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How do I get Litigation Help?

Article Details
  • Written By: John Kinsellagh
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 18 May 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2019
    Conjecture Corporation
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In the United States, individuals involved in civil lawsuits have a number of options for securing litigation help. The range of options varies somewhat depending on whether an individual is a plaintiff or a defendant in a pending court case. If you are involved in litigation, the easiest way to obtain assistance is to consult an attorney.

Although there are many attorneys who practice law, you would be best served by securing the services of an attorney who has expertise in civil litigation. Attorneys who specialize in litigation are well versed in the rules of civil procedure that govern the conduct of litigation in the court system. Many legal firms specialize in certain areas of the law. An individual who needs litigation help would be well advised to seek only those firms that have expertise in the particular area of law in which their case is involved.

Most lawyers charge clients on an hourly basis. Litigation is time-consuming and can be a protracted process. As such, when initially consulting with an attorney for litigation help, it is prudent to learn her hourly rate, determine your financial resources, and what is the likelihood of settling the matter without going to trial.

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If the merits of your individual case are such that there is a substantial likelihood that you will prevail at a trial, many law firms will be willing to represent you on a contingency fee basis. Contingency fee arrangements are not uncommon in many personal injury or medical malpractice lawsuits. The litigant usually incurs little or no out-of-pocket expenses, but the attorney will take a specified percentage, usually 25-33%, of any damages awarded at trial or secured through a settlement.

In certain jurisdictions, law students are empowered by state statute to offer legal advice to certain indigent individuals who need legal advice for specified matters. Under these statutes, many law schools offer free legal service clinics to low income residents who need litigation help with various legal matters, which can range from landlord-tenant disputes to violations of consumer protection statutes. In addition, there are many non-profit legal service clinics in many jurisdictions that provide free or low cost legal services for individuals who qualify. The local bar association in your area will be able to provide information on the availability and location of these clinics.

In order to ensure that you have hired a reputable attorney or law firm, you can check with the Board of Bar Overseers in your state of residence. The Board of Bar Overseers is the state agency responsible for regulating the legal profession, and it will be able to tell you if any disciplinary actions have been filed against an attorney. Disciplinary proceedings are instituted against an attorney for violations of the Canons of Professional Responsibility, which are the ethical guidelines by which all practicing attorneys are bound.

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