General legal matters

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Bradley Kramer, Esq.

Rocket Lawyer On Call® Attorney

Essential documents for everyday needs

General legal matters FAQs

General legal matters come up every day. Maybe you need to provide a statement. Perhaps you need to sign an affidavit. Or, you need to take a client to small claims court. We provide letters and templates for responding to general legal matters.

When do I need a lawyer?

Generally, you may need a lawyer if a lot is at risk. For example, you could go to jail, lose an expensive divorce settlement, or are being sued. If you have a lot to lose, you may not want to try handling the situation without legal counsel.

Common reasons to hire a lawyer:

  • DUI (OWI) or another serious offense
  • Complicated divorce
  • Custody battles
  • Adoption
  • Will challenge
  • Injury case
  • Complex estate planning
  • Business sale, merger or acquisition
  • Discrimination or employment cases
  • Purchasing real estate

How much do lawyers charge?

The short answer is quite a bit. Lawyer fees start at about $250 per hour and go up from there. Most will also require a retainer or "down payment" for services in advance. That's why it makes sense to use your Rocket Lawyer membership for minor legal issues such as making a Will, selling a car, hiring a nanny, or making lease agreements. We also offer up to 40 percent off legal services if you hire one of our on-call attorneys. They can help you with legal challenges such as starting a business or estate planning.

When you get a bill from your lawyer, you may be wondering how they configure what they are going to charge you. How much a lawyers charge you may be influenced by:

  • Hourly rate (including document preparation time, phone calls, court time, and more)
  • Expertise
  • Overhead costs
  • Cost of paralegals, investigators, and others
  • Travel expenses
  • Business services (printing and copying)
  • Court and filing fees

How do I know if I have a case?

In most situations, you need to be able to PROVE damage to "have a case." You also need to be able to prove WHO caused the damage. Another issue may be if any kind of compensation or reward might be offered if you win your case. You'll also want to consider if the award is enough to cover the cost of winning it.

If it is a personal injury case, often lawyers will evaluate your case for free. If they believe the case can be won, they may choose to take part of the award as their payment. If the case is a discrimination or harassment case, you may be able to find community legal services that may be able to help you with your case. Again, regardless of the type of case, your lawyer will tell you if the case is worth pursuing or not.

What is an attorney-client privilege?

Attorney-client privilege is intended to protect the client's information and to promote free conversation between the two. With honest and accurate information, it is hoped that the attorney can best serve their client. The confidence extends to not even casually discussing the details of the case with others.

Limitations of attorney-client privilege

  • You discuss the case with a lawyer who is not formally acting as your legal counsel (such as a friend)
  • Information related to a future crime and you commit that crime
  • When they are ethically required to come forward, such as to locate a missing person

To protect yourself you'll want to ensure that a lawyer-client relationship exists before you openly discuss your case. Also, keep in mind that others may overhear you, who may not be subject to the agreement. Try to ensure that conversations with your attorney are private.

“It was so easy and convenient. You don't have pay lawyer fees. It's all online. It was great. I loved the experience. Saves you time and money. Paying a lawyer a retainer when you can get the same thing done at a less expensive rate is a no-brainer.”

Nyema J.

Rocket Lawyer member since 2015