14 Secrets Lawyers Will Never Tell You (2022)

    RD.COM Knowledge Facts

    14 Secrets Lawyers Will Never Tell You (1)Lauren CahnUpdated: Mar. 31, 2021

      Got a dispute? A divorce? A potentially lucrative deal? Read these insider tips before you think about calling a lawyer.

      1/14

      14 Secrets Lawyers Will Never Tell You (2)Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock

      When should you hire a lawyer?

      When disputes arise, a person’s first inclination is often to call a lawyer, attorney Randolph Rice tells Reader’s Digest. But there are many situations in which hiring a lawyer is the last thing you should do. Says Rice, ideally, everyone would resolve disputes without lawyering up. “Getting lawyers involved can escalate tensions and delay resolution, all at great time and expense.” Take it from an attorney—before hiring one, consider if there are other ways to resolve your dispute. Maybe start by checking out these hilarious lawyer jokes.

      2/14

      14 Secrets Lawyers Will Never Tell You (3)FabrikaSimf/Shutterstock

      Before hiring a lawyer

      “When you have a dispute with someone, the first thing a lawyer does is send a demand letter hoping to resolve the dispute,” explains attorney, Russell D. Knight. On reading a demand letter, the other person will often say, “this isn’t worth the trouble” and they quickly settle. But here’s a secret from Knight: You don’t need a lawyer to write a demand letter. You can do it yourself. Just make it look as formal as possible, and you may find your dispute goes away—no charge to you.

      (Video) Katyal: Trump Getting ‘Handed Loss After Loss In The Courts’

      3/14

      14 Secrets Lawyers Will Never Tell You (4)Billion Photos/Shutterstock

      How to tell a good lawyer from a bad lawyer

      It’s not as hard as you might think, according to attorneyRandall M. Kessler, author of Divorce: Protect Yourself, Your Kids and Your Future. “Shop around and trust your instincts,” he advises. “Does the lawyer listen to you? Do they explain things in a way you can understand? And are they willing to discuss fees and costs? The person you hire will need to be someone you trust and believe in, so be sure you feel very good about them from the start.”

      Here are the money secrets divorce lawyers wish you knew (including attorney Kessler!).

      4/14

      14 Secrets Lawyers Will Never Tell You (5)kan_chana/Shutterstock

      What others think about your lawyer matters

      Check your potential lawyer’s reputation. “Many cases are won, and lost, on the reputations of the lawyers involved,” attorney Rice tells Reader’s Digest. “In the courtroom, if your lawyer has an outstanding reputation, the judge may give your case some deference, for example.” Outside the courtroom, your lawyer’s reputation could color the way the attorneys on the other side respond to requests for information and offers to negotiate.

      5/14

      14 Secrets Lawyers Will Never Tell You (6)Nirat.pix/Shutterstock

      “See you in court” is a bit misleading

      In choosing your attorney and your plan of action in resolving a dispute, it’s important to consider that despite what you see on television, most cases never see the inside of a courtroom. Typically, they’re settled outside the courtroom because of the time and expense involved, according to attorneyDarren Heitner, author of How to Play the Game: What Every Sports Attorney Needs to Know.

      Don’t miss the 22 funniest court cases of all time.

      (Video) You Me At Six - Lived A Lie

      6/14

      14 Secrets Lawyers Will Never Tell You (7)Warehouse of Images/Shutterstock

      In fact, a lawyer should try to stay out of court

      “In my experience, a good lawyer always finds every opportunity to keep a case from being decided by a judge, and only relents on trying a case before the bench when all alternatives have been exhausted,” attorney, Jason Cruz says. “If a lawyer suggests they want to try the case in front of a judge, you should definitely speak with another lawyer before proceeding,”

      7/14

      14 Secrets Lawyers Will Never Tell You (8)igorstevanovic/Shutterstock

      Be honest, expect honesty

      It’s imperative that both the lawyer and the client approach one another with complete honesty, attorneyPaul Edelstein, tells Reader’s Digest. “Winning cases can be lost because of a client who lies or exaggerates just as easily as because of a lawyer who tells the client what the client wants to hear instead of what is true.” So when dealing with attorneys, don’t just look for honesty—be honest.

