Cut Rate Lawyering: Are Consumers Being Ripped Off?
OK, so you are standing terrified in divorce court. Your kids are at stake. Your home and finances are at stake. And a red-faced judge is screaming at your lawyer for not knowing the rules of evidence and for not submitting your financial documents on time. You want to crawl under a rock and hide.
Nightmare? Unfortunately, no. We have seen this very scenario , and countless similar others play out in the courtrooms in the Denver area recently.
Sadly, one of the fall outs from this economy is that more and more people are understandably trying to save money on legal fees,but they are getting ripped off by hiring lawyers who have no idea what the heck they are doing. And, in family law, the damage can be immense. As a result of poor lawyering, people are losing custody of their kids, waiving claims to large martial assets, and getting saddled with immense debt. Or worse, because they have been deliberately targeted by flashy claims of "flat fee" divorces, or do-it-yourself kits, which are nothing more than bundles of paperwork that are available for free online.
The reality is that, in law, like in other areas, it really is true that "you get what you pay for". Consumers need to exercise extreme caution when choosing a lawyer. Check credentials with your local bar association, Google the law firm, and carefully interview in person any lawyer you are considering. And, always ask probing questions about the claims of low fees. We see that, time and time again, fixing a cut rate lawyering job is oftentimes far more expensive and stressful, and emotionally painful than getting a competent job done the first time.
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