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Monthly Archives: June 2017

With So Many Choices, How To Choose The Best Law Firms

Before the internet came along, attorneys pretty much dominated their locale by their own design. Having a good reputation was about all that a legal team needed to find and retain customers. With the advent of the internet and the increase in law firms around the Tampa area, it is hard to know which firm is the right one to build your offense or defense. It isn’t just about advertising, branding, and reputation; finding the right lawyer is about taking all things into consideration, including more than just price and availability.

How To Choose The Best Law Firms

There are times when you may have to hire an accident attorney Tampa, based on your budgetary constraints, but remember that hiring a Tampa law firm is just like hiring any other service. You should look around and do your research, talk with several law firms, and find the best one to build your case. Unfortunately, when you are involved in a lawsuit or a criminal case, it may feel as if you have no time to look around. But that is exactly what will help you the most in the end.

Your first step is to find a firm who specializes in the type of law that you need. For instance, if you are involved in a personal injury lawsuit, find a firm who has a good reputation and the most experience in personal injury. That might take some investigation, but it will be well worth it. Once you have narrowed it down to a couple of firms in the Tampa area, call around to schedule interviews with potential lawyers so that you can sit down and really talk to them before making a decision.

During the initial consultation the questions you should ask are:

  • What experience do they have with the type of law you need help with?
  • How long do they have experience in the type of law? (not just how long have they been practicing)
  • What is their percentage of success?
  • How many cases do they handle at once?
  • How do they bill and are there any additional fees?
  • Can I contact former clients to ask about their experience?
  • Are they willing to put a contract in writing?
  • How communicative are they with their clients about updates?

Just because someone charges a lot doesn’t necessarily mean that they are worth the money. If they don’t spend much time with their clients or don’t have the experience in the appropriate field of law, then they aren’t the right ones to defend you or to sue on your behalf.

Ask local lawyers

To know how good an attorney is, ask other attorneys in your area. Local lawyers are sometimes your best referrals. Since they talk amongst themselves, they will know which lawyers have a good track record and which ones don’t. They can also give you information about what the lawyer is all about and who they are.

Check the lawyer’s background

Do a background check, which involves making sure they have the proper licensure and certification by the state. It is also important to ensure that they don’t have any disciplinary actions against them. Check all their supplied references, and also look on the internet to see if there are any reviews online. Be careful when reading online reviews, however. Sometimes they are nothing more than paid advertising in disguise.

Walk around the office

Tour their office and spend some time getting a feel for the type of lawyer they are. The organization of the office is integral to how the lawyers within it operate. Being on the same page and able to get along is important. In some instances, you might be spending a lot of time together, so making sure that you have a good rapport is very important.

When you are involved in a legal matter, sometimes you might feel like time is of the essence, and it very well might be. But taking the proper amount of time to investigate your attorney is the best way to protect your interests. Try to calm down, think rationally, and take all the steps necessary to find the best law firm in Tampa to make things go as smoothly as they can.

Rene Lima-Marin Pardoned But Still Remains In ICE Custody In Colorado

Although he was pardoned by Colorado’s Governor John Hickenlooper last week, Rene Lima-Marin is still not a free man. A man convicted of armed robbery won the favor of immigrant politicians and groups by changing his life around once he was released from prison in error.  Hickenlooper called the case, an extraordinary one and one that deserved special circumstances.

immigration law

Lima-Marin committed some very serious criminal offenses when he was younger, and the governor pardoned him because he believes that Lima-Marin has shown that he deserves a second chance. Hickenlooper maintains that Lima-Marin has already served his time and been punished adequately for his crimes; the prison system apparently did its job in rehabilitating him and returning him to prison would not show justice to the public or to Lima-Marin.

Even though the pardon has been made, Lima-Marin has not been released from prison. Because he is an immigrant, ICE agents — the Immigration and Customs Enforcement — quickly took him in their custody a couple of days following the pardon and stated that they have jurisdiction over him, regardless of the pardon.

Lima-Marin’s immigration lawyer is hoping to change the situation. Insisting that the fight is not over, attorney Hans Meyer believes that he can work to stop Lima-Marin’s deportation and get him reunited once again with his family. The hope is that ICE will work with Meyer to reach an agreement to reconsider his case and to restore the permanent status that he had. Instead of being deported, it is possible that he could end up with an order of supervision, which would require that he report to the ICE on a regular basis but could remain on American soil.

Lima-Marin is married and has two kids. He immigrated to the US as a one-year-old and was part of the Mariel boatlift. In 1998, he was convicted of armed robbery in two video stores. In 2008, he was released by mistake due to an error in his paperwork. The documents said that he was to serve the time concurrently, when he was actually supposed to serve it consecutively. He would not have been caught if he had not been rearrested in 2014 when authorities realized they had made a mistake.

In the six years that he was out of prison, he got his life together. He got a job, found a woman to settle down with, began a family, and saved enough money to buy his first home. He was one of the few criminal offenders released from prison who turned his life around and vowed to make something of himself. Even with a criminal record, he worked his way up the ladder and was a productive member of society. That is unusual in today’s penal society where recidivism is not an exception, but often the norm.

In a 165-page report decision that was issued last week, the judge who released him from prison was compelled to allow Lima-Marin to go free without serving out the rest of his sentence. The judge and Colorado immigration attorney argued that the ultimate goal of rehabilitating people is why the prison system exists. It was created so that a prisoner can be returned to society. What Lima-Marin proved was that he had been rehabilitated. If it were not discovered that a mistake had been made in his paperwork, he would still be living as an asset to the community and his family.

Although it was a serious crime, during his robbery spree no one was physically injured, and the sentencing was a bit harsh for such a young offender.

If there has ever been a case for redemption and a second chance, Mr. Lima-Marin is it. Given a second opportunity to make it right, he quickly went to work after his erroneous release to turn his life around, and he should be rewarded for it — not punished. Although being a convicted criminal offender means that he should legally be deported, in this instance that doesn’t seem like an equitable way to deal with a success story.

Although he was pardoned by the governor, the issue of whether Lima-Marin can stay in America and reunite with his family rests in ICE’s hands. However, if they want to teach those who are in the penal system a lesson, punishing someone who has turned their life around and done the right thing is probably not the way to do it.