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Month: June 2015

What are “mediation” and “arbitration?”

Mediation is an informal and confidential way for people to resolve disputes with the help of a neutral third party – a “mediator” – who is trained to help people discuss their differences. The mediator (who often is an attorney or a retired judge) has no power to decide or rule on the dispute.  Instead, the mediator’s goal is to help the parties themselves find the common ground necessary to reach a settlement.  Most civil actions filed in the Superior Court Division of state court or in federa...
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Attorneys’ fees, court costs, and other expenses – how much will this cost?

We offer clients a variety of fee arrangements that vary based upon the nature and complexity of the particular matter that we are asked to handle.  Certain types of matters, such as the preparation of estate plans and minor traffic law infractions, are typically handled on a fixed fee basis.  Other kinds of cases, including most civil litigation matters, normally are undertaken based on an hourly fee.  Still other kinds of cases – including but not limited to personal injury matters – may be ha...
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How long will my case take?

Law Books
There is no “one size fits all” answer to this question.  With respect to matters pending in court, the length of time before any case is resolved (whether at trial, by settlement, or otherwise) will depend on a variety of factors, including: The particular court in which the case is pending.  The Small Claims Division of state court, which handles summary ejectment (i.e., eviction) and other civil disputes in which the amount at stake is $5,000 or less, is designed to resolve cases within ...
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Do I really need to hire an attorney?

Estate Planning
Clarence Darrow is widely regarded as one of the most capable and accomplished trial lawyers in our nation’s history.  When he was charged with a crime in California, one of the first things Darrow did was hire a lawyer.  He understood the adage that “a man who represents himself in court has a fool for a client.”  Darrow was acquitted.  While there are exceptions to every rule, most people are likely to find themselves at a disadvantage when they attempt to navigate legal situations without the...
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