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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

In the last 24 months, was there any occurrence you felt would have been better for you with an attorney involved?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26783points) December 17th, 2011

Based off this question, it made me think of how many times a week, moth, year, a situation shows up where you don’t know if you needed an attorney, or it what was done to you was illegal, etc. Whom can you turn to? As with the OP of that question, she got a lot of advice, but was it the correct advice? You buy a gift for Christmas and you never get it. The company says they shipped it, have paperwork and all, tracking number said it was delivered, but you swear it wasn’t. You were on vacation time and home the whole day it was supposedly delivered. They won’t refund you, or send you another, what can you do, and who would you turn to? What can you do about a valet who damages your car, but the restaurant say your damage was on the car before you came there to eat? In the past two years, how many incidents have you had where you felt you would have had a better outcome if you had an attorney speaking for you, or you would have liked to consult with one?

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11 Answers

AnonymousWoman's avatar

I am glad I did not have one in the last 24 months. I associate lawyers with losing time and money. I’d rather spend my time and money somewhere else.

SavoirFaire's avatar

I was hit by a drunk driver in April, and a lawyer would have been very helpful. The woman who hit me was insured by a company that only takes on high risk cases (e.g., people who no one else will insure), so they were about as difficult as it is possible to be. It took months to get everything sorted out, the company broke the law seven different times while handling my case, and the only reason things worked out in the end is because I am well-versed enough in the law to do my own research. An actual expert would have made things much easier.

Pandora's avatar

No. Thank God! But there are a few people I’ve know who have asked me questions that I found only a lawyer can answer. I suppose they are necessary when needed but having one is like having to get a root canal. Except you get numbed up for the root canal. There are people you just wish you will never need. A lawyer, a cop, a dentist, a doctor, an unemployment check, a funeral home director, and a private detective.

ETpro's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central, Great Question. Being self employed, and with my business (developing eCommerce Sites on the Yahoo! Store Platform) focused on small to medium sized businesses doing well, times have been very tough for me from early 2008 to just recently. I have had bills I couldn’t pay and have managed to so far negotiate through getting the time to pay them. I am slowly digging my way back up out of the hole the Republican laissez-faire, deregulate everything policies dropped me into in 2007. Yeah, I would have loved to have an attorney who could give me advice and keep some of the more aggressive creditors at bay till I had the money to pay them. If they put you out of business and on the street unable to earn a living, they lose right along with you.. But many don’t realize that. They adopt the mentality of a junkyard guard dog. That said, there’s no way I could have aforded to pay a high-priced lawyer to help me through this time. WIth lots of Internet research and working as many hours as I can stay awake, I’m clawing my way back to solvency and retiring old debt now. The work is finally out there, and I just have to book it and crank it out as fast as possible to get back in the black and putting something away for the future.

Regarding your example of a lost shipment, there is always small claims court. No lawyer is needed. Just take the documents you have that prove your case, and show them to the judge at the hearing. It’s highly unlikley that a fly-by-night company will hire an expensive attorney to represent them in small claims court on a case they will likely lose anyway, and that’s only worth a few hundred bucks to them even if they win, So you will probably get a summary judgement against them and then have to research how to collect it. But that’s a satisfying research project.

Of course, if it was a new Ferrari 458 Italia and it never was delivered, it’s well worth it to hire a very competent attorney to get you your money or your car. You can absolutely bet the seller will have a top-notch legal team there representing their right to scam innocent consumers.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Pandora I suppose they are necessary when needed but having one is like having to get a root canal. A root canal occurs because of poor dental care, and causes you pain, and suffering. An attorney can be like a match to your candle. There are times when a lawyer can be more like plaque busting toothpaste before you need a root canal.

There are people you just wish you will never need. A lawyer, a cop, a dentist, a doctor, an unemployment check, a funeral home director, and a private detective. Some of those you can’t avoid having until there is something serious. A P.I. can save you a pant load depending on the situation. If you had a lot at stake a P.I. can expose the person in your group or organization that is quite shady. An attorney can prevent you from losing as well.

Say you got a gift for Christmas. Three weeks later, it craps out. The form inside for the guarantee wants you to get a return authorization, sent it back with the receipt, in the original packing, (unfortunate you, the packing went out to the curb with the tree). Because you do not have the original receipt, or know what store and date it was purchased, etc. you get the runaround. You write a compliant to customer service, they blow you off and ignore it. A letter to their legal department with 6 or more lawyers in the masthead, I think they will take notice, and do what is right, (even if they don’t think so), to make it “go away”. Then the lawyer is like a Kevlar vest when you are dirt biking that keeps the pebbles from caving your chest in.

