Legal FAQs

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Table Of Contents


What is a contingent fee?

A contingent fee is an alternative to having to pay for legal services up front. The attorney only gets paid if money is collected. The usual fee the attorney collects when they settle the case without going to trial is one-third. This type of fee is most often used in bodily injury or collection cases.

What is an hourly fee?

An hourly fee is usually charged in criminal, domestic and miscellaneous cases. The fee begins with the payment of a retainer (deposit, consultation fee) at the initial meeting with the attorney. After the initial meeting, an hourly rate is charged. The fee for senior lawyers is $300 per hour; the fee for associate lawyers is $200 per hour.

What is a flat fee?

A flat fee is a fixed fee charged to handle a particular legal problem. These are most often used when dealing with estate planning. They may also be used for criminal and domestic cases.

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Criminal – OUI

Do I need to give the police my license when stopped?

If a police officer stops you for any reason while driving a vehicle, you must produce both your license and registration.

Do I have to take a field sobriety test if asked?

Do not discuss or perform any field sobriety test and insist upon calling your lawyer.

If I think I can pass a breathalyzer, should I take it?

If you are of the opinion that you could pass a breathalyzer test, call your lawyer before taking it. You also have the right to a blood test.

What information should I get about the police?

Never be disrespectful to a law enforcement officer. You should respectfully obtain all of the information as to what crime they are alleging that you may have committed. You should also get the names of the police officers present and any witnesses.

What do I do if I am arrested?

Only tell the police officer your name, date of birth and social security number. Then ask to call your lawyer. It is your right.

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Abuse Complaints

What do I do if my spouse or family member files abuse charges?

Follow the police officer’s advice, cooperate, leave the area and call your lawyer.

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If it appears that a marital relationship is headed towards divorce, suggest counseling.

What should I bring with me the first time I meet with a lawyer about my divorce?

You should try to have the following information with you when you first meet with your lawyer:

  • Tax returns for the last three years
  • A list of all your assets, including bank accounts
  • A list of any real estate and mortgages
  • Any safety deposit box information
  • A list of liabilities — who you owe, what you owe them and why
  • Your marriage certificate and the birth certificates of any of your children
  • Information about any medical condition relating to your ability to work

We believe that divorces should be as straightforward and civil as possible, especially when custody issues are involved.

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Estate Planning

While all of us must eventually pass on, we can take steps now to ensure a smooth financial transition for our loved ones.

What options do I have in taking care of my estate?

Your lawyer can help you prepare the following:

  • Wills
  • Health care proxies
  • Plans for your future
  • Trusts and real estate trusts depending on your economic status

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Personal Injury – Work

Bodily Injuries are a traumatic event. Always seek medical care immediately.

What do I do if I am injured at work?

If you are injured at work, immediately report your injuries to your employer and then seek medical care immediately. Be sure to see a lawyer qualified to handle workers’ compensation cases.

Is it OK if I am being paid in cash?

Always make sure you are being paid by your employer by check. If you are working “under the table,” you are endangering yourself and your family as you may not be able to recover workers’ compensation. Cash wages usually do not include Social Security deductions and you are putting yourself at risk of losing these benefits. It is better to be honest in your employment to protect yourself and your family.

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Personal Injury – Auto

Do I need to keep anything in the car in case I get into an accident?

You must always have your license and registration in your possession. You should also have proof of insurance and a pen and paper.

Can anything hurt my chances of receiving compensation if the accident was all the other person’s fault?

You should always wear your seatbelt, as the insurance companies can use your failure to wear one as evidence of your negligence. This could hurt your chances of collecting, even if someone has rear-ended you through no fault of your own.

What should I do if I am involved in an accident?

If you are involved in an accident, you should do the following:

  • Write down the names of all the drivers and passengers.
  • Collect registration and insurance information of all the vehicles involved in the accident.
  • Get the names and telephone numbers of any witnesses.
  • Accept medical attention immediately for you and your family’s protection.
  • Call your lawyer right away so that the evidence may be preserved.
  • Do not continue to drive your vehicle if it is unsafe.

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