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BOHEMIA, NY, July 23, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- At some point in our lives, whether for business or personal reasons, we may need the services of an attorney. It may be to discuss business formation or a partnership agreement. It may be to talk about wills, trusts and estates or to obtain representation for a lawsuit. While all attorneys who have been admitted to the bar in their state are able to practice law, the type of law they concentrate their practice in, and the way they conduct their practice, can vary greatly. To help business owners and individuals select the lawyer or law firm that is right for their needs, the Long Island Law Firm of Roe Taroff Taitz and Portman, LLP, have detailed Five Questions to Ask When Hiring a Lawyer.
Five Questions to Answer Before Hiring a Lawyer
Steve Taitz, managing partner for Roe Taroff Taitz and Portman points out that in today's legal world, attorney services run the spectrum from an attorney who works out of his or her home without support staff to a multinational, thousand-person law firm.
He suggests that, in order to determine what lawyer will best suit their needs, businesses and individuals should answer the following questions before hiring a lawyer.
1. What type of services do you need? Do you need someone who handles only a specific area of law. Do you need a generalist or someone who knows their way around a specific type of issue? Is it something that can be handled by one person or is it the type of issue that will need the skill set or time of several people. Is it an issue that is relatively simple or is it complicated. Is it a scenario in which you would prefer that an attorney handle the heavy lifting? Could a para-professional or young associate do much of the work at a lower price?
2. Who do you feel comfortable with? Does the lawyer speak to you in terms that you understand? Do you like the idea of a small, medium or large firm. Do you get along with the attorney in the smaller or solo-practitioner firm. Do you think you can work with the partner and/or associate at a larger firm. "It is critical that you have a working relationship with whomever you deal with," stresses Taitz.
3. How important is cost? Is it more important to obtain a rock bottom price or is it more important to be comfortable and know that things are being completed correctly. Does someone speak to you if you have questions? Or does it seem that you are dealing with a large or small mill that is processing, rather than working on your matter? "On very small matters, you may not want to engage someone from a large firm, but then often times you get what you pay for," says Taitz.
4. How do they keep records? Is the attorney or law firm keeping track of how much time is spent on your file? Is this important to you? "Make sure you understand how the law firm handles its client billing. Are they simply focused on hourly activities and rates?" asks Taitz.
5. Does the attorney or law firm carry malpractice insurance? If you have a large transaction or you are in litigation involving substantial sums of money, you should be concerned about your attorney's competence and your ultimate exposure. "You may not care if the attorney is defending a $500 small claims case. But a larger case may warrant an appropriate level of liability coverage," says Taitz.
"You should interview the lawyer or law firm you are considering hiring to make sure they are the right fit for your needs in terms of their capabilities and experience. Ultimately, you want to determine whether you think that you can trust their recommendations and work with them toward your goals," says Taitz.
Steven Taitz is a founding partner of Roe Taroff Taitz and Portman where he concentrates his practice in state and federal litigation, particularly in the areas of commercial litigation, creditors' rights, and criminal court matters. He has worked extensively with and lectured for the Suffolk County Academy of Law where he remains active. He is also a member of the Suffolk County Bar Association and Commercial Law League of America. He served as an Assistant State Attorney in the Narcotics Unit and a Felony Division Chief under then State Attorney Janet Reno in Dade County, Florida. He is active in the community serving on the Board of Directors of the Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Center, the advisory board of the Brookhaven Youth Court, the Rotary Club of Patchogue and as a past trustee of the Bayport-Blue Point Public Library. Mr. Taitz holds a bachelors degree from John Hopkins University and a J.D. from the University of Miami, School of Law.
About Roe Taroff Taitz & Portman
Roe Taroff Taitz & Portman, LLP provides a wide variety of legal services to Long Island. Our attorneys have served the residents of Suffolk County for more than two decades. Comprised of attorneys, legal assistants and administrative staff, the firm provides support at various levels of legal expertise. Our resources are available to both businesses and individuals looking for experienced legal representation. The firm's primary areas of concentration include civil litigation, creditor's rights law, trust and estates issues, estate planning, admiralty claims, business counseling and real estate matters. For more information, please call 631-475-4400 or visit http://www.RTTPLaw.com.
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