@ETpro Regarding your example of a lost shipment, there is always small claims court. No lawyer is needed. Just take the documents you have that prove your case, and show them to the judge at the hearing. You have to take time from your day to do all of that. If they see a letter from an attorney demanding they correct it, they might take it serious enough to settle it before it gets to court.

Pandora's avatar

The attorney on the other side can also be the match that burns your house down and everyone who lives there.
I meant that no one wants to have either a root canal or an attorney but when either is needed, you certainly will need, said professional.
. Their are plenty that rape and pillage the system for their own personal gain and for big corporations. Lawyers aren’t white knights. They are just a necessary evil. I’m sure there are some decient ones but when you need protection you want the nastiest lawyer you can find.

Jaxk's avatar

Lawyers aren’t allowed in Small Claims Court. If you file a suit there the Comapny is not allowed to use a lawyer to defend. They have to do themselves.

filmfann's avatar

No, thank God.
My experience with lawyers has never been positive.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

No, not really. The one issue I’ve got would have been a non issue if I’d not been so trusting and hasty is all.

I ordered tickets to play from an online company based on their a diagram of our local theater. The online site labeled the Grand Tier seating as zone C-D but the actual theater calls the Grand Tier B-C… zone D being the separate Balcony section. What came in the mail were tickets for the Balcony, zone D and I’m out several hundred dollars and told to pound sand with the excuse their diagram is out of date.

stemnyjones's avatar

My previous ex was a schizophrenic drug addict, and I didn’t learn any of this until after we were living together (which was mostly my fault – I was in a bad home situation and was eager to move out). Shortly after I moved in we began having relationship issues, and I lived with her for less than two months before I moved out.

I learned that she was an addict a couple of weeks into me moving in, but I was considerate about it because she said she was clean for over a year, and I myself am a recovering addict who has been clean for multiple years. However, I was aware that she had post-traumatic epilepsy and bad anxiety problems, and was prescribed Xanax because of her disorders. While I was living with her, she and her family learned that her father had stage 4 cancer. As a result, she became very depressed and her anxiety sky-rocketed, and out of concern that her daughter would begin to abuse the medication, her mother asked me to hold on to the Xanax and give her her doses a day at a time. My ex expressed that she had no problem with this, but as the weeks passed, she began calling/texting me while I was at school asking where her pills were, for this reason or that reason. Finally, about a week before I left her, I didn’t ask for the pills back – I just let her keep the bottle.

Not 10 minutes after I drove away the day I left her, she called and left me a voicemail accusing me of taking her bottle of Xanax with me and demanding that I call her back. When I left her house she had been very hostile, so I was not interested in speaking to her directly, so I texted her and told her that I hadn’t taken her meds, that I had never asked for them back after the last time she had asked where they were. She didn’t respond. However, two days later I recieved a call from the police department, demanding that I go in and speak to them. The officer threatened that if I did not go in for questioning, they would be forced to file charges against me.

Now, I know very little about the law, and since I had not taken her pills and she had been in and out of psychiatric hospitals quite often as well as had her apartment raided for drugs in the past, I didn’t think anything of leaving and heading out to the station to answer their questions. I explained the situation to my grandmother and dropped my daughter off with her before heading out. However, my mother’s partner works for a law firm, and they contacted me while I was en route and advised that I hire a lawyer so that the police didn’t try to illegally arrest me or trick me into saying anything incriminating. I was just down the street from the police station when they finally convinced me not to speak to the police without a lawyer (I was hesitant at first because I felt that my ex’s history spoke for itself and thought that requesting a lawyer would make me appear guilty, but I wasn’t going to risk getting arrested and not seeing my daughter for who knows how long). The lawyer at the firm offered to help me at a discounted fee, so I called the station and told them that I’d like to have my lawyer present when we spoke, and that he was out of town until the next week (this occurred on a Friday) and they would be receiving a call from him to schedule a day for the questioning.

Luckily I convinced my ex to drop the charges before I ever had to go talk to the police, but I’m glad that I had found a lawyer, because it essentially would have been word against word, and when she called to drop the charges, the policeman in charge of the case was very obviously on her side and disappointed that she wasn’t going any further with it.

YARNLADY's avatar

When my adult grandson was involved in a collision, we probably could have received a better settlement from our insurance company, but we have a fairly good relationship with them.

My Mother In Law has entered an independent living home, and I think a lawyer should have been involved to make sure she received all the benefits she is entitled to. We are still negotiating with the VA for her survivor payments.

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