alongside the narrative provided by with whomever you agree the most or by the person who called you to testify or provide a written statement. However, this almost never works out in your favor.

Because witnesses in-court are subject to cross-examination by the opposing lawyer, you will almost certainly be held accountable if you lie. The other attorneys have evidence, timelines, documents and more to prove you wrong.

Lying is also just plain wrong. Do not bend the truth or withhold relevant information as a witness. Doing so will not work out in your favor nor will it weigh well on your conscience!

Detailed, But Not Too Detailed

The amount of detail and information to offer is a tough balance to strike as a witness in an investigation or lawsuit. Especially when involving situations like accidents or medical emergencies, it may be tempting to provide as much information as possible when asked by an investigator or professional.

However, be sure to not provide an amount of information that will lead to mistakes in documentation. For example, if you include information about a specific statistic or rare, hard-to-pronounce health condition, the person documenting your witness statement may lose track of the more important details.

My best advice is to remember — and discuss — the most important aspects of your knowledge while offering more details if necessary or needed. Through this, you will be able to accomplish both the goal of being an effective witness while also still offering the whole and complete truth.

Overall, being an effective witness is a tough task. While we have only covered two of the most important aspects of being a witness in an investigation or lawsuit, there are many other factors that affect your performance. Like anything in life, being an effective witness only requires you to follow your gut and do the right thing — everything else will work out in the end!

What To Do If Your Broker Just Lost You a Ton of Money

Most of us are not financial experts. That’s why we trust our investments to brokers who are supposed to understand the markets and our personal needs. They are supposed to protect us against serious losses by plotting relatively safe and profitable investments that don’t expose us to the major risks that our naive investment efforts might otherwise do.

They are supposed to do that, but they don’t always. There is far too much evidence that many brokers don’t take their responsibility seriously enough. They pursue very questionable investment strategies that often involve a very high risk of major losses. The reason for this is that high risk can lead to high gain.

That is a reasonable strategy for some investors, but your broker is supposed to discuss that option with you and go according to your preferences. If you didn’t express a desire to play fast and easy with your money with risky investments, then your broker shouldn’t do it. But, again, many brokers do it anyway. So, where does that leave you?

Let’s review one recent case so we can see what went wrong and what you can do if you’re caught in the same situation. Earlier this year, many investors lost money investing in the LJM Capital Preservation and Growth Fund. What happened still isn’t completely clear. It appears that LJM Capital Preservation and Growth Fund was not living up to its apparent mission to focus on capital preservation and instead was making very risky investments without taking the steps required to preserve capital. That behavior led to devastating losses, including 80% of the stock value, or perhaps as much as $600 million in value.

What was the result? In the immediate sense, it left investors significantly poorer. And since many brokers had invested in LJM without warning their clients of the risks involved, those losses were felt by a lot of innocent investors who didn’t sign up for that kind of risk.

That lack of awareness, though, may end up saving those investors and costing those brokers and their brokerage firms quite a bit. If a broker doesn’t warn their clients of such risks, they can be held accountable for the losses. And since a brokerage firm is responsible for the broker’s activities, those firms may be required to pay for this behavior.

That should answer your questions about what you should do when you lose out in a situation similar to LJM. Sometimes, losses just happen, even with stable and safe investments. Sometimes, you choose to take a risk, and it doesn’t work out. In those situations, you just have to accept that the investments don’t work as planned. However, if you’ve lost money because your broker was taking risks they didn’t tell you about, then you have every right to demand that money back.

How do you demand it? You’ll have to speak to a lawyer to pursue a claim against your broker.

What Happened to the Woman I Married?

Have you ever been close to someone who you thought you really knew but who, in one particular situation, proves to be a completely different person?

That’s my current situation and it’s…weird. It’s weird. I should be angrier than I am, but I’m more just confused about what’s happening.

The basic story is I’m getting a divorce. It was a long time coming, and when the decision came, it wasn’t at all unexpected. The discussion was civil. I’m not going to claim there weren’t tears and some angry words, but overall, we talked like we always talk. It was agreed between the both of us that there were just too many issues that we didn’t see eye to eye on and that the spark that held us together had just fizzled out. We even agreed to be friends. It was about as good as you could hope.

I mean, it really was inevitable. I want kids and she doesn’t. I always thought that would change, that some sort of maternal instinct would kick in, but she still doesn’t want them, and I think she honestly never will. She wants to travel, and I want to settle. We’re just in completely different places with completely different priorities. I can see now that we had a perfect relationship for our twenties, but now our thirties are here, it just wasn’t ever going to work out.

But I really did honestly think we’d be able to stay friends in all this. I thought that, in fact, until the other day, when we got down to the specifics of the divorce. Turns out, we don’t agree on anything there either, and unlike the actual break up of the marriage, there wasn’t a lot of friendly feeling to go around.

I think we fought over every piece of furniture, over the cars (she wants both for some reason), even over my dog (who she never liked and who I brought into the relationship). I wanted to talk to her privately about all this, but I was told it wasn’t for the best. So, I can’t know for sure, but I’m beginning to suspect she didn’t actually take the break up quite as smoothly as she let on.

Could I have misread her feelings? I don’t know. I thought she wanted this as well or I wouldn’t have brought it up. I’m the kind of guy to go on suffering silently if I think it’ll make someone else happy. We’d still be together if I thought she’d be happier that way.

Maybe it’s just a temporary hiccup. Maybe she needs to get it out of her system.

But, since I don’t know that for sure, I have to start investigating contested divorces and find out exactly how those work. I hope we can walk back from this point. I hope I can still save our friendship, but at this point, it seems like she just wants to burn everything down. I’m grateful right now that we didn’t have kids together.

Common Injuries from Oil Field Accidents

All kinds of workers are vulnerable to workplace accidents and injuries. Even office workers, who seem to be in safe office buildings, may be hurt because of defective escalators and elevators, fires from overheating office equipment, and electric shocks from overloaded wiring systems.

But it can be said that some workers are more vulnerable than others, such as oil field workers. According to the website of Brunkenhoefer P.C., oil field injuries can be sustained from various oil field accidents, like explosions, exposure to toxic chemicals, falls from oil derricks, gas leaks, malfunctioning machinery or equipment, and pipeline blowouts. But what exactly are the injuries that can be sustained?

Amputations

Oil field workers use tools and heavy machines that can potentially cut off body parts due to malfunction or improper use. In improper use, the workers may be at fault, but in a malfunction, employers, supervisors, inspectors, and maintenance providers may be held liable. The worst thing about amputations is that they are generally permanent injuries.

Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries

The brain and the spinal cord can receive serious traumatic force during falling accidents, especially because oil field workers are frequently in elevated places. The worst traumatic brain injuries result into severe physical and cognitive problems, like unbearable headaches, vomiting, and difficulty speaking and understanding speech. The worst spinal cord injuries, on the other hand, result into paralysis.

Burns

Oil field workers inherently deal with strong substances such as chemicals and oils. These substances may cause burns, through direct contact, explosion, or fire ignition. The bad thing about burns is that they don’t just damage the skin. Depending on their severity, they may also damage the nerves, muscles, and bones.

Fractures

Bones can break if they receive sufficient force, and that is exactly what they get when workers slip because of oil and violently fall onto the ground, get hit by pipes and rigs, or fall from elevated places. The body parts that are most vulnerable to fractures are the hand and arm, foot and leg, hip and pelvis, and the shoulder and back.

« Previous Entries