Although legal matters range from the very minor such as a parking ticket to the very serious such as organised crime, only some require the assistance of a Solicitor.
Similarly, in civil matters, the seriousness of a case ranges from those heard at the Small Claims Court to complex High Court litigation, and everything in between. It’s a good idea to know in which instances you should get a Solicitor.
If you are facing a legal problem, the best policy is to, at the very least, have a consultation with a Solicitor. If a Solicitor advises that their services are not required, you are unlikely to be charged a fee.
When is getting a Solicitor advisable?
There are many circumstances in which you should seek legal advice:
- Judicial Separation or Divorce
When couples mutually agree on all the details of a separation, there is no real need for a Solicitor. However, when there are issues around the division of the marital assets, and custody and access arrangements in relation to the children, it would be ill-advised not to get legal representation.
- Unfair Dismissal or Discrimination in the Workplace
Employment matters are very serious and require the expertise of a Solicitor. It is safe to assume that your employer will have their own legal counsel.
- Civil Litigation
If you are being sued and the consequences of losing the case may result in financial loss or loss of property, you will need a Solicitor. Again, if the other side has a Solicitor, it’s important you are represented also. Most of these types of cases are settled outside of court, but you will need the expertise of your Solicitor to negotiate on your behalf.
- Drink Driving
A conviction for drink driving will result in the loss of your driver’s licence, but the penalties also include heavy fines, a term of imprisonment or both. If you plead guilty to a charge of drink driving, you will receive the mandatory disqualification period. If you need your driving licence for work, its best to seek the advice of a good Solicitor.
- Personal Injury
If you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. If you are involved in a car accident, the insurance company for the other driver will seek to settle your case as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, the first offer is rarely the true value of the case. Therefore, you should never speak an insurance company without first consulting with your Solicitor.
- Criminal Charges
It is a scary prospect facing criminal prosecution, and it is important you know your rights. Whether you are guilty or not guilty, you should be defended by a Solicitor who has expertise in this area.
- Wills and Trusts
If you have a family and property, you should also have a Will. Your Will can be changed throughout your lifetime, but once it’s drafted, your assets can be disposed of according to your wishes.
- Business Matters
Whether you are operating as a sole trader, partnership or a company, you should seek legal advice to assist in navigating the myriad of legal issues that can arise in the course of trade, particularly in relation to a business start-up or transfer of ownership.
When is getting a Solicitor not necessary?
There are some legal situations in which you do not need to seek legal advice:
- Small Claims Court
This court is reserved for civil disputes under €2000.00. Normally, this is an informal procedure where both sides tell their stories and the judge decides.
- Parking Tickets
The general rule is to pay the fine. The only exception to this is if the ticket will put enough points on your license to cause a disqualification. For example, a conviction for dangerous parking will result in five penalty points. In these circumstances, you should speak to your Solicitor.
3 Civil Cases You are not Contesting
If someone is suing you for say a debt and you are not contesting the matter, you can simply not enter a defence, and a summary judgment will be issued against you.