*How do I go about choosing the right Solicitor for me?

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1 *How do I go about choosing the right Solicitor for me? Whether you have an employment case involving losing your job or having a problem at work. Whether you have been injured in an accident. Whether you are buying your first home. Whether you are buying a commercial premises. Whatever your particular problem is you need to be able to choose the right Solicitor for you. This Guide is produced to help you choose the right Solicitor for you. While it may be this firm it could just as easily be another firm. This Guide is intended as a general information Guide. It just happens to be produced by this firm. Before you choose to hire a Solicitor, you should make sure to ask him or her the following questions: How much experience do you have with my type of case? Whether you are hiring a Personal Injury Solicitor*, an Employment Law Solicitor*, a Conveyancing Solicitor, a Probate Solicitor or a Solicitor who deals with any other area of work it is important that the Solicitor has experience with your specific type of case. You should ask, and you are entitled to ask, about the specific types of cases that the Solicitor has handled in the past. You are entitled to ask what their case load is like. You want a Solicitor who is experienced and knowledgeable. You do not want a Solicitor who is too busy to handle your case with the level of attention that you deserve. A good Solicitor should be able to tell you whether they have the facilities to take on your case. You should ask as to what the communication policy is of the Solicitor. You are entitled to ask how quickly you can expect replies to your phone call or s. Equally you should check that the Solicitors availability to take a phone call or reply to an will match your requirements. If you are dealing with a Solicitor who is involved in buying and selling houses they will probably be in the office more often than a Solicitor who is involved in Court cases.

2 A Solicitor who is involved in Court cases is more likely to be available either early in the morning before Court starts or late in the afternoon when Court is finished. You also need to check as to when they will be able to see you. While most Solicitors will be able to accommodate you on reasonable notice, because of the type of work that the Solicitor does, there may be times during the day when they are not normally going to be available. If you are only available to deal with matters over the phone and wasn t to do so by phone and can only do so in the mornings and the particular Solicitor tells you that they are usually in Court in the morning then that Solicitor may not be the right Solicitor for you. You need to choose a Solicitor who is experienced and knowledgeable and who communication policy and their availability to meet with you is acceptable to you. What legal fees will I have to pay?. This is a very important question for any client of a Solicitor. It is going to be very important for you. In contentious cases such as Accidents or Personal Injury* claims or Employment Law* claims a Solicitor is not entitled to claim fees as a percentage or portion of any award or settlement. That is the law. A Solicitor in such cases can however set out the basis under which they are going to charge. This could be an hourly rate or it could be a set fee. You can also ask are there going to be any incidental costs. These would include out of pocket expenses for such matters as postage, copying documentation, Court filing fees or fees for medical reports. In non-contentious work such as probate, buying a house or apartment or doing up a legal document for you, you should discuss the fees with your Solicitor before asking that Solicitor to act for you. You are entitled to know how much it is going to cost you. There is nothing wrong and you are encouraged to ask your Solicitor how much will this cost?. You are entitled to know. You Solicitor may not be able to give an exact amount day one be he / she should be able to estimate a likely range of probable costs to you.

3 Are there time limits?. In Personal Injury* / Accident cases* and Employment law* there are strict time limits. If you are challenging a Will there is a time limit of 6 months from the date that the Grant of Probate issues. If you are buying a house or apartment the contract will provide a closing date on which you must complete and if you don t interest might be charged. You need to know about what time limits apply. In a Personal Injury* / Accident* case or an Employment Law* case you may ask how much can I recover. No Solicitor can makes promises or guarantees of recovery. He or she should be able to give you an estimate of what a claim may be worth. This will however depend on the strengths and weaknesses of your case. Until they have all the facts and sometimes not until they have all the reports will they be able to give any realistic estimate on your case. Saying this, even at the start of case your Solicitor may well be able to give you a rough estimate. This will often determine whether you wish to proceed or not. What information do I need to provide?. This question is often overlooked. Your Solicitor is there to represent you. Your Solicitor will represent you on the basis of what you tell him or her. You need to know from your Solicitor what information he or she needs from you. The sooner you can gather this information in a timely manner the better he/she will be able to help you. Should I ring around to get the best price?. Of course you can ring a number of Solicitors offices to get a quote. You are entitled to do this. However, simply ringing around is probably not going to allow you ask all the questions that you need to ask and work out whether this is a Solicitor who you want to engage to act on your behalf. It is sometimes said that there are three types of service, GOOD / CHEAP / FAST.

