Hot answers tagged

77

Technically anyone can sit on a jury. Lawyers are not automatically excluded from juries anymore, as being called for jury duty is a right and a duty that the law abhors automatically excluding people from. That is the official line on this. However, in reality, lawyers will always be stricken from serving by one of the lawyers trying the case. Each lawyer ...


47

Another possible answer: The legal profession is a cartel, protected by laws. "Unlicensed/Unauthorized Practice of Law" is a big enough issue that its acronym (UPL) is well known among people who discuss law. Non-lawyers may decline to provide legal advice because they don't want to be charged with UPL. Likewise, as a matter of policy (at least in the U.S....


37

In most jurisdictions, practicing law without a bar license is a serious offence, which, inter alia, is the primary reason why a non-lawyer would use this disclaimer. Lawyers also use this disclaimer to avoid any 'constructive implication' of attorney-client relationship.


27

This is not legal advice. If I say "this is not legal advice", and you rely on what I say, and try to sue me if everything goes pear shaped, then a judge will laugh you out of court. If I don't say "this is not legal advice", there is a 99% chance that the judge will laugh you out of court. I'll cover the one percent.


14

I'm a high school student. I've written around 43 answers so far, but there's a couple reasons I wouldn't want to answer the question... The situation is too specific There's too many details to consider, and lots of precedence that may change my thought Different jurisdictions Canadian law (which I know lots about), can be very different from Dutch, or ...


13

There's a few reasons, and I'm not sure that they've been covered thoroughly. Also, note that this relates to common law and an understanding of Western societies, rather than civil law systems. We live in an incredibly litigious society Making it clear that you should ask a lawyer, in the minds of those saying it, dispels the notion that you might infer a ...


10

Let me turn this around, how would you find a doctor, plumber or hairdresser? There is nothing special about lawyers! Things you should consider when hiring a lawyer are the same as for any other profession or trade: The service you need them to perform Location Value Ability/Expertise References/Referrals As a simple procedure: Define your search. ...


10

Based solely on what you've described, what the lawyer did is inappropriate if, in fact, it occurred without any prior permissions. However, since you are not the actual client, it may be that you lack pertinent info, because this would be exceedingly rare behavior. Lawyers are allowed to make procedural and "expert"/professional decisions about your case ...


10

The law is way more complicated than the layman fully comprehends. You didn't specify which country, but in the U.S. the legal system is full of precedents: previous case decisions from which a lawyer can argue your case or against your case. A non-lawyer will not know all the loopholes that may be important to your case, and they may not understand the ...


10

I'll answer out of order for a more logical presentation. Why would lawyers "leave the practice altogether", "[b]efore these lawyers lower their prices further they will"? Only about 30% of people earn a four year college degree. A lawyer is a college graduate who had to be in roughly the top 50% of his or her undergraduate class to be admitted to law ...


9

Lawyers have two primary ethical duties: to the client, and to the legal system. I'm not going to tell you whether your lawyer was right in your case, because I don't know the specifics of your case. However, there are some decisions that are the lawyer's to make, even if the client disagrees. The allocation of responsibility, in most jurisdictions, is ...


9

A Lawyer In A Court Case Needs Court Permission To Withdraw Once a lawyer is representing a client in court, the lawyer can cease to represent the client, either by "withdrawing" or in a "substitution of counsel" (which is far less regulated), but a lawyer can only withdraw and leave the client unrepresented if the lawyer obtains the permission of the court ...


9

According to Florida law 454.23: Any person not licensed or otherwise authorized to practice law in this state who practices law in this state or holds himself or herself out to the public as qualified to practice law in this state, or who willfully pretends to be, or willfully takes or uses any name, title, addition, or description implying that he or ...


8

The short answer to your question is: yes, but you shouldn't if you can possibly avoid it. You didn't specify which jurisdiction's law you were curious about, so in some jurisdictions (especially civil law jurisdictions, such as continental Europe), the the answer may be different. But under the law as it exists in most U.S. jurisdictions, a natural person ...


8

The UK does have free lawyers for those who cannot afford an attorney. In fact, it is even more liberal than the US, including representation in civil cases for the most part as well (there are a few exceptions, like libel, and from what I've read, even that is changing). Rather than the main source of free representation being called public defenders, ...


8

To add to jimsung's detailed response, some U.S. state ethics panels have issued opinions regarding the usage of the title "doctor." Over the last couple decades, formal positions suggesting that JDs ought not to use the title (including the ABA's own position) have begun to erode as the various states have relaxed the strictures (albeit with cautionary ...


8

If you're talking with a friend, a disclaimer like this should not be necessary, as they know you're not a lawyer, and you're just expressing lay opinion, personal anecdotes, etc. But if you're in a context where the audience doesn't know who you are, there's a possibility that they might assume you're qualified to dispense legal advice. For instance, this ...


7

The answer isn't really legal (though some jurisdictions regulate the use of such titles through statute), but academic. It depends on specific countries. Italy, for instance, allows all graduates, including undergraduates, to use the title doctor. However, in general the title doctor is reserved for those in medical professions, upon graduation, or holders ...


7

The biggest factor I have found is to find a lawyer who regularly and routinely practices in the narrowest area of the law that is important to you and your case. Specialization is important because the law is so complex and you don't want to be the "training ground" for a new lawyer in your case climbing the "learning curve" in the area for which you need ...


7

Most advice that a lawyer gives is subjective; facts are objective but opinions are always subjective. What a lawyer does when they advise a client is typically called a "legal opinion". The reason it is subjective is that, as Dale M said, there are numerous variants that go into an opinion, and reasonably trained professionals (attorneys) can disagree as to ...


7

Your assumptions are incorrect. Courts allow oral arguments (when they do allow them) so that attorneys have a chance to better address a judge's concerns. The idea is that it lets an attorney not only present the core of his case, but it also lets him address any problems with his reasoning that the judge may have or help the judge explore a complicated ...


7

Comments here and here suggest that "irreconcilable differences" can be used to explain "withdrawal when the client fails to compensate the attorney", but it can mean many other things. The point of the phrase is to not divulge the reason. Amidst the various scenarios discussed under Rule 1.16(b), subsections (3) and (4) permit withdrawal when the client ...


7

Dale M is correct. Lawyers get calls all day long from people who want free advice and have no intention of entering into a paid representation. That is what your letter sounds like. I write separately just to add that you may have better results if you make explicit that you are aware of their rates and prepared to pay them. Even then, though, it may be ...


6

In the US, the terminal degree in law equivalent to an academic doctorate (i.e. a Ph.D.) is not the J.D., or the L.L.M. It's the S.J.D. Here's Harvard's program. Here's UCLA's. Hardly anyone gets them anymore. Here's a Georgetown Law Weekly blurb. Lawyers may jokingly call each other "doctor." I do that sometimes when I run into someone from my law school ...


6

Lawyers run businesses. Like most businesspeople they prioritise their clients on their profitability. On the face of it, your letter probably has you classified as a tire kicker.


6

What do I do? Promptly hire a new lawyer. Dispute claims for fees to the extent that they were not earned or that no value was conferred.


5

There should be no more lawyers in an event such as that described by the OP. The Legal Profession, by its own constitution, exists to ensure that everybody can access our adversarial justice system through a diligent and competent advocate. For example, among the responsibilities stipulated by the American Bar Association: [A]ll lawyers should devote ...


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