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How to Choose a Divorce, Paternity or Legal Separation Attorney in San Diego in 2013?

How Do You Choose The Best Attorney For Your Paternity, Legal Separation or Divorce?

Many who go through a legal separation, paternity or divorce in San Diego want to know how to make the most informed and intelligent decisions when it comes to hiring an attorney for legal representation. There are many methods and strategies to choose the best attorney and also there are, often, considerations regarding the value of the legal services as to the legal fees themselves and to any costs. Since, in San Diego, a paternity, legal separation or divorce can cost thousands of dollars, it is very important to make the right choice the first time.

Get A Referral From A Friend or Relative

One of the best ways is to find a relative or friend or co worker who has had a positive experience with their family law lawyer during their divorce, legal separation or paternity case. This will give you a first hand objective opinion of how the attorney handled their case and the fees charged and whether they recommend him or not. While attorneys change, this is still one of the best indicators you are making the right choice.

Use A California State Bar Association Certified Lawyer Referral Service

One of the other best ways is through a California State Bar Certified Lawyer Referral Service. This is a very good resource as this is sanctioned by the State Bar and administered, in San Diego, by different referral agencies. The San Diego Lawyer Referral Information Service is the San Diego County Bar Association Referral Service for downtown San Diego. For North County, this is the North County Bar Association which has its own Lawyer Referral Service. There is also the Attorney Search Network as well as the Attorney Referral Service. All will offer a new caller a referral to a qualified attorney from their family law panel who will offer a complimentary 30 minute virtual consultation which is a criteria for the attorneys to be on the panel.

Consider the San Diego Better Business Bureau

Some say to look to the San Diego Better Business Bureau which rates all business’ and not just law firms. This will show whether the law firm is a member and whether any complaints about service. Many law firms are not members of the Better Business Bureau and an A rating is a significant consideration in hiring an attorney.


Another good way is to look on the internet and see the experience and qualification of the attorney. Find out how long the attorney has been licensed in California and how long has practiced in San Diego County and how many appearances the attorney makes in family law court regularly. Many law firms have websites and/or blogs which are a very useful source for self education which is advised for the best result for any family law case. On the firm website, the reasons the attorney think you should hire their firm are often listed and this way you can compare. This also shows their address since you may want an attorney who is close to your residence or employment however many travel to who they think is the best attorney for their case. It is always advisable to meet with the attorney you will hire personally and, often, to have three consultations and see what the difference is in the advice and also strategies and techniques to try and obtain your goals and to protect your legal rights.

One issue, always, are legal fees and how charged. Ask the attorney how they charge and how much they charge for other attorneys in the firm and also paralegals and support staff. Asking for a “retainer” or refundable deposit is standard so ask what is the retainer amount. Ask how the attorney bills. Many attorneys bill on six minute increments so, for example, .4 would be 24 minutes and 1.4 would be one hour and 24 minutes. Multiply this rate by the time and you will understand the billing method.

Another issue are costs such as fax, mileage, postage, copying, parking and the attorney service which takes pleadings for filings and then returns the pleadings to the attorney office. These costs can be hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in a family law case so ask for the price structure. All want “value” for their hard earned money being paid for legal fees so be sure to ask so you do not get “sticker shock” when you get your invoice from the attorney.

Why Choose Doppelt and Forney, APLC For Your Family Law Case?

We believe our law firm of Doppelt and Forney, APLC provides quality legal services with value which includes not charging for costs such as postage, fax, copying, mileage or parking for current clients and also no charges for the routine filing of court pleadings in San Diego County Superior Court. Please feel free to call our firm at 858-312-8500 and set up your free and confidential virtual consultation if you are interested in legal services for family law in San Diego County.

Client Reviews
Dear Roy, I would like to thank you and all team members as well as office staff for helping me defend in this case. It has been a difficult time for me during the last couple of weeks, and now because of this success result, I am able to move forward with my new chapter of life, even a little late at this age!!! Again with much appreciation, I wish you all to continue to do the same with a big heart as it was with me, in helping those who are in need of your professional services. W.
Thank you for your time and energy on this case, you took so much of the worry away from me! I appreciate all of your help. I will use and recommend you to other in the future. T.S.
I want to take this time to thank you and your staff for an outstanding job with my case to terminate spousal, you are an excellent attorney Roy, and your staff is very professional and considerate to my questions and concerns of my case. Thank you very much again. T.Y.
I wanted to say how much I appreciate your help and advice in regards to my name change. Your assistance during this time has been invaluable. Thank you again. M.J.