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Ask A Lawyer in
93023, 93024
Finding A Highly Skilled Lawyer Irrespective of what your legal needs are you will find that there are countless lawyers in the area that advertise that they specialize in your sort of case. This may make the whole process of finding one with a great deal of experience somewhat of a challenge. However, if you follow the tips below it will be easy to define your search on the right one in very little time. The initial step is to make a set of the lawyers that happen to be listed in your area focusing on your circumstances. When you are making this list you must only include those that you have an excellent vibe about depending on their advertisement. Then you can narrow this list down through taking some time evaluating their website. There you will be able to find just how many years they are practicing plus some general information about their success rates. At this moment your list must have shrunken further to those that you just felt had professional websites as well as an appropriate level of experience. You ought to then take the time to look up independent reviews for each attorney. Make sure you see the reviews rather than depending on their overall rating. The data in the reviews will give you a solid idea of the way they communicate with their customers and the length of time they invest into each case that they are taking care of. Finally, you will need to meet up with a minimum of the final three lawyers that have the credentials you are looking for. This will give you the time to really evaluate how interested they can be in representing you and your case. It really is vital that you follow all of these steps to actually find someone which has the best degree of experience to help you the perfect outcome.

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Applying For Legal Aid In Nc?
My Fiance Wants To File For Custody Of His Daughter, He'S Willing To Go 50/50 With His Ex. He Works Full Time And Has A Steady Income But Due To All The Bills And My Ex Pays No Child Support At All For My Kids, My Fiance Foots The Bill On Everything. If He Were To Apply For Legal Aid Here In Nc To Help Get Custody What Would Be His Income Limit He Could Make To Apply? (He Pays $400 Monthly To Ex For C/S)

Legal aid will not help in a family law situation. He can do it himself or pay a paralegal typing service to prepare the paperwork.

May A Criminal Defense Attorney Ethically Do The Following?
1. Vigorously Challenge The Reliability Or Credibility Of A Rape Victim On Cross-Examination When The Defense Attorney Knows That The Woman Has Testified Truthfully. 2. Put His Or Her Client To The Stand Knowing That The Client Intends To Lie. 3. Advise A Client Regarding Potential Defenses To A Crime Before Finding Out The Facts Of The Case Even Though This May Lead The Client To Lie About The Facts So As To Take Advantage Of One Of The Described Defenses (E.G., The Jimmy Stewart Scenario From Anatomy Of A Murder).

I will try to address each aspect of your three questions to the best of my knowledge. For reference, I grew up with an attorney who practiced criminal defense. I will try to explain the rational for each of my answers.

"1. Vigorously challenge the reliability or credibility of a rape victim on cross-examination when the defense attorney knows that the woman has testified truthfully." Ethical or not ethical?

Ethical. Any good defense attorney (in my books, at least), WILL NOT know for sure if the woman is testifying truthfully. There are so many aspects which effect the truth of a statement - whether or not the person is fabricating a story (lying), whether or not the person is not telling the entire story (deception by omission), and the inherent flaws of eye witness testimony.

The fact is, the defendant has the RIGHT to be defended. Furthermore, the issue as to whether or not the witness is lying is not the determination of the attorney, but of the judge and/or jury. And the judge and/or jury has the right to know about the credibility and reliability of any witness - whether or not they are currently "telling the truth". Not to bring up points of creditability and reliability would be unethical, because the jury has the right to know the facts surrounding a situation, not just the facts of the situation itself.

"2. Put his or her client to the stand knowing that the client intends to lie." Ethical or not ethical?

Prima facie, this is not only unethical, but possibly illegal. It could be illegal because the attorney would know that a crime is occurring, and thus not be reporting it.

However, many defense attorneys avoid this issue very skillfully. It goes back to how anyone actually KNOWS the person is lying. Whether or not a person is lying comes down, in some degree, to a subjective examination of the person and their statements. Often times an attorney might not even ASK their client what happened, so that the attorney does not "know" if their client will later lie about it on the stand. As to whether or not that is ethical, it most likely is - by attorney standards, though perhaps not by normal society standards. However, most attorneys won't put their client on the stand if they know their client intends to lie.

Finally, the biggest grey area here for me is the idea that an attorney does not always have control of their client. A client may DEMAND to take the stand with the intention of lying. An attorney may know that, but not have much they can do about it. The fact is, a defendant has the right to take the stand in their own defense. The do not, however, have the right to lie. The shade of grey here falls into the attorney-client privilege - the attorney may "know" the defendant is lying, but to release such information to the police could be violating the attorney-client privilege. The alternative to this, however, is to step aside as the person attorney, which effectively limits the attorney's responsibility for the actions of their client. Some judges, however, won't allow that to happen well into a case. So, there is definitely a shade of grey on that question.

