Lawyers: One Size DOES NOT Fit All

by - Saturday, May 04, 2019

Most people never imagine that they will need a lawyer, however it happens more and more often. People use different types of lawyers for a variety of needs. No single lawyer will be able to have all the technical and expert knowledge that each field of law requires. However, by specializing in one field a lawyer is able to gain the knowledge needed and understand the nuances of the particular field. What does this mean for their clients? Higher success rates! Three Best Rated® sat down with three award winning law firms to learn more about their respective specializations.

Unified Lawyers is a dynamic and innovative law firm that specializes predominantly in Family Law, Property Law, and Wills and Estates. They have multiple lawyers and support staff which allows them to branch into more areas of the law, without sacrificing their results. This article will focus on the family law side of their practice.

Family law encompasses divorce, child-custody disputes, adoptions, common law marriages and separations, and much more. Pretty much, if it involves the family, it involves a family law lawyer! When a client seeks out a family law lawyer, they are usually already emotional and distraught which can be difficult to handle. “Family lawyers should be empathetic, sensitive, and patient, but at the same time maintain a firm persona,” says Mark Machaalani, solicitor director and co-founder of Unified Lawyers, “You don't want a lawyer who sees you as just a client.” Family law is unique compared to other types of law, because of the emotional aspect for the client, especially if children are involved. These lawyers walk a fine line between being too forceful and ruining any chance of an amicable resolution, or being too accommodating and ending up with a resolution the client is not happy with.

Things can happen rapidly with a family and the need for a family lawyer with it. “Family lawyers need to be on-call around the clock and are expected to be very responsive due to the nature of the clientele,” Machaalani says, “You don't want to wait days on end for answers [from your family lawyer], especially with all the unforeseen situations you will find yourself in.” Most of all, family lawyers must be sensitive and understanding to their client. “[A good family lawyer is] someone who understands a client is going through a hard time, and is more often than not, new to the process,” Machaalani says.

Even in Court, family law operates differently then other areas of law. Of course, like other areas, clients must be prepped for hearings prior to Court so they know what is expected of them. “Unlike other areas of law, clients are expected to attend all Court cases,” says Machaalani. The consequences of failing to do so will depend on each particular case, but almost always gives the opposing side an advantage.

Foyle Legal, a law firm specializing in personal injury law, was founded by Christian Foyle in 2012. Personal injury lawyers encompass motor vehicle accidents, worker's compensation claims, work injuries, public liability, medical negligence, and criminal injuries compensation. If a person was personally injured, then a personal injury lawyer is the way to go!

Personal injury lawyers are often also known as compensation lawyers. “Most lawyers will charge their clients on an upfront basis and you can expect to pay money into the law practices trust account before work commences,” Foyle says, “Compensation lawyers will often take on personal injury matters on a no win, no fee basis which means there are no upfront legal fees.” Some personal injury firms, such as Foyle Legal, will assists the injured person with the cost of obtaining medical reports to support the claim.

When looking for a personal injury lawyer, it is important to meet them in person before hiring them. This will allow the client to get a feel for the lawyer, their style, and how they approach the case. If they try to push the client to do something they don't want to do or are uncomfortable with, then this can be a major red flag. “If they provide a costs agreement then that document should be read carefully before signing up,” says Foyle. There's almost nothing worse then winning the case, only to be surprised by the costs agreement at the end. Finally, the client should research on what other people say about them, if they are recommended by a neutral third party like Three Best Rated®, and the type of cases they have had success in. Overall, the client wants to make sure the firm is a good fit for them.

Sydney Criminal Lawyers™ was founded in 2001 by Ugur Nedim. He has been practicing as a criminal defence lawyer since 1998 and has been an 'Accredited Criminal Law Specialist' since 2005. Criminal defence lawyers represent people who have been charged with a criminal offense, such as traffic violations, drug use and importation, sexual assault, robbery, fraud, and much more. Usually if a person is arrested their first call should be to their criminal defence lawyer!

Criminal defence lawyers are unique, because they are in the courtroom almost everyday. “Each day, we come before magistrates or judges, often in busy courtrooms and are required to perform to a high standard for the clients, often in the presence of their family and friends,” Nedim says, “This is unique to criminal law, as other areas including commercial and even family law, are normally conducted based on affidavits and other documents, and do not require the same level of advocacy (courtroom work) and the liberty of their clients is rarely on the line.” Criminal defence lawyers can be the deciding factor between jail time or community service, and they have to fight to keep their clients liberties protected.

