An attorney's job is to match your situation to the options the law offers. To do this as efficiently and completely as possible, your lawyer needs information from you. It will also help you if your explanation of your situation is focused and organized. Before calling or meeting with an attorney, it's a good idea to have on hand as much of the following as possible:
If you are an individual:
If you are (or represent) a business or organization:
Legal history. Have you worked with a lawyer before, or been involved in any other transactions, claims, or suits? Assembling the dates, case numbers, addresses and telephone numbers of previous attorneys, and any other relevant information, will save us investigation and will save you money.
Other Parties. Almost every legal situation involves other people: buyers, sellers, brokers, spouses, heirs, employers, other companies, other drivers, doctors, witnesses... We can get to work much faster if we have the names, addresses, telephone numbers, and any other information (such as insurance company, SSN, or FEIN) to work with, identify, or locate other persons involved. If any other person is represented by an attorney, and you have that attorney's information, we need that too.
Documents. Are there any documents that have anything to do with the advice you want (such as contracts, correspondence, reports, cancelled checks, even business cards)? Gather them together and keep them in a safe place. Be prepared to bring them all to your first meeting with your attorney, and let us know what documents you have (and what is missing).
Goals. Believe it or not, many people call up lawyers without really having thought about what they want to happen in the long run. Often there is more than one way to approach a legal situation. What you want makes a big difference in what advice you will get.
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