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Palo Alto Attorneys: A Brief Overview
Palo Alto, California is located 35 miles south of San Francisco and 14 miles north of San Jose. Palo Alto is a city of approximately 65,000 residents. The city was incorporated in 1894 and formally chartered in 1909.
The city, because of its unique government and population, implements unique provisions that adhere to California’s broader state laws. Because of the city’s unique legal structure, residents of the city, or those visiting, who face legal quandaries should consult with a Palo Alto Attorney.
A Palo Alto attorney is a legal representative who practices law in the city; these professionals are well-versed in the city and state laws that govern Palo Alto. Therefore, if you are a resident of Palo Alto or are facing a legal predicament revolving around the city’s laws, you should contact a Palo Alto attorney for legal aid. Due to the extensiveness associated with the term, a Palo Alto attorney may specialize in any scope of law dealing with California or Palo Alto laws. Although broad, these professionals display a distinct knowledge; all Palo Alto attorneys are experienced the city’s statutes and laws. The experience with local law ensures the delivery of effective legal aid to Palo Alto residents and those who face a legal problem within the city’s jurisdictional boundaries.
Palo Alto attorneys come in a variety of forms; the city boasts legal professionals in seemingly every field of law. This expansiveness is due to the city’s prominent industries and geographical location.
To be deemed a Palo Alto attorney, an individual must attain a post-graduate degree from an accredited law school and then pass the California bar examination. Individuals may not practice law in the state without first passing the bar examination.
Do I Need a Palo Alto Attorney?
Because of the breadth associated with the term, Palo Alto attorneys litigate over legal matters involving city courts or California Law. This extensiveness yields blurred liens with regards to specialty—a Palo Alto attorney may practice any type of law so long as it falls in line with the state or city’s jurisdictional boundaries.
If you are facing a legal problem in the state of California or city of Palo Alto you must identify the laws surrounding your case. Isolating the legal matter will filter your search for Palo Alto attorneys. Moreover, the inclusion of a specialist—A Palo Alto Attorney who specializes in the matters of your case--in your defense or prosecution will bolster efficacy in your legal fight. For example, if you are filing for divorce in the city and need representation, you must hire a Palo Alto divorce attorney.
The Search for a Palo Alto Attorney:
After deciding you need to hire a Palo Alto attorney, you must utilize the following resources: Internet search engines, peer review services, rating guides, forums, referrals and the California bar association website.
Using the aforementioned resources, follow these steps to bolster your search for a Palo Alto Attorney:
1. You should first conduct an Internet Search. Using Google or other popular search engines, simply type the area of law in question + “Palo Alto attorney.” The search results will provide you with a list of specialized Palo Alto attorneys.
2. When viewing the results, you should record the website and name of each firm that may meet your specific needs. After compiling a list of prospective Palo Alto attorneys, you should cross-reference each firm by viewing client testimonials and biographical information associated with the firm’s employees. This information will illuminate the prospective Palo Alto attorney’s effectiveness and course of action. Testimonials are offered by the attorney’s previous clients; they are firsthand accounts reflect the lawyer’s business. To observe this information, search the legal professional’s name and “reviews” or “testimonials” in Google or other popular search engines.
3. Visit each Palo Alto attorney’s website to view biographical information. The professional’s employer (his/her firm) will provide these profiles, which will offer basic information, including the aid’s case history, accomplishments, experience and education.
Evaluating Palo Alto Attorneys:
After narrowing your list of prospective Palo Alto Attorneys, contact each individual to discuss your legal situation. If you connect with the lawyer or if he/she believes your case has legs, the professional will most likely schedule a consultation or preliminary meeting with you.
It is important to note: Civil Palo Alto attorneys will offer free consultations, while other legal aids in the city will charge a fee for the preliminary meeting. Consultations preview the Palo Alto attorney’s legal strategy. Moreover, they provide a glimpse of the professional’s personality and effectiveness. During these meetings, you should observe the following:
1. Does the Palo Alto attorney listen well?
2. Does the Palo Alto attorney seem honest?
3. Does he/she care about my legal situation?
4. Does the Palo Alto attorney explain the particulars of your case, including the laws and penalties?
5. Does the Palo Alto attorney instill confidence that your legal situation will be presided over in an efficient matter?
6. Is the Palo Alto’s staff/firm professional and courteous?
7. Are you able to freely communicate with the Palo Alto attorney?
8. Is the Palo Alto attorney affable?
9. Can you express your thoughts, including your opinions, worries and feelings concerning your case without feeling judged or uncomfortable?
Aside from evaluating these traits, you should take note of the Palo Attorney’s experience and educational background.
Experience, when evaluating Palo Alto Attorney’s, provides a prescient glimpse concerning the individual’s effectiveness. Experience denotes an understanding regarding the laws of your case. Educational background, although important, does not necessarily imply effective legal aid. That being said, a resume of scholastic achievements denotes an assiduous work ethic.
Fees Associated with Palo Alto Attorney?
A Palo Alto attorney’s fees will vary based on his/her specialty, the complexity of the case, his/her experience and the type of legal matter presided over. That being said, Palo Alto attorneys will employ one of the following payment schedules:
Contingency Payment Schedules: Under this platform, a Palo Alto attorney will charge a percentage fee of a civil settlement, only if one is secured. If a settlement is not attained (if the case is lost) the Palo Alto attorney will not be paid.—in this situation, court fees are still required to be satisfied.
If a settlement is secured, Palo Alto attorneys will typically charge between 33%-50% of the settlement. Contingency fees are common in civil matters, such as personal injury suits and property damage cases. Palo Alto attorneys are prohibited from forming contingency agreements in criminal cases and child custody matters. Flat Fee Payment Schedules: Under this model, Palo Alto attorneys will charge a lump-sum fee. Flat fees are common with straightforward cases.
Hourly Payment Schedules: This is the most common fee arrangement. Palo Alto attorneys will charge hourly for services rendered.
Retainer Payment Schedules: Under this arrangement, Palo Alto attorneys charge a flat fee that is to be paid prior to the delivery of legal services. The retainer serves as a down payment; it is placed in a separate account where the cost of legal aid is subtracted as such charges accrue.