Resources For DIY
“The best single piece of advice someone trying to handle their own legal matter can receive is to use the forms made available by the Court in which your matter is going to be handled.”
Peter M. Williams, Esq.
As you begin the journey, regardless of where you live, start by looking at resources available for the court in which your matter is going to be handled. In Maricopa County, the Superior Court maintains an outstanding resource center offered through the Superior Court’s Library. (Link to the Maricopa County Superior Court Resource Center).
The best single piece of advice someone trying to handle their own legal matter is to use the forms made available by the Court in which your matter is going to be handled. Every Judicial Officer, lawyer, and staff member at the Courts and law firms are familiar with these forms. Additionally, the larger Courts, such as Maricopa county Superior Court, expend considerable time, effort, and money into creating forms that are easy to use and address the relevant issues. If you hire someone to help you draft the pleadings for your case, ask them to use the forms supplied by the Court or to explain every change they make to the forms. Why? Because if you do hire a lawyer, they will need to charge to review your file, which includes the “custom” forms someone sold you. If you look at a law firms pleadings you will normally notice a very similar structure to the pleadings offered by the Courts. More importantly, the Court keeps up-to-date on statute and rule changes which are not always maintained by others. Finally, there is the notion of seeing what you know–a document which is not in a familiar format makes a Judicial Officer’s job more difficult, and can cost additional time and money to explain.
Consultations vs. Coaching Session
Most people have experience with the health care system. In the legal field, lawyers are trained to spot legal issues presented within a given fact pattern. After spotting the issues, lawyers are trained to research the law in relation to the facts. This is not unlike a doctor having lab work done after an initial appointment. Only after researching the legal issues can a lawyer analyze the facts of you matter in relation to the law. If your case presents without conflict or/and is straightforward, you will find the answers to questions that can be given in a free 15-30 minute “consultation” by reviewing the information referenced in the previous paragraphs. If you case is not without conflict or/and curvy as Lombard Street in San Francisco, you’re going to be given cookie cutter answers that leave you frustrated. We happily offer short phone or video conferences to discuss your case and see if our Firm is a good fit for your needs. However, we don’t offer free “consultations.” Instead, for a small fee, we offer coaching sessions were we assist people in spotting and researching the legal issues involved in their case. We recommend that you set up a free phone call or video conference to discuss what we can do for you and the potential costs for straightening out the curves.
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