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Hiring an Attorney

Points to Consider

Attorney Frank J. Santomauro

The moment you find yourself in a legal dispute, that is the moment you need to ask yourself one question, “Would I be better off doing this on my own or would it be better for me with an attorney?”

It is true that many people handle their own civil matters pro se, a Latin phrase meaning, “in one’s own behalf.” On one hand, some of those individuals are able to successfully navigate the legal landmines and fare well for themselves. But on the other hand, the vast majority of civilians, without any legal background, experience or training, more often than not, fail to achieve the legal goal they set out to accomplish.

Hiring An Attorney

Rather than blindly journey down an unfamiliar and unknown legal path laden with one challenge after another, the clearest and most reasonable decision is to retain an attorney that has the experience, resources and ability to handle your civil matter to maximize the potential for a successful outcome.

Choosing the
right
attorney

Here are a few points to consider when you need to hire an attorney:

  1. Experience and Knowledge of with your Legal Issue. Why speak with a lawyer who only handles bankruptcy cases when you are being sued by a neighbor?
  2. Free First Consultation. This initial, free consultation, allows you to visit with several lawyers before you hire one. It is at this free consultation that you can explain your case and learn what the attorney can and cannot do for you and your case.
  3. Effective Communication. The attorney you hire must possess the ability to effectively communicate to you, regardless of the circumstances (like the 2020 Covid-19 lock-down), in a professional and timely manner. Your attorney must keep you informed and up-to-date with your proceedings. Also, make sure you find out if will you be able to talk directly to the attorney, or will you be speaking mostly with another staff member?
  4. Agreeable Fee Structure.
    1. Hourly. Most legal work done by an attorney for their client gets charged by the hour and usually requires an upfront retainer fee. For example, an attorney may charge $250/hour and requires a $2,500 upfront retainer to begin working on your case. This retainer covers the first ten-hours of the attorneys time working on your case. After those ten hours are exhausted, you will be billed at $250/hour for subsequent work on your case and the attorney may request an additional retainer.
    2. Flat Fee. The attorney  proposes a set fee to which the client agrees. Other issues that arise outside of the agreement will not be covered and if needed to be pursued you must negotiate a new fee agreement.
    3. Contingency Fee. Usually applies to cases when suing a person or entity. The attorney is paid an agreed upon percentage, plus costs, of the total settlement or award amount.
    4. Pro Bono. In certain situations, an attorney will represent a client at no cost to the client.

Law Offices of Frank J. Santomauro, LLC

Contact Us

OFFICE

Law Offices of Frank J. Santomauro, LLC
142 South Main Avenue
Scranton, PA 18504

OFFICE PHONE

570-342-7787

FAX

570-342-7786

EMERGENCY PHONE

570-362-3902

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