The best time to contact an attorney is when you think you need one. It’s very difficult because in today’s society – I was homesick recently and there’s TV commercials all day long, that’s not the reason to hire a lawyer. I’ve got a problem, I need it fixed.
And a criminal thinks, when do you hire a lawyer?, when you get arrested. In a divorce court, my wife and I can’t work it out, if that’s the situation, I need a lawyer to help me deal with the maze of marital laws. I’m worried about if I pass away, I need a will, that’s not the case here.
First of all, if you got rear-ended and you’re not hurt, you don’t need me.
Call your insurance company; tell them to drop your car off at the body shop. They’ll give you a rental car from enterprise, you’re on your way, go back to work. If you’ve got a problem, you need to investigate it.
At the time that you think that there is a problem physically, you’re going to need a lawyer because all of a sudden, the insurance company’s going to surface. You’re going to get the phone call from a really bubbly individual who’s going to say, “You’ve got a problem, was there something out of pocket,” “Oh well, there’s $200 to go to the hospital.”
“How about 1,000 bucks?” 1,000 bucks is a lot of money to people. And all of a sudden, that little hook will get you in a problem because what if you end up having surgery and it’s $50,000, and you settled for $1,000 because all you thought was $200.
You’ve got to be out of the gates and I think a lawyer will help you in the beginning. And the best time is go meet your lawyer.
Don’t let somebody come sign you up at your house that’s not going to be the guy talking to you. Have your lawyer come see you.
Come to my office right next to the courthouse. And also, I think you need a lawyer next to the courthouse. I’m half a block from the courthouse. I’m not in Maitland, I’m not in the outlined areas. You need somebody downtown who’s in the courtroom all the time, and that’s a big difference right now.
If you are unhappy with your lawyer, you can change your lawyer like you change your shirt. Why do I say that?
The laws of Florida are very forgiving that if you enter into a contractual relationship with a professional – I’m treating for a cancer and I don’t really like the doctor at Florida Hospital, I’m going to go to ORMC and go to M.D. Anderson, you can do the same thing with your lawyer.
The thing I recommend is if you’re having a problem with your lawyer, make an appointment and go see him. Sometimes it’s just a misunderstanding. They’re not returning your phone call, the paralegal has not given the exact information you wanted to and there’s a problem with the process, make an appointment.
If they don’t give you an appointment, go sit in their lobby till they see you. If you have a problem after that, you can contact that person. But you need to discharge that lawyer before you enter into a new contractual relationship.
The problem is not a problem for money because most lawyers work on a contingency. So let’s just say it’s a third, if you hire a new lawyer, there’s a lien or a right to recovery from the second lawyer, you don’t pay a third twice, you pay one third to the second lawyer. And out of that third, your new lawyer will make even with the first lawyer for the hours that he spent.
Releasing a lawyer, you need to write them a letter saying that “I no longer want you to be on the file” and discharge them. And that’s a decision you need to make. I would never influence somebody to do that.
That’s all it takes, just a letter, one-sentence letter “I no longer want you to be my lawyer” and then you’re free to go, contract with any lawyer in the state that you want to.