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Three Tips for Dealing with Your Legal Affairs in China

Editor : Yuan YH   |   Resource : AT0086.com

1. Identifying your legal problem
Before determining which lawyer you will use, you must determine what your problem is. As you do not need a personal lawyer like you need a tax adviser or a family doctor, lawyers should be chosen for specific tasks such as when selling property, when you are making a will or when starting a business, divorce or separation. A good way to determine whether you have a legal problem or need legal assistance is to ask a lawyer. Most lawyers in china law firms will initially discuss and determine whether you have a legal problem without charging a fee.
2. Choosing a good lawyer
Once you have decided what you need a lawyer for, the next decision is which lawyer you need. There are a few advices for you to look for a good lawyer:
(1)  Do not look at his or her age, good and bad lawyers come in all ages. Some people will look at what school the lawyer attended; this is not a good suggestion. Many of the top schools have turned out not so good lawyers. In personal matters the issue of small firm versus large firm sometimes comes up, this is really irrelevant.
(2)  Look for a lawyer that has professional knowledge about specialized law, someone would know better what you are talking about: you will determine this either on the phone or in your first meeting. A very important factor that you should check for is discretion, “is this lawyer discreet in his business?”. Make sure you obtain references and check them. Make sure the lawyer you have chosen is appropriate for the circumstances. An excellent real estate lawyer could make a very poor divorce lawyer.
(3)  Check for the lawyer’s competence. It is important to discuss with the lawyer how much experience he/she has in dealing with cases similar to yours. Obtain every reference you can and check them out in detail. While at your first meeting ask questions; make sure he or she has handled this type of case that you need assistance with. Check to see what the results were in his former cases. Did he win or lose. How were the cases handled? Were they handled professionally? These are all valuable questions that will help you get the best lawyer for you case.
(4)  Ask the lawyer whether or not the facts you presented in the first meeting give his enough information to make a prediction with regard to the results of the case. Ask him or her to explain the law as it relates to your case and the effect which existing laws may have on your case. It is extremely important that both you fully understand each other with regard to the results expected. This should play a big part in determining whether or not the cost and the time involved in pursuing the matter are worth what is expected as a result.
3.  Charging fees and costs
When you call a lawyer to determine whether you need a legal service in the initial consultation, you should ask the lawyer whether he/she charges a fee, and if so, how much. If you decide after the first meeting that you want to hire a lawyer, you should ask for an estimated cost for services. Most lawyers will enter into a written agreement listing the fees, costs, and the nature and extent of the lawyer's representation. You should understand from the first meeting how much the lawyer will charge to handle your case. Costs are different from fees. The client is ultimately responsible for court costs, filing fees, etc.
Beware of lawyers who try to get to close to you: all legal relationships should remain on a professional relationship at all times. Lawyers have hefty price tags; it is very advisable to set up a pay-as-you-go agreement, preferably on a monthly or quarterly basis. This way when it comes time to pay, you can ask yourself if you are receiving the best deal for your money. Since all these fees are coming out of your pocket it is very important at all times to deal with your lawyer in a businesslike fashion until you are satisfied with the services.

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