Legal costs can be prohibitive. But: you can afford an attorney. Let me explain how this is possible.
A client can have some control over the legal fees, in any of the following ways:
- Book a once off consultation:
Make an appointment to consult an attorney without strings attached. In other words, just pay the consultation fee and ask the attorney to explain the law to you, explain your options to you and ask specifically in which manner can costs be kept low with each of the options. Then go away and think of your wallet and consider what is best for you.
- Be informed:
Ask and ask again until you understand how the process works and how the system works.
You can decide whether you want to run through the whole process or try alternative dispute resolutions such as mediation, collaborative law, arbitration or negotiation.
You can then give your attorney clear instructions and you don’t just get dragged along willy-nilly, feeling helpless.
- A whole flock?
If you ask the right questions you will also discover that it is not always necessary to have an advocate, a senior attorney, a junior attorney and a candidate attorney all working on your case.
Very often a candidate attorney can do the number crunching on her/his own and a junior attorney can analyze the documents in your case. All attorneys can appear in most courts so an advocate is not a necessity. Attorneys who have the necessary qualifications can even appear in the High Court. You will save yourself a packet on advocate fees! (Please note: we love advocates, but use them wisely).
- Keep it short!
Attorneys and advocates charge for their time. This means that if you like to have a long chat over the phone or ask the same questions over and over in a consultation, the clock is ticking and the account is rising.
On the one hand your attorney must have all the facts and the full picture, but on the other hand, some documents are not entirely relevant. If your documents are neat and orderly and if you have written a history of the matter, it will save hours of your attorney’s time.
If you prepare your questions before you call, the telephone call can be much shorter.
Most attorneys are quite amenable to allow you to pay a monthly amount according to your budget. Don’t be shy to take the attorney into your confidence and discuss this.
Neilsons Attorneys are always conscious that times are tough and we are aware that our clients would rather spend their money on their children’s education than on legal fees. We are always happy to help our clients do just that!
For assistance, contact us at 021 557 8552/9 or via our website www.www.neilsons.co.za.