Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
Q. How do I know if I need an attorney?
A. The Hawaii State Courts provide a self-help section on their website, with basic information on legal proceedings. However, for any action beyond the most basic matter, you are advised to consult an attorney. For instance, you may not even have to appear in court in order to secure an uncontested divorce. However, if there are any issues at all regarding property division, spousal support, child custody, or child support, it would be very important to have an attorney advise and represent you in order to meet your goals or protect your rights.
The fact is that the practice of law involves specialized knowledge and training, and even seemingly minor legal actions can involve serious consequences and have a permanent impact on your rights.
Q. Isn’t legal representation expensive?
A. When hiring an attorney in Hawaii, you are hiring an individual with specialized knowledge and skill acquired from advanced schooling and training. If you are concerned about the cost of your family law representation, discuss this issue up-front with your attorney. Often times, your attorney can plan your representation and discuss your options to fit within your legal budget.
Another way you can control costs is to plan ahead when visiting with your attorney. Summarize what you want to discuss, prepare documents and bring them with you. The more prepared you are, the more efficiently the lawyer can get to the heart of the matter and advise you properly or conduct the business you need done.
Finally, do not forget that legal services are often preventive in nature, and paying for quality legal work on the front end can avoid much more expensive legal or business costs later on. For instance, a carefully drafted will, trust, contract, or incorporation agreement can circumvent a later will contest, lengthy probate, breach of contract, or shareholder lawsuit down the line.
Q. What is my role as the client?
A. You are the one needing legal services, and ultimately your goals and your decisions dictate the scope of the representation. You should be open and honest with your lawyer, and keep him or her apprised of any developments as they occur. Your lawyer cannot succeed for you without all the relevant information, and being surprised at the last minute with important information can be disastrous to your representation.
Q. What should I expect from my attorney?
A. While the client makes the ultimate decision, it is generally the attorney’s role to make strategic decisions about how best to proceed in a given area. Hire an attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced in the particular field you are needing help with, and then trust that attorney to operate with the requisite skill and ability. Expect your attorney to return your calls promptly and keep you informed about the status of your case. If you are engaged in an emotional dispute such as a family law or personal injury matter, seek out an attorney with compassion for your feelings and who cares personally about obtaining a positive outcome for you.
The law offices of Lynnae Lee & Associates offer a combination of litigation experience, outstanding academic credentials, and compassionate representation to effectively and successfully represent you in your family law, business law, civil litigation, or estate planning matter. For assistance in any of these areas on Oahu or anywhere in Hawaii, contact Lynnae Lee & Associates for a consultation by calling 808-379-3556.