"3. Advise a client regarding potential defenses to a crime before finding out the facts of the case even though this may lead the client to lie about the facts so as to take advantage of one of the described defenses." Ethical or not ethical?

Ethical. The attorney has not control over whether or not a client lies about things. In fact, an attorney might advise a client like this in order to avoid the legal/ethical dilemma I just described above. If the client knows the potential defenses to a crime, chances are they will start lying then - to their own attorney. It prevents the attorney from "knowing" the person lies later on. In addition, a client has the right to know the types of defenses available to them regardless of their involvement in a crime. It is an attorneys job to provide such information.

Furthermore (some people are unaware of this fact), an defendant does not have to provide a defense for a crime. They are innocent until proven guilty - if they were forced to provide a defense, it would be because they were presumed guilty, which is not how the justice system is designed. Of course, we could get in a discussion as to whether or not the innocent until proven guilty concept is actually in practice in the courts of today, but it's not important to this concept. The fact is, it IS law, and as such, exists - even if it isn't always practiced. States must prove the case against the defendant, not the defendant proving their defense against the state. All that said, however, most defendants want their attorneys to mount a defense against the State's case, so that is what they do (and it is usually the best thing to do, all theories of criminal justice aside).

I could go on and on about the legal concepts which govern the ethics of these examples. But I won't. I think the answers I gave will help you understand at least to some extent the ethics involved in defense work. It is worth mentioning, however, just like the problems with the justice system, there are problems with attorneys. Like people, some are simply not ethical. I do not project this on the entire profession of attorneys, however. I believe that, like most people, most attorneys are ethical. That said, they have a deeper understanding of the law, and deriver their ethics from the law, not just society's standards. Because of that, attorneys are often seen as unethical - their ethical standards do not match that of society. One must understand, however, that their ethics are derived from their legal obligations under the law, and will reflect those obligations, not society’s expectations.

-Saffyre

Where Can I Get Low Cost Legal Aid For Child Custody Cases?
I'M In California And I Want To Change The Custody Order. We Currently Have A 50/50 With My Ex, And He Won'T Allow Me To Move 45 Minutes Away To Another County With My Child. It States In The Custody Order That I Can Move, As Long As He Is Notified, But He Is Giving Me A Hard Time About It. The Child Is Also Fearful To Be Near Him, And Has Expressed That His Father Has Locked Him In The Dark. This Is Unacceptable Punishment To Me, And I'D Like An Agreement That Is 75/25, With The Father Taking Parenting Classes.

Google free legal advice to find someone in your area. At least they can help you find a starting place to getting low cost help.
I went through something similar in Australia, and received free legal aid provided by the government to low income earners.

Good luck with your case. Family Law = ongoing trauma!

New York State Divorce Laws?
My Wife Has Filed Papers For Divorce I Really Can'T Afford An Attorney. I Lost My Job. What Are My Options

If she is filing a no fault divorce (a divorce that usually means irreconcilable differences) NY state requires you to be legally separated for 1 year BEFORE you can even file for divorce. Once the year is up you can file.
If its an uncontested divorce, meaning you two agree on the terms of the divorce, a lawyer is not required. If you two cannot agree on the terms, then its considered contested and will require a lawyer.

What Law Field Has A Great Need For Attorneys?
With All The Aba Accredited Law Schools Pushing Out Thousands And Thousands Of Attorneys Per Year, Job Prospects Are Becoming Highly Competitive. I Will Be Attending Law School This Fall And Will Now Like To Explore Unique Avenues. I Know Elder Law Is A Booming Field, Anything Else? I Pondered Patent Law But It Requires A Specialized (Science, Technology) Background That I Unfortunately Do Not Have.

Pay attention to the demand for lawyers in specific fields in the region of the country where you hope to work. For example, in NJ, medical device/pharma/regulatory law may be a good choice, but that may be a poor choice in Fort Kent, Maine.

Try to get into the best law school that you can. Things like law school rankings really do matter to some employers, so try to get into the best one you can.

If possible, try to minimize your law school debt. For example, if you have two law schools in your state, comparably ranked, and one is your state school, make sure you apply to that state school.

Do things during law school that you know employers find desirable in entry level lawyers. Get a lot of legal writing experience behind you. Do real legal work for clients as part of your school's pro bono clinics. Do internships. Etc.

Where Can I Get Free Texas Divorce Forms Without Children?

Divorce forms are not anywhere close to ordering at a fast food restaurant, they don't come with or without children. Go to the courthouse and ask the court clerk for the forms.