Where can I get good free legal advice so that I can find out if I have a case worth drawing up a lawsuit?

I am looking to sue for around $3,500 – I just need someone to look at the literature to find out if there is a solid case. I would like to find someone around the area of Dayton, Ohio… or if someone could point me in the direction of HOW to find someone around Dayton so that I may contact them for free legal advice. This is not a worker’s comp. suit, which I find that most free legal advice is for. There are a lot of dimensions to this possible case, so I would really like to get someone that knows what they are doing. Any help?
This is possibly a civil or collections issue, for $3,500. Before the person that I was living with left, I had a paper signed, notorized, dated, and witnessed that the above amount would be paid to me with a check from no specifically named person, and that all termination paperwork would have to be signed, and that all of his possessions would be mine, and I would send them back at my discretion. Well he came back to get his stuff and sign the lease over to his name, but the amount of money was never paid to me. I told him that I was not interested in dealing with it anymore, and said that he did not need to pay the money… it was never a verbal contract though. I still have the paper, and this was only around 3-4 months ago. I am wondering who I need to contact, and will it be worth it to sue. I have to get a second job to pay off HIS debt, and I just don’t think that it is fair. Who should I be contacting?

You did not mention the nature of the suit, only the amount of damages. Without knowing the nature of the suit, its really difficult to tell you if you will find someone willing to give you free legal advice.

If, for instance, its a collections matter, you may be able to find an attorney who will do it for you on a contingency basis, and then charge a percentage of the amount collected. This presumes, of course, that he or she believes that you have a valid claim.

Other claims which require their professional expertise may or may not be done on a contingency basis. I strongly advise you not to try and sue on your own. Its been my experience that people who try and sue on their own, in anywhere but a small claims court, generally end up paying an attorney more money to undo the mess they created than they would have paid an attorney to do the matter correctly in the first place.

Contact your local or state bar association for a referral to an attorney licensed in Ohio.

Post Author: mark

7 thoughts on “Where can I get good free legal advice so that I can find out if I have a case worth drawing up a lawsuit?

    brilheaint

    (February 7, 2010 - 10:18 am)

    most likely, you have no case, or you would already have an attorney.
    References :

    The Black Gunman

    (February 7, 2010 - 10:59 am)

    Make sure before you pursue a lawsuit that it is not frivolous. Frivolous lawsuits are the cause of high insurance prices, high medical prices, and in effect are what prevents so many US citizens from being able to afford medical coverage.
    References :

    escapingmars

    (February 7, 2010 - 11:25 am)

    Start calling attorneys. A lot of them will do a free consultation on the first visit. The attorney may even take the case for you on a contingency basis.

    Take Care
    References :

    Phil R

    (February 7, 2010 - 11:44 am)

    You did not mention the nature of the suit, only the amount of damages. Without knowing the nature of the suit, its really difficult to tell you if you will find someone willing to give you free legal advice.

    If, for instance, its a collections matter, you may be able to find an attorney who will do it for you on a contingency basis, and then charge a percentage of the amount collected. This presumes, of course, that he or she believes that you have a valid claim.

    Other claims which require their professional expertise may or may not be done on a contingency basis. I strongly advise you not to try and sue on your own. Its been my experience that people who try and sue on their own, in anywhere but a small claims court, generally end up paying an attorney more money to undo the mess they created than they would have paid an attorney to do the matter correctly in the first place.

    Contact your local or state bar association for a referral to an attorney licensed in Ohio.
    References :
    10+ years in the legal profession.

    Ryan D

    (February 7, 2010 - 12:33 pm)

    The previous answerers are correct in that without providing any facts of your particular case, there really isn’t any way of even telling you where to go for advice, let actually giving you any here. Attorneys tend to specialize in certain practice areas, so without even knowing what we’re looking at, it’s hard to send you in any one direction.

    But for starters, the amount in controversy is pretty small. $3,500 in attorneys fees won’t get you very far, as they can charge upwards of $100 an hour. Many attorneys provide a free consultation to determine whether or not they think you’ve got a case, but after that the hourly rate kicks in. Even if you should win, you’re looking at spending up to half of your award on a lawyer, and if you lose, you’re hundreds to thousands of dollars in the hole.

    As $3000 is the dollar limit for small claims court, you’re probably better off going there, as you don’t need an attorney in that venue. Small claims courts have a dramatically simplified procedure when compared to regular civil courts. They don’t have juries, discovery phases, and don’t deal in libel or slander. They also don’t offer anything but monetary awards. But the upshot is that you can represent yourself and there isn’t any real loss should you lose, just court costs, which don’t amount to much. You can’t make a claim for the whole $3,500, but you’re unlikely to recoup all of that in a full civil court anyways.
    References :

    HoyaHorns

    (February 7, 2010 - 12:47 pm)

    The Ohio Bar Association has information regarding lawyer referral services for your area that you can check out (source listed below). Regardless, there shouldn’t normally be a fee charged to you for an initial consultation. However, if you’re going to ask an attorney to do research, they’re going to want to get paid for it.

    A dispute over $3500 doesn’t sound that complicated. You could do the research yourself.
    References :
    http://www.ohiobar.org/pub/?articleID=72

    ILoveKeyLimePie

    (February 7, 2010 - 1:17 pm)

    Why should a lawyer be expected to solve your legal problems for free?

    Do you regularly call up plumbers and say "I just need someone to fix my sink" and expect it to be free? How about your mechanic? Do you expect him to solve your auto problems for free too?

    No one is going to take time to sit down with you and listen to your whole story and go over all your paperwork with you and use their very expensive education and years of experience and expertise in order to advise you and guide you for free out of the goodness of their heart. Their bills are not going to be paid by sitting around with you and working for free.

    Personal injury firms and WC firms generate their income on a contingency basis so their time is not money when it comes to handing out free consultations. For everyone else, time is money.

    Suck it up and pay someone for some competent advice in the matter you need help with.
    References :

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