Accident, Injury & Settlement Tips – I Want To Fire My Attorney!

A previous article in this series explored what your attorney should be doing for you in a personal injury (PI) case. This article addresses how to deal with an attorney who’s not doing what he’s supposed to do.

It’s always amazed me how some PI attorneys sit on a case. Think about it. PI attorneys are usually paid on a contingent fee – meaning, they get a percentage of whatever they can get for you. Why then would your attorney let your case sit idle? To be sure, the attorney’s overhead expenses aren’t sitting idle.

The answer falls neatly into two categories – either your attorney is too busy, or he’s too lazy. While the former is certainly better than the latter, neither is good for you.

Here’s the steps you should take if you suspect your attorney is too busy or too lazy:

1. Speak to or meet with a top PI attorney in your area to find out what a real attorney would be doing on your case.

These consultations are almost always free.

How do you find the top attorney in your area? Not on TV and not in the Yellow Pages. If you like, you may call me or email me and I’d be glad to help you. The best way to email me is to get your claim value by filling out the 10 questions in the Claim Calculator link below. That will give me both your email address and specific information about your case (amount of property damage, medical bills, wage loss, etc.) I’m able to find, through trial lawyer association list-serves and other means, the top attorneys in every area of the United States. I communicate directly with the attorney about your case particulars, and if he’s willing to meet with you, I connect you with the attorney so you can schedule a time to meet or speak about your case.

How do you know an attorney is one of the best in your area? Simple – he posts his million dollar results right on his website. Attorneys that I help people find are the best – their results speak for themselves. An attorney that doesn’t post their results on their website is not proud of their results. You can rest assured an attorney that has repeatedly recovered over a million dollars for individual clients knows how to successfully handle your file. Successful attorneys also have reputations that insurance companies are aware of. That reputation can make a big difference when the insurance company is deciding whether to settle for a reasonable amount or jerk around your lazy attorney until he persuades you to take a low-ball settlement.

2. Fire him or make him quit?

What happens if you hire him? It varies state by state, so check with the new attorney you meet with. Typically, attorneys are entitled to be compensated for the work they’ve done on the case up till the time you fire him. Usually, this is determined by the number of hours he worked multiplied by a reasonable hourly rate (based on his experience). He must release the file to you (it belongs to you). He may keep a copy of the file, but usually the ethical rules require the copying be done at his expense. The attorney can place a “lien” for the time he spent on your case – which is only paid if and when you get a recovery with your new attorney.

Important: If your new attorney really wants your case (and you ask for it), the new attorney will often pay the old attorney lien out of the new attorney’s 1/3 fee. In other words, switching attorneys won’t cost you anything extra. In fact, for the same 1/3 attorney fee you were always going to pay, you now have a much better attorney who will get you even more compensation for your injuries.

What happens if he quits? If your attorney quits, he can’t claim an attorney lien for the work he has done. If your attorney quits, you don’t have to worry whether your new attorney will agree to absorb the attorney lien within his contingent fee. And the new attorney doesn’t have to worry about fighting the old attorney on an unreasonable attorney lien.

A lazy attorney will usually grow tired of a client who persistently calls the attorney demanding proof the case is moving forward. Frequent calls to the attorney usually do the trick, although it never hurts to “pop by” the attorney’s office and ask to meet with the attorney, or if he’s not available, his paralegal. If no one’s available by phone or in person, insist on a day / time to meet in person. Tell them you’d like to review the entire file. When you do meet (or speak by phone), find out when the attorney intends to file suit. Filing suit forces the insurance company to hire an attorney (i.e. pay money). It also triggers deadlines the insurance company must meet. Without deadlines, the insurance company is happy to keep your money in the stock market – which is really how insurance companies have historically built wealth. That’s why insurance adjusters are trained to delay the claim as long as possible. By repeatedly demanding that your attorney file suit, or withdraw from the case so you can hire an attorney that will, you may be able to get rid of that lazy attorney.

Feel free to contact me (through the free Claim Calculator below) if you have any questions.

What Kind Of IRS Tax Law Attorney Do You Need?

OK, you have come to the conclusion that you need an IRS tax law attorney to help with your current tax problems or for tax advice, but there is still one question that needs answering: what kind of tax law attorney specifically do you need?

Not only do tax attorneys come in different shapes and sizes, they also come with a range of skills and expertise. Choosing the right kind of tax attorney to handle your case is important so you can not only save on time and money but you can have peace of mind knowing that you have chosen the best tax lawyer to represent you.

To know the different types of tax law attorneys, all you have to know is the different types of taxation laws and tax problems then find one with the greatest amount of knowledge, experience, and expertise in it.