Criminal defence lawyers spend more time in the Court when compared to other types of lawyers. When most people think of a lawyer, they are usually thinking of a criminal defence lawyer! This typically means that they have to perform, and look, professionally and well every step of the way. A typical case will start with drafting extensive representation. “[Extensive representations is a] detailed formal letter to the prosecution calling for the withdrawal of the proceedings or downgrading of the charge, and the basis for the request,” Nedim says, “This is often overlooked by lawyers to the detriment of clients, as they often lead to the speedy finalization for the cases.” Next, the lawyer will devise and implement an effective case strategy aimed at maximizing the potential of the case being withdrawn or thrown out. Lawyers will send a large amount of time preparing their clients for Court. “We... [provide] them with relevant guides depending on the type of case and what is likely to occur on the day,” explains Nedim, “For example, we provide character reference guides and guides for letters of apology to the Court... We also guide our clients to undertake various programs in the lead up to Court, depending on their particular situation.” Finally the key towards success? “Preparation, preparation, and more preparation; preparation is the key to maximizing the likelihood of achieving the optimal outcome,” says Nedim, “Sadly, many lawyers are criticized for adjourning cases from Court date to Court date, while doing very little in-between.”

When searching for a criminal defence lawyer, it's extremely important to look at their track record and the type of cases they typically deal with. The client will want to pick one that is familiar with their type of case and has a good track record. They also want to find a lawyer that is willing to put in the work in-between the Court dates. If possible, the client should meet with the law firm before hiring them. Sydney Criminal Lawyers™ offer a free first conference for this exact purpose. Finally, the client should read reviews and see how the firm ranks on neutral third party ranking sites.

Each specialization is different and requires a different skill set. By specializing each lawyer is able to refine that skill set while learning the nuances of the law they have chosen. It is important to pick a lawyer that specializes in the appropriate area in order to maximize chances of success. Finally, when in doubt, call the lawyers and ask! 

About Unified Lawyers
Unified Lawyers was founded in 2005 by friends and business partners, Mark Machaalani and Dominic Nguyen. They were tired of working for large corporate firms that were obsessed with billing and driving sales, and wanted to build a family firm that focused on the clients. They wanted a firm that unified the law, business, and relationships for the betterment of everyone they worked with. After several years of planning, they took the plunge and now they are one of the fastest growing local legal firms in Sydney. They pride themselves on their excellent customer service and strive to exceed client's expectations. They keep their clients informed every step of the way and remain responsive, accessible, and approachable from the start of the case to the end of the case. Unified Lawyers has been recognized for their excellence and has been named one of the top three family lawyers in Sydney, NSW for 2019 by Three Best Rated®.

20-22 Station Street, Shop 1
Sydney, NSW 2204
Phone: 02 7902 1764

About Sydney Criminal Lawyers™
Sydney Criminal Lawyers™ was founded by Ugur Nedim in 2001 with the vision to create a “result-oriented” firm with high levels of client satisfaction. They are completely criminal defence orientated and every single one of their lawyers have substantial courtroom experience. They strive to be transparent by using fixed fees, which are available on their website for all to see. They currently have over 6,500 pages of free original material on their website. They are driven by results – not profits. They do not have monthly 'budgets' their lawyers are required to meet and that allows them to foster a cooperative environment between the lawyers. Sydney Criminal Lawyers™ pride themselves on being a socially responsible firm and donate regularly to various charities through their selffunded “SCL Help Fund.” Nedim donates $1,000 of his own money to the fund every week. Sydney Criminal Lawyers™ has been recognized for their excellence and was named one of the top three criminal lawyers in Sydney, NSW for 2019 by Three Best Rated®.

Museum Towers
507/267 Castlereagh Street
Sydney, NSW 2000
Phone: 02 9261 8881

About Foyle Legal
Foyle Legal was founded by Christian Foyle in 2012. Foyle was inspired to start his own law firm so he could provide good service at an affordable price. They operate on a “no win, no fee” basis and the first consultation is obligation-free. At Foyle Legal, they strive to make the process as easy and pain-free as possible, and that includes costs. They charge in accordance with the scale of costs set down by the government in respect to most claims. This means professional advice, without any excessive charges! They will also assist injured people with the high cost of obtaining medical reports to help support their claim. At Foyle Legal, the team strives to make their services as affordable and comprehensive as possible while delivering top notch representation! Three Best Rated® has recognized Foyle Legal for their excellence and named them one of the top three compensation lawyers in Perth, WA for 2019.

6/2 Carson Road, Malaga
Perth, WA 6090
Phone: 0408 727 343

Written by Eileen Shone, Three Best Rated®

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