Dealing with legal matters can be a stressful, but sometimes necessary part of life. Finding an attorney who can skillfully represent your best interests can make even serious legal matters less intimidating, however, and help ensure that you get the best outcome possible. The state of Louisiana has many highly-skilled attorneys adept at handling all types of legal matters, from civil suits to family law, and choosing the right attorney for your needs can be as simple as asking the right questions. When searching for a Louisiana attorney to help with your legal matters, ask the following questions to ensure you're getting the best attorney for the job!
Don't be the mistake that an attorney has to learn from, especially when the stakes are high. You'll want someone who has been in the field for quite some time, and has a lot of experience in your particular type of case.
What do you do to keep current on changes in the law?
Laws and policies change, and sometimes the changes are so small that attorneys don't know about them right away. However, that change could very well be the thing that makes or breaks your case. Don't be afraid to ask prospective attorneys for your case how they keep current on changes in policy and law!
What is your specialty?
This goes hand in hand with experience, but is a bit more specific. The attorney shouldn't necessarily just have a lot of experience with criminal law, for instance. If you have a non-violent offense, then the legal charges must be handled differently than those for a battery or assault charge. Ask for specific examples of cases they've successfully handled in the past that are similar to your own.
How long have you practiced law in Louisiana?
If an attorney has a lot of experience in a New York court, but none in the state of Louisiana, you may want to look elsewhere for legal counsel. This will ensure that the attorney you choose is familiar with Louisiana law specifically, as well as the state or local court systems.
How much should I expect to pay in legal fees?
There's no question that legal fees can add up quickly, so it's important to know ahead of time how much you'll need to set aside for legal fees. Except in certain types of cases, most attorney's will require you to pay a retainer, as well as an hourly or flat rate for services. In addition, you'll likely also be responsible for handling any court fees associated with your case. Before hiring an attorney, make sure you understand all fees that will be involved, along with when you'll be expected to pay them.
Who will handle my case?
Many attorneys have paralegals, aids or assistants who do much of the leg-work on cases. Make sure you understand exactly who will handle your case, and meet them in person, if possible. You want to make sure that whoever is representing you is up for the job!
What happens if I need to appear in court?
In some cases, you may be required to appear in court or give a deposition. In that case, you'll want to make sure your attorney is willing to not only be there with you, but adequately prepare you for court. Ask ahead of time what you can expect should you be asked to appear in court and what kind of preparation you'll be given.
What do you think the outcome of my case will be?
While your attorney cannot tell you with any certainty how your case will turn out, he should at least be able to give you a general expectation based on the facts and prior experience.