f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

December 4, 2003

Important New eBrochures for the Consumer of Legal Services

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 5:34 pm

Two new Citizens Legal Guides are available to dowload for free from the HALT website — Where Do I Go for Legal Help?  and I Have a Problem with My Lawyer… What Can I Do Now?  I hope the Guides will become widely known through prominent web placement [yes, that’s a hint].  Indeed, it’s hard to think of a good reason to keep the links off of bar association websites, or any other sites dedicated to creating well-informed consumers of legal services.  (HALT’s announcement of the new brochures came in its current Legal Reform eJournal, 12/01/03.  Subscribe for free to the twice-monthly periodical here.)


Where Do I Go for Legal Help?

This free brochure explains the range of options available to those in need of legal help. From small claims court to paralegals to do-it-yourself-law, the brochure gives you the information you need to make the best decision to solve your problems.   HALT Senior Counsel Tom Gordon says “This easy-to-follow guide explains the options available for the most common consumer problems in a way that the average person can understand and use. What distinguishes this guide from any other that I have seen is the emphasis on the consumer — getting the consumer the appropriate legal help for a price they can afford. Not every legal problem needs a lawyer, but most consumers think that they have to hire one for even the simplest issues. This guide will give consumers the knowledge and confidence they need to handle their legal affairs affordably and independently.” 

Topics covered include:

How do I choose a lawyer?

Can I handle my problem without a lawyer?

What do independent paralegals do?

What’s a prepaid legal plan?

How does mediation work?

Can I go to court without a lawyer?

I Have a Problem with My Lawyer… What Can I Do Now? answers your questions about how to communicate if you have a dispute with your lawyer, how to go about firing your lawyer, when and how to pursue fee arbitration, a client compensation claim, a legal malpractice lawsuit and an attorney discipline complaint, and much more.   “This easy-to-follow guide distinguishes between the different avenues of recourse available to aggrieved clients and helps legal consumers decide what the best course is for them, given the particular kind of harm they have suffered and the specific result they’re seeking,” states HALT Associate Counsel Suzanne Mishkin. “It’s an excellent tool for individuals who have been harmed by an attorney’s incompetence, negligence or fraud.”

During 2004, HALT will expand the guide with state- specific information, including addresses, phone numbers and Web sites for local fee arbitration centers, client compensation funds and attorney discipline bodies, as well as information about the specific standard for proving malpractice in your state, the feasibility of suing under your local consumer fraud law and the step-by-step process for arbitrating a fee dispute in your area.

The topics covered include:

What can I do if I disagree with my lawyer?

Can I fire my lawyer?

Where do I turn if my lawyer is overcharging?

Can I be reimbursed if my lawyer has improperly kept my money?

Can I sue my lawyer?

Can I file a complaint against a lawyer?

Please let webmasters with an interest in this topic know about these informative Legal Citizens Guides.


Thanks to The Delaware Law Office for welcoming our modest trial re-entry into weblogdom.  Also to George at Defamations & Contusions, who knows that no good dude goes unpunished.

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