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Why Do I Need a Lawyer?

7/15/2015 | Commercial Litigation Blog

Gentle reader, ask yourself this : “Why do I need a lawyer?”

Many are the answers; read on….

Why do I need a lawyer?

If you are thinking that you need a lawyer because he or she can get you a LARGE CASH SETTLEMENT, you may be reading the wrong blog (or at least watching the wrong TV channels).

People need lawyers for all kinds of less exciting reasons.  Here are a few.

1.  Being a defendant.  If you are unlucky enough to get sued, you need to hire a lawyer IMMEDIATELY, because the time to respond to a complaint is generally fairly short (20 days in Pennsylvania, 35 days in New Jersey).  If you fail to respond, the case will go on without you, a judgment may be entered against you, and “bad things” may happen to your money or property.  “Bad things” include having your bank account frozen, having the Sheriff come to visit, and to take inventory of your possessions so that they can be sold, or other equally unpleasant occurrences.

2.  Divorce.  Don’t go through a divorce unlawyered.  ESPECIALLY if your soon-to-be ex-spouse has one.  This is not to suggest that all divorces are like the one in the movie “The War of the Roses”, but the best way to ensure a fair outcome is to negotiate from positions of equal strength, and that means having your own lawyer, if only to make sure that you are getting what is fair.

3.  Second (and subsequent) marriages.  Bandleader Charlie Barnet was married eleven times (though, to be fair, his eleventh marriage lasted 33 years, until his death).  Bandleader Artie Shaw (a self-described ‘very difficult man’) was married eight times, the last for 28 years.  But you don’t have to be a Barnet or a Shaw to need a lawyer if you’re getting married again, be it the second or the twenty-second time).  The rules of property as they apply to second (and subsequent) marriages are complicated, and if it is important to you to protect what you already own going into a subsequent marriage, then you need the advice of a lawyer.

4.  You’re owed money, and aren’t getting paid.  This encompasses all kinds of situations, but if you are a landlord or a lender, or a merchant or craftsman who does work in advance of receiving payment, sooner or later a tenant, borrower or customer won’t pay you.  Suing the non-paying party often results in payment, and even where it doesn’t, it may be the only option if collection letters and phone calls don’t do the trick.

If you think you might need a lawyer, please call or write me.

Bill Levant