      This infographic shows who Americans actually trust.

      8/14

      14 Secrets Lawyers Will Never Tell You (9)Stokkete/Shutterstock

      Be prepared for your meetings

      “If you want to improve your chances of securing the best lawyer to take your case, you need to prepare before you meet them,” advises attorney Stephen Babcock. “Get your story, facts, and proof together well before your first meeting.” This not only ensures that you understand your own needs, but it helps a good lawyer to ascertain whether he or she can actually help you. “We want the best clients too. Proving you’re organized and reliable helps us.”

      These are the documents you need to organize for your family ASAP.

      9/14

      14 Secrets Lawyers Will Never Tell You (10)TaLaNoVa/Shutterstock

      Make sure you’re not seeking a brain surgeon for a foot injury

      “Many people assume that any lawyer can handle any problem,” attorney Jory Lange points out to Reader’s Digest. But like doctors, lawyers have specialties, and that’s where their talents and experience lie. “When you choose a lawyer, make sure they have experience with your type of case,” Lange advises.

      (Video) Annie Lennox - No More "I Love You's" (Official Video)

      10/14

      14 Secrets Lawyers Will Never Tell You (11)Pressmaster/Shutterstock

      Don’t hire an “attack dog” as your divorce attorney

      When choosing whom to hire, not only should your lawyer’s practice specialty come into play, but so should your lawyer’s personal style, points out Lara Bazelon, Associate Professor of Law and director of the Criminal Juvenile Justice and Racial Justice Clinical Programs at the University of San Francisco School of Law. For example, most divorces can be handled using online forms and mediation, she explains. If you involve “lawyers prone to adversarial stances,” things will get much uglier—and much more expensive.

      Here’s how to find the best divorce lawyer for your situation.

      11/14

      14 Secrets Lawyers Will Never Tell You (12)maradon 333/Shutterstock

      The fuzzy side to billable hours

      Many lawyers charge “per hour,” but when it comes to billable hours, an hour isn’t always an hour, Robinson points out. What if you talk to your lawyer on the phone for 30 seconds? Will your lawyer bill you for a full hour? A 15-minute segment? Or something closer to 30 seconds? These are the questions you should be asking, says Robinson, because it can make a huge difference in your bill.

      12/14

      14 Secrets Lawyers Will Never Tell You (13)isak55/Shutterstock

      (Video) Congressional District 14 Debate

      Expenses add up

      When hiring an attorney, a potential money pit is “expenses” outside of the lawyer’s billable hours. Expenses include everything—copying and faxing costs, hiring expert witnesses, and even traveling via private jet, points out attorney Justin C. Roberts. Some lawyers don’t just pass the charges along; instead, they charge an additional percentage fee. Whatever their method, you need to know it up front so there won’t be any surprises when the bill arrives.

      13/14

      14 Secrets Lawyers Will Never Tell You (14)Freedomz/Shutterstock

      Think twice about “good deals”

      “Be wary of lawyers who quote low fees—noticeably lower than the standard—in order to get your business,” advises attorney Nathaniel Pitoniak. “Consumers should use their instincts about the work ethic, honesty, and relevant experience of a lawyer instead of making their decision on percentage points. If a lawyer’s fee sounds too good to be true, it’s likely because they struggle to retain business or don’t anticipate putting much effort towards your case—both are bad for someone who needs a strong lawyer.”

      14/14

      14 Secrets Lawyers Will Never Tell You (15)Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock

      Insurance denials are appealable

      If you feel helpless when faced with an insurance denial, please know that you might be able to appeal with the help of a qualified lawyer, says David Himelfarb, attorney. Insurance companies routinely deny long-term disability claims, for example, particularly because it’s assumed that most people don’t have access to reputable attorneys to challenge the denial. “This is where intricate knowledge of the legal and insurance process, as well as the right team of experts to prove the claim, can reverse the odds.”

      Did you know these 13 everyday things can get you sued?