Tax Planning Attorney – IRS Tax attorneys that specialize in tax planning will assist in reviewing and structuring your financial affairs to prevent IRS trouble for you. Tax planning attorneys must keep themselves abreast with the latest tax laws to make the necessary changes for their clients. Tax planning attorneys can provide aid to both civilian and business clients alike.

Tax Controversy Attorney – If you already have a pending case filed in court, you need to hire a tax law attorney that is proficient in managing tax controversies. This type of tax attorney is experienced in the courtroom he is used to defending his client to the judge and jury. He is also familiar with working with the IRS and knows the right buttons to push in order to prove the innocence of their clients.

Tax controversy attorneys can be further divided into two categories: attorneys who handle civilian lawsuits, and those that are involved with corporations and businesses.

Property Tax Attorney – Tax attorneys with expertise in property tax are those who can help you renegotiate your property taxes with the IRS and ensure that you are paying the right amount. They will also help you form a solid case to present to the court and prove that whatever information gathered against you is incorrect or inaccurate. Property tax attorneys can also help you survive tax audits, file the right income and tax deductions, and make appeals if your previous attempt to clear your name fails.

Bankruptcy Tax Attorney – These are tax attorneys who specialize in handling bankruptcy cases. Bankruptcy tax attorneys help their clients file for bankruptcy and ensure that all information their clients provide about their finances is accurate and valid to achieve a positive outcome. They will also help their clients negotiate with the IRS and other creditors if any repayment is required.

It is possible that you will find tax attorneys specialize in handling all aspects of the tax law. These tax attorneys however may only choose to take on either civilian or corporate clients.

Civilian Tax Attorneys – They are able to help individuals straighten out their finances, catch up with unpaid taxes, and make sure that they continue to pay their dues on time in the future. They are usually hired on a consultation basis only.

Corporate Tax Attorneys – These attorneys are usually paid with a monthly retainer to smooth out any possible tax difficulty when the company is involved with a new project or a potential dispute with the IRS.

Based on your circumstances choose an IRS tax law attorney that is most adept in the area that you have tax problems. Remember however a tax law attorney can be hired before you encounter tax legal problems, you can get sound advice or consultation concerning your tax affairs. The tax issue that you want addressed will dictate what kind of IRS tax law attorney you need, choose wisely.

How to Find an Attorney in Nevada

Consumer dissatisfaction with lawyers is on an all time high all over the United States, Nevada included. It is thus not only a matter of getting a Nevada attorney; rather it is more about finding an attorney who is honest, reliable and capable of handling the case at hand. The numerous specialties that law as a profession offers has made it even more difficult for a layman to clearly identify and find an attorney who will be able to adequately represent him. The task of finding a Nevada attorney need not be all gloomy though. There are several places, books, or people can greatly assist in finding a Nevada attorney. They include but are not limited to;

Get some personal referral

A good word from someone who has dealt with a particular attorney has long been considered one of the best and most reliable ways to find an attorney. You will get firsthand information on the speed and level of professionalism displayed by the attorney. In most instances clients are usually very objective in their analysis of previous interactions with an attorney.

Check media advertisement

Ever since the Bates Vs State bar of Arizona case that allowed attorneys to advertise their services; various media platforms like newspapers like Nevada Appeal, radio, magazines like Nevada Magazine do have various attorneys advertising their services. This medium should be dealt with carefully as it is difficult to fully infer the capability of an attorney solely from advertisements placed in the media. These advertisements should make finding a Nevada attorney easier only to the extent that it provides a list of attorneys that can be contacted then vetted.

Using Published Directories

The US in general and Nevada in particular have several directories that offer detailed information about attorneys. A good example of a directory one may use to find an attorney in Nevada is the Martindale Hubbell Law directory. It is an annual listing that has names of attorneys, dates of birth, level of education attained, universities attended and the years spent there; it has also a section that deals with the areas of specialization the attorney can handle and his skills rating. This directory is a one stop shop and it is available in public libraries and online. It is important to note though that not all attorneys are listed in this directory.

Referral from the State bar of Nevada.

This is achieved by visiting the state bar of Nevada website and then going to the lawyer referral and information service section. They will provide the client with a list of qualified attorneys who practice within Nevada. The client can then visit the one nearest and have a small discussion regarding the case they have. The attorneys will charge some very minimal fee for this consultation where they will advice the client on the viability of the case and the best way going forward.

Use the internet

The internet offers a huge pool of attorneys. A quick Google search titled finding an attorney in Nevada will offer links to numerous websites that will have contacts and addresses of attorneys in Nevada, willing and ready to serve. This approach though tedious and time consuming; has worked for very many people seeking services of an attorney in Nevada and far beyond.