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How to Find a Lawyer: A Guide for Dummies

How to Find a Lawyer: A Guide for Dummies

How to Find a Lawyer: A Guide for Dummies

Life is unpredictable. It happens that everything was fine yesterday, but today you or your relatives urgently need a lawyer. Where to find literate? What to look for when negotiating with him? How to make sure that the defender does his job well? If for professionals the answers to these questions seem obvious, then ordinary people have a hard time. To help the latter - our material.

Lawyer or lawyer?

Not every lawyer is a lawyer, but every lawyer is a lawyer. If we are talking about participating in an arbitration or civil proceeding, as well as in the proceedings on an administrative offense case, any person can be a representative, even without legal education. In administrative proceedings, that is, when considering and resolving disputes with a public body, a representative must have a legal education. And only to participate in a criminal case, the assistance of a lawyer who has received the appropriate status and the right to carry out advocacy is necessary - a lawyer. If you still need a lawyer, we will tell you how to find him.

How to choose a lawyer?

Before making a choice in favor of a lawyer, we recommend:
check if the lawyer is a lawyer.  This can be done through the  registry of the Ministry of Justice . The current status of a lawyer must be marked there as “Acting”. If a person is not in the register or is located but has a different status, he cannot carry out advocacy. But the region should not be embarrassed - wherever the status was obtained, it is valid throughout the country.
The lawyer must also have a certificate and be listed somewhere - in the bar association, bureau, office or legal advice.
learn about his specialization, experience, the availability of recommendations from clients and colleagues.  Lawyers, like most specialists, have divisions by specialization - someone takes up only murders, someone is well versed in drug disputes, someone prefers to protect scammers. Well, if you can find a lawyer who has the appropriate specialization. Even better if he has a lot of experience and good recommendations. You can check this with the lawyer himself, or you can study his professional path through the Internet. You should be wary if there is no information about the defender. 
check whether he or his company is represented in the rating  (more about ratings can be found in the material " Secrets of Law Marketing-2017: Ratings, Social Networks and Search for Clients "). Rating is a special indicator of the status of a lawyer. “It’s only important to remember that if a company or specialist is not included in the rating, this does not speak against them. Many worthy professionals do not submit applications or do not fall into the recommended lists, because their activities are not large enough,” says  FBK partner Law "Nadezhda Orlova“Lawyers that are not quoted in the ratings often offer more affordable conditions for the provision of legal assistance. Moreover, it is far from the fact that their level will be lower. Perhaps such lawyers have more modest organizational and technical capabilities (fewer assistants, no courier), but by and large, these are secondary things, "agrees  Dmitry Shniger, lawyer of Khrenov & Partners .
meet and chat with a lawyer. “You can’t make a complete impression of your future attorney by phone or by correspondence, even if you have recommendations. There should be mutual understanding between the lawyer and the client - without this, nothing will happen even with the most experienced professional. When talking and discussing the assignment, you need to discuss the future technology in detail work, the necessary organizational steps, deadlines for them, documents that will need to be submitted to the client and which will be prepared in the course of work, government agencies with which interaction will be carried out. some detailed discussion of the technology will including a better understanding of the level of legal qualification, his willingness to immediately engage in a solution to the problem. In addition, it will help to effectively configure the client and attorney work together, to predict potential problems and risks, and to prepare for their mitigation, to avoid future possible disappointments, and mutual ones, ”Orlova said.“ When discussing a case for the first time, a good lawyer should give the client enough information about the development directions of the situation and prospects, as well as about complex issues that require further study. The professionalism of the lawyer will be evidenced by his knowledge of judicial practice on the issue, "- I am sure Director of Legal Practice at  KPMG  Russia and the CIS Alexey Abramov.

Which lawyer should you not agree to?

There are a number of beacons that should alert the client when choosing a lawyer. So, you should not agree to a lawyer:
advised by a law enforcement officer . As a rule, such lawyers work together with the police, and all they advise the principals is to admit their guilt.
promising one hundred percent result.  You need to understand that the result depends on many factors, so the lawyer can not guarantee it.
who offers to resolve the issue by giving a bribe . This is illegal, which means that sooner or later such a lawyer himself can become a defendant in a criminal case, and with it a principal. Read about how this happens in the article “ Criminal liability of lawyers: from defense counsel to accused ”.
who takes too much or too little for his services"A person who is mediocre in jurisprudence should take for granted the fact that the work of a lawyer is actually more complicated than it seems to the client. Therefore, it cannot be a priori very cheap. The very low cost of services should raise the suspicion that the service will not end up being a law student, "says Schniger. He is also sure that a lawyer, whose work is not limited to exposing broken phrases and general considerations, will not give consultations free of charge: “Moreover, he is not entitled to do this in principle, since by law he can only give consultations after agreeing on a fee and concluding an agreement. The promise of such consultations is nothing more than an advertising move aimed at luring an inexperienced client to provide far from free and, as practice shows,
The excessively high cost of services should also alert, unless, of course, we are talking about a distinguished lawyer or a case whose complexity is obvious to the client himself or is convincingly justified by the lawyer.

