Guide to Finding Sacramento Attorneys

Guide to Finding Sacramento Attorneys

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Guide to Finding Sacramento Attorneys
Sacramento attorneys will be able to assist you on a wide variety of legal issues and will be knowledgeable on local and state laws that affect your case.  You should always consider local legal representation for any issue, even federal issues, such as bankruptcy.  Sacramento attorneys will be high quality professionals, by the nature of the mandatory membership bar association and exceptionally tough bar exam to be able to practice law in California.
What qualifies an experienced Sacramento attorney?
The California Bar examination is one of the toughest in the country as it combines the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) with a specialized test on California laws.  This is due to the fact that the California legal code is unique, confusing to some, and evolved since the founding of the state.  It may take the Sacramento attorney several attempts to pass the Bar Exam but this reflects more on the difficulty of the test rather than the ability of the lawyer.  Once a Sacramento attorney passes the examination, they will become a member of the Cal Bar with all the privileges and responsibilities associated with membership.
What is the State Bar of California and how does it relate to Sacramento attorneys?
The State Bar of California is a mandatory membership organization for all lawyers in California.  Not only is it mandatory, but unlike other states, it is written directly into the California constitution in Article 6, Section 9.  The CalBar is directly accountable to the State Supreme Court and acts on its behalf in terms of admitting, disciplining and licensing all lawyers in California.  The disciplinary body may take actions ranging from disbarment to legal education courses.  Disbarment for egregious breaches of professional conduct will often be permanent.  This will give you some peace of mind when finding a Sacramento attorney, as he or she must be bound by the rules and regulations set by the state.
The State Bar of California can help you verify a Sacramento attorney if you have doubts about their credentials.  It is important to verify your lawyer, even if mechanisms are in place to prevent them from representing clients in a court room.  Illegitimate lawyers and others may still attempt to provide legal services under the guise of a legitimate law practice, although the services, such as contract preparation, may be shoddy or downright illegal.
What are other organizations of Sacramento attorneys?
The Sacramento Country Bar Association is a voluntary membership organization that provides Continuing Legal Education courses and professional networking for Sacramento attorneys.  The SCBA also provides indigent defense as supplement to the services provided by the office of the public defender.  Additional services include providing credit card processing for small lawyer practices and advertising in classified sections.  The Sacramento attorney is the publication of the SCBA and is accessible online with a membership.  Like the CalBar, the SCBA offers attorney fee dispute resolution to help lawyers and their clients with fee arrangements.
The SCBA offers a lawyer referral service that offers to connect clients to a Sacramento attorney for a 30 minute consultation.  The fee to use this service is $50 and covers the cost of the consultation.  This fee is waived for personal injury cases.  You may contact the LRS by phone or email.  The service will advise you on which type of lawyer you will need and if you need a lawyer, but will not dispense legal advice.  The service does not operate on Sunday, Tuesday or Thursday.  You may receive up to three referrals, delivered subsequently.  This service is certified by both the State Bar of California and the American Bar Association.
The SCBA sponsors a pro bono organization, the Voluntary Legal Services Program of Northern California that provides pro bono services to those that cannot afford a lawyer under normal circumstances.
How do I know my Sacramento attorney is legitimate?
You should be able to examine the lawyer’s credentials, including degree and proof of Bar Association membership.  If the lawyer does not produce these things, then this is likely not an individual that should be dispensing legal advice.  Ensure that a lawyer is legitimate before accepting any legal services.
Advertising is a poor indicator of a lawyer’s quality and should never be used when making a decision on proper legal representation.  Find a lawyer that communicates well with you, is objective and has a track record of honesty when working with clients.
What are the typical rates of a Sacramento attorney?
Various fees are accrued when consulting and retaining a lawyer.  It is important to be aware of these fees.  Hourly rates are rare in accident litigation, but still possible.  You should be able to get all fees in writing from a reputable attorney.
A contingency fee is a percentage of the award that the Sacramento attorney is entitled to claim if they win the case.  Nearly all accident lawyers accept cases on this basis and the fee can range from 33-40% of the award.  This fee is sometimes (but not always) lower when the case is settled out of court, as it saves the lawyer’s time.  These fees are generally non-negotiable unless regulated by law or accompanying a case with the possibility of a substantial award.  The current regulation, although likely to be regularly adjusted, is as follows:
- Not exceeding 40% of first $50,000
- 33.3% of next $50,000
- 25% of next $500,000
- 15% of damages exceeding $600,000.
A retainer fee is a non-refundable advance payment by the client that covers the cost of services provided by the lawyer.  This is held in a trust account and is refilled at the discretion of the lawyer.  The use of a retainer can cause the costs of the case to skyrocket so ensure that you and your lawyer discuss this arrangement at length.
What are questions to ask Sacramento attorneys?
How does my case relate to California laws?
Are local laws in effect for this case?
What are your fees and do you have alternate payment plans?
Can I please have all fees in writing?
Can we work out an alternate arrangement that suits my economic needs?
What are my chances of winning a settlement or at trial?
Do you have inclusive service packages available?

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