      Originally Published: November 20, 2018

      14 Secrets Lawyers Will Never Tell You (16)

      Lauren Cahn

      (Video) Boney M. - No Woman No Cry (ZDF Von uns fuer Sie 12.01.1978)

      Lauren Cahn is a New York-based writer whose work has appeared regularly on Reader's Digest, The Huffington Post, and a variety of other publications since 2008. She covers life and style, popular culture, law, religion, health, fitness, yoga, entertaining and entertainment. Lauren is also an author of crime fiction; her first full-length manuscript, The Trust Game, was short-listed for the 2017 CLUE Award for emerging talent in the genre of suspense fiction.

      FAQs

      Are lawyers allowed to tell your secrets? ›

      The attorney-client privilege is a rule that protects the confidentiality of communications between lawyers and clients. Under the rule, attorneys may not divulge their clients' secrets, nor may others force them to.

      Can a lawyer force you to answer yes or no? ›

      If an attorney demands a “yes” or “no” answer and you can not give one, let the judge know that, and explain that to do so would be misleading to the court or inaccurate. If your answer was not correctly stated, correct it immediately. If your answer was not clear, clarify it immediately.

      Why do lawyers never answer the phone? ›

      This is how the practice of law is supposed to work. So often when a lawyer does not return your call for a few days it may simply mean your lawyer is busy getting some important work done in your case or in another client's case. There is nothing going on with your case.

      Do lawyers twist the truth? ›

      While it is true that defense lawyers occasionally distort the truth, it is also true that prosecutors are equally guilty of sometimes misrepresenting the truth to win a case. Most defense and prosecutorial misconduct is an unfortunate byproduct of the adversarial process.

      Can lawyers keep murder secret? ›

      An attorney's obligation to maintain client confidences is governed by California Business & Professions Code § 6068(e) , which states that "[i]t is the duty of an attorney ... [t]o maintain inviolate the confidence, and at every peril to himself or herself to preserve the secrets, of his or her client."

      How do you deal with a shady lawyer? ›

      If you think your attorney has acted unethically

      You can complete a complaint form online or download a PDF complaint form from the State Bar's website. You may also call the State Bar at 800-843-9053 (in California) or 213-765-1200 (outside California) to discuss the complaint-filing process.

      What is it called when a lawyer doesn't do his job? ›

      Legal malpractice is a type of negligence in which a lawyer does harm to his or her client. Typically, this concerns lawyers acting in their own interests, lawyers breaching their contract with the client, and, one of the most common cases of legal malpractice, is when lawyers fail to act on time for clients.

      Do opposing lawyers talk to each other? ›

      In representing a client, a lawyer shall not communicate about the subject of the representation with a person the lawyer knows to be represented by another lawyer in the matter, unless the lawyer has the consent of the other lawyer or is authorized to do so by law or a court order.

      How do you explain your case to a lawyer? ›

      Tips for Talking to an Attorney
      1. Always be as honest and candid as possible about the facts of your case. ...
      2. Ask questions if you don't understand something that your attorney mentions or explains to you.
      3. Approach an attorney about your case as soon as you think you may need one.
      Aug 4, 2015

      Videos

      1. Five Finger Death Punch - Far From Home (Official Audio)
      (Five Finger Death Punch)
      2. Denny Hamlin | NASCAR, Crashing, Business Lessons | Ep. 164
      (Danica Patrick)
      3. Tegan and Sara - Smoking Weed Alone (Official Video)
      (Tegan and Sara)
      4. Timcast IRL - Putin Tried To Detonate NUKE But Was Sabotaged Claims Insider w/Doug Mastriano
      (Timcast IRL)
      5. Rick Astley - Never Gonna Give You Up (Official Music Video)
      (Rick Astley)
      6. 50 Cent - 21 Questions (Official Music Video) ft. Nate Dogg
      (50 Cent)

      Top Articles

      You might also like

      Latest Posts

      Article information

      Author: Eusebia Nader

      Last Updated: 11/17/2022

      Views: 5636

      Rating: 5 / 5 (60 voted)

      Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

      Author information

      Name: Eusebia Nader

      Birthday: 1994-11-11

      Address: Apt. 721 977 Ebert Meadows, Jereville, GA 73618-6603

      Phone: +2316203969400

      Job: International Farming Consultant

      Hobby: Reading, Photography, Shooting, Singing, Magic, Kayaking, Mushroom hunting

      Introduction: My name is Eusebia Nader, I am a encouraging, brainy, lively, nice, famous, healthy, clever person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.