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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2014, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrToronto View Post
A Trial costs 20 to 30 grand with a lawyer and if you lose it's 20 to 30 grand on top for the other sides lawyer.

I use the analogy if I screw up I save 50 percent of overall costs and I make dam sure I minimize the other sides "cost award" by offers to settle and looking reasonable

If your already at Court on "simple matters" there's a good chance you'll be back again either you learn the process or go broke with lawyers.

it's easy for people with a lot of cash to get a lawyer sit back and enjoy the ride but they don't learn anything. A self rep that's smart with endless non billable time can become a real force in Court that makes people with lawyers that don't learn anything think twice about kissing away thousands of dollars

Keep a lawyer around just for going over settlements and giving advice or direction

just my thoughts anyways
It's astonishing that trial costs so much. Humor me. What happens if you lose a trial and have no way of paying the $50k+? Bankruptcy? Most middle class and lower could not make that money come out of thin air, and it would feasibly take years to be able to pay it.
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Old 05-10-2014, 02:54 PM
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That's reassuring. IF you stipulate you want detailed monthly billing that will send a message to her that you aren't gullible. Make sure you have a lawyer who is willing to represent you in court, should the need arise. I've read several posts on this forum of horror stories where people retain lawyers only to find out, many months later, that the lawyer "doesn't do court room stuff" if you can imagine!

Of course the best thing is to settle things out of court as quickly and efficiently as possible. Also, if you are going to court on a regular basis, make sure the lawyer addresses costs each and every time if at all possible. This was the failing of my lawyer (who was excellent in every other way). I ended up winning 90% of the time but in the end I was awarded a paltry amount (IMO) for costs.

You can save on legal costs by: not calling or emailing unless absolutely necessary (inquire the rate for that as it is often different than court appearance rate); being well-organized and sending in material lawyer requests in a timely manner PRIOR to meeting with lawyer; self-educating yourself on Rules of Court. When I was first out-of-the gate on my divorce I was faxing my lawyer 4 or 5 times a week (ridiculous really). I wasn't aware of this forum which is a fantastic resource.
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Old 05-10-2014, 02:58 PM
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Lawyers are business men/women. No one goes into business intending to lose money. Most lawyer would require a sizeable retainer before proceeding to trial. If the parties have a matrimonial home where there is plenty of equity the lawyers have an eye to that asset.

I personally think that people who have less money get better bang for their buck as the lawyer knows at the start that there are limited resources. Just my personal feeling, no facts to back this up with.
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Old 05-10-2014, 02:59 PM
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Lawyers are business men/women. No one goes into business intending to lose money. Most lawyer would require a sizeable retainer before proceeding to trial. If the parties have a matrimonial home where there is plenty of equity the lawyers have an eye to that asset.

I personally think that people who have less money get better bang for their buck as the lawyer knows at the start that there are limited resources. Just my personal feeling, no facts to back this up with.
Were you able to settle out of court? I think that is the most rational solution to my situation. I'm just not getting any cooperation from the ex. I am hoping her lawyer or the judge will wake her up to the reality of what she's doing (maybe during the case conference?).

My response to the court application she submitted is asking for costs. I thought that would be a little motivation for her to cooperate. Apparently not.

Anyway I'm guilty of changing the scope of this thread. From the responses I've gotten I think I'm safe self representing with aid of a lawyer for some time.
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Old 05-10-2014, 03:11 PM
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My divorce was done through a binding JDR (Judicial Dispute Resolution). It relatively simple and inexpensive. We had one useless 4-way meeting and 9 months later, after JDR, I was divorced. I really don't know why more people don't use binding arbitration. I don't have any experience in child-custody matters but from what I've observed there is alot of wasted time with all of the conferences. Most people just want to present the facts and have someone make a decision as they can't come to an agreement on their own. What a total waste of time and money.

My lengthy litigation was due to my ex wanting to overturn the SS quantum. He tried many times but was never successful, thus the resultant revolving door syndrome in court. We are hopeful that we won't have to go back to court for a year. Normal people exchange financials and sign consent to adjust things. Not my ex!
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Old 05-10-2014, 03:13 PM
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My divorce was done through a binding JDR (Judicial Dispute Resolution). It relatively simple and inexpensive. We had one useless 4-way meeting and 9 months later, after JDR, I was divorced. I really don't know why more people don't use binding arbitration. I don't have any experience in child-custody matters but from what I've observed there is alot of wasted time with all of the conferences. Most people just want to present the facts and have someone make a decision as they can't come to an agreement on their own. What a total waste of time and money.

My lengthy litigation was due to my ex wanting to overturn the SS quantum. He tried many times but was never successful, thus the resultant revolving door syndrome in court. We are hopeful that we won't have to go back to court for a year. Normal people exchange financials and sign consent to adjust things. Not my ex!
I share your feelings. I too have an ex who is a crazy person.
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Old 05-13-2014, 11:40 AM
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Based on what you've said in regards to my particular situation (relatively uncomplicated) I think it would be best to maintain self representation until the matter heads for trial. I can always have my representation status changed before an actual trial so she can step in for the hard stuff.
This would be your best bet. Conferences are a waste for your lawyer to be there. Once everything has been filed and conferences have been done, just have your lawyer do the trial.

Conferences are such a waste because if the other party was willing to settle you wouldn't have had to bring it to court.

Have your lawyer review your documents and use resources online and you'll be all set.

Remember, be mindful of your lawyers time. Money is key, because often the other party can drag things on and over communicate with lawyers to drain funds. The person with money left in the bank usually is the one that doesn't have to settle.
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Old 05-13-2014, 01:15 PM
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What happens if you lose a trial and have no way of paying the $50k+? Bankruptcy?
For some people: yes.

This is also an incentive to settle. If assets are being disputed, the risk is everyone pays their lawyers more than they will obtain at a hearing, and if the other side declares bankruptcy the costs are wiped (possibly after the assets have been spent).
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Old 05-13-2014, 02:20 PM
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Most lawyers will not assist you with a trial (prep or otherwise) without a large retainer. We were asked for 30K 4 months prior to the trial date.
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Old 05-13-2014, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Most lawyers will not assist you with a trial (prep or otherwise) without a large retainer. We were asked for 30K 4 months prior to the trial date.
A rule of thumb used by many lawyers is 10k/day of trial. The majority of work needs to be done well in advance of trial. As Arabian notes above lawyers are running a business and no (prudent) business would risk losing a month of completed work to a bankruptcy, hence protecting accounts by requiring a retainer in advance.
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