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5 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Dispute Resolution Lawyer

5 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Dispute Resolution Lawyer

It is imperative you ask some questions before you hire a lawyer! This ensures you are aware of what your options are, your chances of success, what your costs will be and the expected length of time the dispute resolution will take!

14th February 2018
Reading Time: 3 minutes

It is imperative you ask some questions before you hire a lawyer! This ensures you are aware of what your options are, your chances of success, what your costs will be and the expected length of time the dispute resolution will take! Seem confused? LawPath can put you in touch with a lawyer who can help you.

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5 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Dispute Resolution Lawyer

1. What is your experience in dispute resolution?

Do you ever use out of court processes or do you usually settle in court? What are your qualifications and recent legal experiences? Have you handled this type of case before? This is an important first question when hiring a new lawyer. Follow up questions ensure you are hiring a lawyer that has handled dispute cases before and is best suited to what you require.

2. What options do I have?

It is very important that your lawyer clearly communicates the options and choice of action available to you. This ensures you have a thorough understanding of your case. You may want to know whether the dispute can be settled out of court through alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation or if it needs to go directly to the courtroom. I.e you may want to avoid media attention and would prefer to settle out of court quickly. Being upfront and asking these questions ensures you understand your situation and also allows the lawyer to know exactly what you want as a client.

3. What course of action would you recommend?

How strong is my case? What is the possibility of a successful outcome or the risk of failure in this case? Are there any particular ADR methods you recommend? Being upfront with these probative questions allows you to comprehend the strengths and weaknesses of your case. This also ensures you have realistic expectations with the likely outcome and you do not waste time or money pursuing a case even your lawyer believes has no chance! Whilst a lawyer is employed to consider your decisions, it is often smart to find out their opinion on the course of action to take. You want to be confident in their work, as they will be the ones representing you!

4. What is the likely duration of this issue?

This is where you need to be certain on how much time you are willing to sacrifice. Commencing legal proceedings is very timely and ADR lawyers may be more appropriate to make sure disputes are resolved quickly. However, you may exhaust all out of court processes and are forced to pursue courtroom proceedings. It is important to have a gauge of how long it is expected to take. Complex court proceedings can often be stalled or delayed and it is better you know the likelihood of this before you begin.

5. What are the costs and how will I be billed?

Finally – it is important you find out exactly how you will be billed. Some firms or individual lawyers bill by the hour or they adopt a no-win-no-pay policy. Alternatively, a good lawyer should be able to give you an estimate of what their time will cost. You should also discuss what your costs will be if you do lose. These are important considerations when thinking about the type of dispute resolution proceedings you engage in. I.e litigation is time-consuming and expensive so you may want to avoid the courtroom. It may also be worth considering a costs agreement to ensure these details are disclosed in writing before any action is taken.

These 5 questions ensure you will be confident hiring a dispute resolution lawyer! LawPath can put you in touch with one of our lawyers from our extensive Lawyer Directory.

Still seem unclear on what it is you need? Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800 529 728 to learn more about customising legal documents, obtaining a fixed-fee quote from Australia’s largest legal marketplace or to get answers to your legal questions.

Author
Bronte Callaghan

Bronte is currently a Legal Intern for Lawpath, working in their content team to help provide free legal guides to facilitate public access to legal resources. She is in her final year of a Bachelor of Laws and Commerce degree at Macquarie University.