4 You can pick any two. GOOD Service CHEAP won t be FAST. GOOD service FAST won t be CHEAP FAST service CHEAP won t be GOOD The firm of Richard Grogan & Associates does not do FAST service CHEAP. If you are looking for a FAST and CHEAP service then you are far less likely to get an experienced and knowledgeable Solicitor. The cheapest option may or may not be the right option for you. Think about buying a pizza. When buying a pizza there is the most basic pizza in the shop right up to the deluxe top of the range pizza. Maybe the very basic pizza will suit you. Maybe the deluxe will. There is a price difference. Sometimes you may find that something in between suits your needs. Likewise the cheapest price might decide matters for you but equally the quality and expertise may be important and you may need a service more tailored to your needs. It is always your decision but take time before deciding. Meet the Solicitor or more than one and then decide. Why should I not use an Accident Claims Handler or an Employment Law Consultant?. You have to use a Solicitor regulated by the Law Society of Ireland to buy a house. Only Solicitor can draft a Will and be paid for doing so. Of course you can use a non-qualified Accident Claims Handler or somebody who holds themselves out as Employment Law Consultants or some other similar title to deal with Personal Injury / Accident claims and Employment cases. However, there is a drawback. You have no guarantee that these people are properly qualified. They are regulated by nobody. Unlike Solicitor they do not have to do continuing professional development known as CPD. Unlike having a Solicitor for you, you have no method of checking did you get a proper service. In accident cases a Claims Handler cannot appear in Court therefore they can only deal with matters up to and including the Injuries Board.

5 If the Injuries Board assessment is not sufficient the Claims Handler cannot bring your case to Court. The questions you have to ask in those circumstances is will they attempt to tell me that this is a good assessment or will they tell me to take the file to a Solicitors office?. We will let you answer that one yourself. In Employment Law cases non Solicitors at best can appear before the Labour Relations Commission, the Labour Court, the Equality Tribunal and the Employment Appeals Tribunal. What happens if matters need to go to a higher Court?. Solicitors are trained by the Law Society of Ireland. Solicitors have to pass exams proving competency in the law. Solicitors are regulated by the Law Society of Ireland. Solicitors have to do CPD in the areas in which they practice to remain up to date with the law. Only a Solicitor so qualified can bring your case to a higher Court. It is always best in all legal matters to be represented by a trained professional. The only trained and regulated professionals in this country are Solicitors and Barristers. Some people will call themselves Advocates or Advokats or similar words. Unless they use the term Solicitor they are not Solicitors. Where do I go to find a Solicitor to represent me?. Very often there will be a family Solicitor who has acted for the family in the past. If not you may know a friend or colleague who needed a similar service and they may be able to recommend a Solicitor to you. There may be a local Solicitor who you have heard about. Many Solicitors will have a website. It will set out in broad terms the type of work that they do. A good starting point is to check out Solicitors firms who are local to you. This might be close to where you work or close to your home. At times you may need a specialist Solicitor in a particular field of law. It is therefore important, if you are using the internet, to do a search which sets out in broad terms the particular area of expertise you are looking for assistance on. Sometimes if you have a Solicitor whom you have dealt with in the past there is no problem going to them and asking that they refer you to a particular specialist if they do not have the specialist knowledge. Alternatively, your Solicitor may be able to engage themselves another specialist in the particular area of law that you need help on.

6 You then have the advantage of a Solicitor with whom you have dealt with in the past and who you know and trust being able to act on your behalf to get the specialist legal advice and support that you need. Our firm acts for a number of other Solicitor firms providing employment law services to their clients but with you always dealing with them as your point of contact. Other Solicitor firms provide similar services. Other Solicitor firms may use a Barrister to present your case. The great advantage of Solicitors is Solicitors have access to other specialists. Even the smallest Solicitors practice in Ireland can access specialist advice and assistance. That is the great strength of the Solicitors profession. The Law Society of Ireland can also help you in finding a Solicitor. If I have a legal problem what is the first thing I should do?. The very first thing that you should do is speak to a Solicitor. The legal profession is here to help you. It is our business to help you. Conclusion The firm of Richard Grogan & Associates provides specialist legal services in the areas of Personal Injuries / Accidents*, Employment Law*, Probate and Taxation. We are not a full service firm. We never claim to be. We provide services only in specific areas of the law. Whether you use this firm or another firm for your legal services we strongly advise that you always use the services of a Solicitor regulated by the Law Society of Ireland for all legal services. The Law Society can help you find a Solicitor We hope you have found this Guide useful and of help to you. Disclaimer While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication it is not intended to provide legal advice. Individual situations will differ. You should discuss your individual situation with a Solicitor regulated by the Law Society of Ireland. *Please note that in contentious cases a Solicitor may not charge a fee as a proportion or percentage of any award or settlement.

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