How to conclude an agreement with a lawyer?

The agreement between the attorney and the principal is a civil contract for the provision of legal assistance to the principal or his appointed person. It consists in simple writing and must necessarily contain the following conditions:
indication of a lawyer, his affiliation with a lawyer education and the bar
the subject of the order is what the lawyer undertakes to do for the client. The subject of the order may be limited by the stage of the proceedings (pre-trial / judicial / appeal, etc.), the number of meetings, the number of documents that it undertakes to prepare (for example, write a complaint to the court).
amount of remuneration . "Payment systems can be different. As a rule, an advance is provided, which can be justified by the need for initial immersion in the matter. Then the payment can be made dependent on the implementation of individual stages of work. The payment itself can be fixed or calculated based on hourly rates and spent by the consultant time, but no more than a certain amount. For representation in court, the use of the fee of success is not excluded, "said Abramov.
"Payment can be made in cash or by wire transfer, with the obligatory indication of the details of the agreement. With the consent of the principal, payment can be made by a third party," added  Danil Bukharin, attorney at the Freytak and Sons Attorneys at Law . All settlements with a lawyer are subject to obligatory payment to the cashier of the corresponding lawyer education. It is not recommended to transfer money to a lawyer without receiving payment documents.
the procedure and amount of compensation for attorney's expenses related to the execution of the order - for example, travel, transportation, postal and other expenses. “It’s advisable to write down all this in the agreement, so that later you do not face the need to pay for business class flights and accommodation in a luxury hotel,” Schniger believes.
the size and nature of the liability of the lawyer who accepted the execution of the order.
The party to the agreement between the client and the attorney will be the attorney himself, not a lawyer education. He will be responsible for the quality execution of the order. It should be noted that it is not allowed to include in the agreement instructions on the payment of forfeits, penalties and other things, since the lawyer's activity is not entrepreneurial.

Do I need to control a lawyer?

In an agreement with a lawyer, you can stipulate the procedure and conditions for the submission of reports by the defender. “A lawyer is obliged to keep a lawyer dossier in which to put all documents prepared in the case, as well as other materials related to it. As in any process, it makes sense to be interested in the progress of the case: ask the lawyer for this dossier and reports on the measures taken indicating the spent time for them, "said the lawyer of the Olevinsky, Buyukyan and Partners Publishing House (Novosibirsk) Ekaterina Nikiforova“To control a lawyer is normal, the main thing is that control does not result in interference in his work. Assume that the lawyer has legal knowledge and experience that you do not have, so you turned to him. If you have your own opinion on what legal arguments should be used by a lawyer or what legal actions should be performed, do not insist on this, because you are probably mistaken. First, discuss everything in the format of proposals, and if you are wrong, a good defense attorney does not hesitate to justify, why it’s impossible to do as you expected, ”Schniger said.

How to understand that your lawyer is incompetent?

After the conclusion of the contract, a good lawyer periodically informs the client about the progress of the case, timely takes the necessary steps and agrees them in advance, does not evade meetings, answers all questions arising in an exhaustive way. The lack of such action by the selected consultant is an obvious cause for concern. “It is also possible to understand that a lawyer is incompetent by the court’s reaction to his work. If the documents prepared by the lawyer are systematically rejected by the court, read the texts of the relevant judicial acts. Usually, special legal knowledge is not required to understand whether the document was rejected due to that the court took a different point of view from several possible ones (this does not indicate the unprofessionalism of the lawyer), or because the lawyer made a mistake (for example, the complaint was filed with the wrong court or authority, either with a violation of the procedural period, or without the necessary set of documents). Recognizing a lawyer who wants to get rich at your expense is also easy. If you don’t understand what and why he’s doing it, and yet you can’t get clear explanations or don’t see his work at all (for example, no one is on trial), decide on further cooperation with such an advocate, ”recommends Schniger. , you can check the lawyer with the help of a hired consultant - the latter will study the case and give an opinion on how the lawyer works.

What if a lawyer does a poor job?

“It is necessary to complain about a lawyer when he does not fulfill his obligations or acts not in the interests of the principal,” said Anastasia Ragulina, director of Yakovlev & Partners Law Firm . This will be useful both for the principal (who can later obtain compensation through the court), and the entire lawyer corporation.
The lawyers' chamber of the relevant entity, of which your lawyer is a member, is responsible for monitoring the activities of defenders. The complaint against a lawyer is considered by the Council of the Bar Association taking into account the conclusion of the qualification commission. If the complaint is deemed substantiated, disciplinary action may be taken against the lawyer until the termination of his status.
"Some clients abuse their rights and find formal grounds for appealing against the actions of a lawyer in order to not pay compensation for his services. These are very sad precedents. It is hoped that in such disciplinary proceedings the Council of the relevant bar association will separate the grains from the chaff and will not decide on lawyer based on formal circumstances, "- says the  lawyer of the Law Firm" YUST "Evgeny Rosenblatt .


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