We spend a fair amount of time trying to figure out how we can get in touch with our potential clients, and how we can make it more likely that the people who need our help can find us. One thing we’ve noticed a lot is for people who don’t deal regularly with attorneys it can be difficult to figure out what type of lawyer you’re looking for.
Sometimes we get a call from a person who’s looking for a real estate attorney, but what they really need is someone who practices in landlord-tenant. I’m going to outline a few different types of attorneys, and the types of problems you might look for them to solve. We handle cases in almost every area of the law. We generally refer personal injury, family, and criminal cases to colleagues who focus their practice in those areas. If you have a need for any of the attorneys listed below, you should call us; if we don’t handle it, I’m sure I know an attorney who does.
Personal Injury Attorney
These are the lawyers with billboards and TV advertisements all over the Tampa area. So you know they’re who you’re looking for if you have a car crash, fall down and hurt yourself on someone else’s property, or get hurt when it’s someone else’s fault. Even these lawyers focus on certain areas- car crashes, medical malpractice, slip and fall, etc. These types of matters are often ideal for a contingency fee if you are a plaintiff. Elder abuse may also be something these attorneys handle.
Family Law Attorney
If you’re getting a divorce, these are the lawyers to call. Although the Florida Supreme Court has created forms for people to use in family law, it is always recommended to have an attorney handle your case. Family law attorneys also do adoptions, establishing or terminating parental rights. If you’re planning to get married, they can help you with a prenuptial agreement.
Estate Planning Attorney
Estate planning attorneys, like us at Richert Quarles P.A., can help you with protecting your family and your assets when you pass away. We can really help the most if you come to us before someone dies. Estate planning attorneys draft durable powers of attorney, health care surrogacy documents, living wills, and trusts. We can also make sure someone doesn’t try to get custody of your minor child when you die to try to get access to your assets, like Count Olaf. We can also help you make a legacy gift to a school or charity if you’d prefer.
Probate attorneys handle the legal process required to transfer assets after someone has passed away. We can help determine if probate is needed, how much it will cost, and explain how it will proceed. This is an administrative process, so there’s not usually a lot of flexibility, either there are assets that require probate or there are not. A Florida probate attorney can help you determine whether or not you need probate after you’ve lost a loved one.
Trial or Litigation Attorney
These are the lawyers in the TV shows. No one wants to watch me comb through assets and design an estate plan, they want surprise witnesses and jury intrigue. Ok, so it may not be that exciting, but these are the people who live and breath litigation. If your case needs to be tried, they may be who you want to talk to. They may not work on contingency fees as often as personal injury attorneys. Usually they like big messy cases that aren’t likely to be settled, but I’ve hammered out a deal or two with them at the small claims pretrial conference.
Real Estate Attorney
If you’re buying or selling commercial property, you probably want a real estate attorney involved. If you’ve had your home built, and are noticing some defects, it’d be wise to get in touch with a real estate attorney. If you own property with another person and they’ve kicked you out and don’t want to pay you for occupying the whole property, you may need a real estate attorney to help you either divide the property or sell it and divide the proceeds. Land development, issues with title or land use, and eminent domain (where the government is trying to take your land) are also issues a real estate attorney can help with. Landlord tenant may or may not be something this particular lawyer handles, and even so they may only handle commercial or residential evictions or defending those evictions.
Criminal Law Attorney
Everyone knows what criminal lawyers do. Well, maybe not. If you have been charged with a crime, or think you are going to be charged with a crime, these are the attorneys you need to call. In some cases, if you think you’re going to be charged with a crime, an attorney can help you arrange turning yourself in once charges are filed, and possibly negotiate a favorable bond. Getting an attorney involved as soon as possible is the key. If you don’t know a criminal law attorney, you need to find one, and memorize his name and phone number- you never know when you might be accused of a crime- maybe you fit the description of someone else they’re looking for. Sometimes these attorneys will also handle ordinance violations.
Administrative Law Attorney
A Florida administrative law attorney can help in numerous ways. The most common way we help with administrative matters is by defending professional licenses. Many occupations require a professional license, including selling insurance, practicing medicine, or practicing massage. There are many other professional licenses in Florida as well. We can help if the agency is dragging their feet on approving your application, stated that they intend to deny your application, or they have given you notice that they intend to suspend or revoke your Florida professional license.
If none of the descriptions above help narrow your search, you should call your local bar lawyer referral service. We’re members of the Clearwater Bar Lawyer Referral Service, and the Hillsborough Bar Lawyer Referral Service. If you don’t live in an area that has a local bar lawyer referral service, you can get in touch with the Florida Bar Lawyer Referral Service.