Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Do I really need a lawyer?

Monday, March 26th, 2012

In Virginia, you are allowed to represent yourself in almost all legal matters at the trial court level.  The only other person that can legally represent you is an attorney that is licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.

However, you should be aware that a company is not a person – it is a legal entity that cannot stand or speak and it doesn’t need to drink when it gets thirsty.  What this means is that if your company is involved in a legal dispute, you will need to have an attorney represent the company in court.

Even in those situations where you CAN represent yourself, it is often a good idea to hire an attorney.

First of all, you are emotionally involved in the legal circumstance and we all tend to think differently, or not think at all, when our emotions are involved.  The attorney also gets involved in your case, but he/she is trained to present the arguments in a logical manner that will assist the court in deciding in your favor.

An attorney also knows what the court thinks is important and he/she will make sure that the court knows those things and not dwell on things that really aren’t important when the court makes their decision.  As an example, I had a DUI case where the driver told the officer that he had been drinking margaritas.  The driver thought he had a great defense because he had really been drinking whiskey sours.  The driver didn’t realize that it doesn’t really matter what he was drinking, the important part is that his blood alcohol content was over the legal limit.

Also, the courts have very specific ways in which things must be handled and if you don’t do it just right, it is possible that the court will dismiss your case or rule against you.  I know this sounds like the courts are set up to provide work for lawyers, but the rules are really there to keep the legal process moving smoothly.  If you’ve ever been to court on one of those days when the courtroom is packed with people waiting their turn, you can understand why it is important to have rules about how things are handled.

But, even if you need an attorney for part of the process you can often do other parts yourself.

We encourage people to go to court for a ‘return date’ themselves and hire us after that court date.  Why?  You can often sit for hours waiting for your case to be called only to go to the front and have the judge give you a date for the trial.  I will be glad to sit with you, but it can get very expensive to hire an attorney to sit for hours just to stand in front of the judge for 30 seconds to say ‘we dispute the charges’.

How do you know if there is something you can do yourself?  When I have a consultation with someone, I tell them what to expect and how I would proceed if it were my legal situation.  I also explain what parts they can do themselves and when they should hire a professional.

If you have any questions about this or any other legal subject, please feel free to give us a call at 757-234-4650 or visit our website at http://www.BeaversLaw.com.

Hampton Office !

Friday, May 20th, 2011

We have just opened a new satellite office to better serve our clients in the Hampton area.

Our Hampton office is in the Peninsula Town Center with an address of:

Kristina Beavers, Attorney at Law

4410 Claiborne Sq, Suite 334

Hampton, VA 23666

You can use the same phone number of 757-234-4650 to access us at either office (don’t you just love technology!)

To learn more about Kristina Beavers, Attorney at Law, check out our website at www.BeaversLaw.com

Are you the perfect client?

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

There is rarely a ‘perfect’ anything. but there are ways you can strive to be the perfect legal client!

1. Be willing to listen. You might not like my advice, or the facts I have to tell you, but I am working hard to represent you the best way possible. So hear me out. Don’t get immediately defensive and stop listening to my whole statement.

2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! I am here to represent YOU, and that means that you need to understand what I’m doing on your behalf.

3. Be prepared to go through stressful situations. I’ll do my best to make this as easy as possible, but legal matters are often stressful. You might want to consider getting the assistance of a therapist or talking to your doctor about something to help with your anxiety. We can all make better decisions if we are thinking clearly.

4. Be respectful of me and my staff and our time. We are people too and we have families and commitments as well. Don’t call at the last minute and get angry if we can’t stay late to accommodate your change in schedules. That also includes being on time for appointments. We make an effort to be sure we are prepared for your appointment and to clear our desk of other items during that time. If you show up late, or if you don’t show up at all, that means that we could have been spending our time on something else. This may not make a difference to you now, but think about how it might impact you if we tell you we are booked on the day you want to come in, and then those people don’t show up. You could have had the appointment you wanted if only the other client had told us in advance that they were not going to show up.

5. Keep good records. This is an important one! Once you have retained an attorney it is a good idea to buy a notebook or folder of some kind to start storing all those documents relating to your case. Also, keep track of activities that relate to your case. If you have a child custody and visitation situation, keep track of the times that the other parent visits with the child (and also keep track of the times when the other parent said they were going to visit and they did not show up). If your situation has to do with payments of any kind (e.g., child support, spousal support, rent payments on a house) keep a detailed record of when those payments were due, when they were paid, how much was paid and sometimes the manner of payment.

6. Do not hide information. If you are a client, we have an attorney – client relationship. This means that everything you tell me is told in confidence, so tell me everything, even if you think it might make you look foolish. I’d much rather hear it in my office than hear about it for the first time in a courtroom!

By following these suggestions, you can greatly improve the attorney-client relationship. If we work together then we have a better chance of getting the results we are working towards.

Is it really junk mail?

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

We all get junk mail. I get tons of it in as email and a fair amount in my physical mailbox. Sometimes, I don’t want to waste the time to read it, so it goes straight to the trash. I don’t do that as often anymore because I’ve found that throwing stuff away without at least looking at it can be dangerous!

I got a phone call from a company asking why I had not cashed the refund check they sent me. (the check was for over $100 for a book that I had returned). I realized that since I had decided to stop ordering books from that company, I had just been throwing all of the mail from them straight into the trash. Bad Idea!

I got a call from a client who found a note on his door from the person who bought his house in a foreclosure sale. When I asked about being notified about the sale, the client said that he usually just threw away mail from people he didn’t know.

Sometimes, the mail we think is junk mail is just that — junk.

But sometimes it is really important!

Now, I open each piece of mail I receive. Sometimes I spend about 1.5 second glancing at the contents to make sure it really is ‘junk’ before it goes into the trash. But on that one time when I find something important, it is worth the extra time!