Litigation can be a very complex and sometimes frustrating process, often requiring the skills and experience of an attorney. Even if you do hire an attorney to help you with your lawsuit, it helps to understand what to expect before you enter the courtroom. FindLaw's Litigation Help section provides information to help you understand the litigation process and get help with your case. This section includes information about the benefits of hiring a lawyer coach for minor cases and the many levels of service they typically provide, answers to the most frequently asked questions about lawsuits, and other information and resources related to litigation.
What Is a Lawyer Coach?
Usually lawyers choose to fully represent clients, but there are some lawyers that may be willing to provide limited representation to clients. A lawyer who provides limited representation, or is a consulting attorney, is often referred to as a lawyer coach. The amount of representation or consultation that an attorney is expected to provide will depend on the contract between the attorney and the client. A lawyer coach can provide preventative advice, litigation advice, preparation or review of legal documents, and mediation or litigation coaching. In addition, if a case becomes more than the client can handle, the limited representation can usually transition into full representation without any issues since the lawyer is already familiar with the case. A lawyer coach is a good option for those who can't afford full representation by a lawyer, but also need the help of one.
Reasons to Hire an Attorney
While not every legal matter requires that you hire an attorney, there are situations where the benefits of a hiring an attorney outweigh the downsides. If you are charged with a serious crime, it's in your best interest to hire an attorney. In fact, people charged with a crime that can result in incarceration have a constitutional right to an attorney, even if they cannot afford one. Criminal cases involve not only knowledge of the law, but also knowledge of the rules of evidence and court procedures. For example, a criminal defense attorney knows how to challenge evidence if it was improperly obtained, which could be the difference in being convicted or being acquitted.
It's often a good idea to hire an attorney if you're planning to sue someone or you're getting sued. Generally speaking, the law is complicated. Attorneys have the education and experience to know how to properly file court documents and handle other legal matters. In addition, a lawyer will know how to properly conduct discovery and know when expert witnesses will help your case.
There are also times that it's a good idea to hire an attorney even if you're not involved in a criminal or civil trial. Often times, hiring an attorney to help you draft a contract or start a business can prevent issues that can cost you more money down the line. Another time it's a good idea to hire an attorney is if the other side has an attorney. This can be true of lawsuits, alternative dispute resolution, and even when drafting or entering a contract because the side represented by counsel will have the advantage because the attorney has legal skills and knowledge that a layperson normally does not.
Hiring a Litigation Attorney
If you would like help litigating a case or defending yourself against litigation, or have general questions about a legal matter, you should consult with a local litigation attorney.