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Is Olup Law For You?

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Is Olup Law right for you.

Here are some important questions to ask yourself as you decide whether Olup Law is the right law firm for you.

Do I need an attorney?

Legal proceedings can be financially expensive. There are several factors involved in determining how much money you will spend on your case. These factors include:

  • The complexity of the issue. Complicated legal issues and multiple case issues create a greater chance for increased expense on the case.
  • The emotions of each party. All efforts to resolve the issues will have a layer of emotion that must be worked through in order to move forward in the legal process. However, when each party is ready to accept the end of their relationship emotions do not play a significant part in resolving the issues. Conversely, when one or both of the parties continue to have anger toward the other or are not ready to let go of the relationship they often are reluctant to participate in the process and resolve the issues. Emotional roadblocks and other diversions make the process more expensive than if one or both parties have achieved a level of acceptance.
  • The ability to pay for services. Individuals need to assess their financial ability to pay for legal services. Whether a case will be resolved quickly or with a great deal of difficulty depends on the complexity of the case and the emotional level of the parties involved.

Whether you need an attorney is something that you can determine in what is called a “consultation”. In the consultation, you can examine the complexity of your case and to an extent, your ability to pay for services.

Contact Olup Law at (952) 835-4070 to discuss a consultation.

Regardless of whether you choose to have an attorney, you should consider a consultation. During your consultation, an attorney can help you understand the issues of your case and answer questions that may assist you in deciding how to proceed.

There are options available that allow individuals to receive assistance from an attorney, but represent themselves in court. This is called “limited scope” representation. This arrangement should be discussed with an attorney to determine if the attorney offers such service. Olup Law Offices LLC does not offer “limited scope” representation.

If you proceed without an attorney, you will be representing yourself “pro se”. The term essentially means “for oneself”. You will be expected to follow all the court rules and statutes that apply to your case. You may not be an attorney, but you will be expected to represent yourself with a knowledge of the law and legal process.

How do I find the right attorney?

There are many ways to find an attorney. Visiting a website that showcases family law provides you with valuable information. There is no cost to exploring the internet and reviewing the many family law websites available, include state sponsored websites that have the family law statutes and rules available for you to review.

Another method used to find an attorney is through referrals. Recommendations from sources such as friends, family, counselors and/or mentors, whether religious, psychological, business, etc.; business associates such as financial planners, attorneys, tax preparers, etc.; co-workers and other colleagues can often provide you with the names of lawyers they know or have used. Sometimes you will get multiple referrals to the same family law attorneys along with commentary such as: “She represented my spouse” or “I wish I used him when I got a divorce” or “she is very assertive” or “she did a good job of keeping my costs down”. Analyze these comments when determining if the attorney is a good fit for you.

You should interview more than one attorney.

Every family lawyer is different. You need someone with the skills, personality and temperament to suit your needs. What is right for your friends and others may not be right for you.

Attorneys are given awards for their skills and knowledge. The Super Lawyers designation provides recognition to seasoned attorneys with over 10 years of experience. The Super Lawyers honor is bestowed by one’s peers on a very small percentage of the lawyers in Minnesota. Fewer than 5% of the lawyers in Minnesota can call themselves “Super Lawyers”. Those lawyers who have been on the Super Lawyers list more than 10 years is an even lower percentage. Linda A. Olup has been on every Super Lawyers list since its inception in 1991.

Another honor that is bestowed on attorneys is found in Martindale- Hubbell’s rating system. This peer rating system provides a rating based on skill and ethics. Attorneys are AV-rated only when they receive the highest rating for both skill and ethics from their peers. Linda A. Olup has received this distinction for more than 25 years.

Not every case needs the most experienced family lawyer. The lawyer who has been practicing family law for only a few years may be a perfect fit for a case with simple issues and a lower level of complexity.

Lawyers who have more experience and who are in greater demand typically have higher hourly rates. Attorneys with less experience, who are building their careers, generally charge a lower hourly rate.

Regardless of experience a good attorney will work hard to meet the stated goals of the client and to provide options that will allow the client to accomplish what is reasonably possible.

What is the case going to cost?

No attorney can predict with any accuracy what a case will cost unless that attorney charges a flat rate fee, which is unusual. Some of the most common variables that impact the cost of a case include the emotions of the parties, the type of attorney who is retained by the other party, the complexity and number of issues, and the judge(s) who are on the case. These variables can be in constant fluctuation during the proceeding.

In family law every case proceeds differently and has unique aspects. We cannot predict the unique issues and circumstances that may arise in your case. However, if both parties can communicate effectively and efficiently, exchange financial and other documents with honesty and integrity and negotiate in good faith, it will be easier to keep the fees and costs to a minimum.

How long will the case take to complete?

Every case is different. However, the seven-county metro area courts are endeavoring to uniformly manage their family law cases. The courts’ system starts with an informal hearing called an Initial Case Management Conference (ICMC). The general purpose of the ICMC hearing is to identify the issues of the case and to get a sense of the complexity of the case.

In Hennepin and Ramsey County, where most of the divorce cases in Minnesota are filed, the judges will manage their assigned cases by setting phone conferences that are generally no more than 60 days apart. The call is designed to make sure that discovery (information gathering) is being obtained and that alternative dispute resolution processes such as mediation or early neutral evaluations are being utilized. If a judge believes the case is not moving quickly enough the judge will schedule a pretrial hearing. This is the hearing that occurs prior to a trial being scheduled. It is the court’s way of telling the attorneys that they need to finalize their work and move toward settlement. If the case is not settled by the time of the pretrial hearing, a trial date will be set with deadlines for exchanging lists of witnesses and exhibits. In the seven-county metro area, the courts try to get cases completed within 6-12 months from the date on which they are filed with the court. Depending on the complexity of the case and issues and the judge’s available trial dates it can take longer than 12 months.

Let our staff assist you in scheduling a consultation. Linda A. Olup and the staff at Olup Law are ready to help you start the process that will allow you to create the next chapter in your life.

From our Edina, MN office, Olup Law serves the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area, including the cities of Minnetonka, Chaska, Chanhassen, Edina, Wayzata, Excelsior, Shakopee, Plymouth, Minnetrista, Orono, North Oaks, Eden Prairie, Victoria, Waconia, Shorewood, Minneapolis, Excelsior, and Burnsville.