What are general opinions of the lawyer
Legal advice from a lawyer
Training to become a lawyer
Since the modern world of today, and Germany in particular, has a very complex legal system, prospective lawyers have to come a long way to achieve a sound legal education. At the end of their training, every lawyer who has been admitted to the bar is qualified as a judge as a fully qualified lawyer.
However, before someone is admitted to the bar, the law degree must have been successfully completed with the first state examination in law. This is followed by a traineeship, in which the theoretical knowledge of the course is expanded and supported by practical training. For this reason, these trainee lawyers are employed in various positions such as courts, authorities, law firms, public prosecutors and companies. After the legal clerkship, the second state examination and the associated qualification for judicial office await.
The liability of a lawyer
Legal liability as stipulated by law applies to out-of-court advice and also to representation in court.
That is why every lawyer must have professional liability insurance, as otherwise a lawyer will not be admitted and therefore not be allowed to work as a lawyer. The minimum liability for legal liability insurance is € 250,000.00 per claim.
This point is also a decisive advantage of legal advice compared to other types of "advice" such as in forums on the Internet, at associations or through a "lawyer-approved sample" of some companies. If something goes wrong with these forms of assistance, you won't have anyone to pay for the damage. The financial risks are then entirely up to you. On the other hand, advice from a lawyer guarantees that if the lawyer makes mistakes, you are always covered by professional liability insurance for at least a quarter of a million euros.
Since many inquiries in this regard came from clients, it should be pointed out that the liability of a lawyer is always and in principle given with the acceptance of a mandate, even if no agreement on liability has yet been reached between the client and the lawyer.
Confidentiality and secrecy
The lawyer is legally obliged to maintain confidentiality in the client relationship. This legally regulated strict confidentiality of the information that the client transmits to his lawyer is always given and is defined as a lawyer's duty of confidentiality, for example in Section 43a (2) sentence 2 BRAO and Section 2 (2) BORA:
Section 43a (2) BRAO basic obligations of the lawyer
The lawyer is bound to secrecy. This obligation applies to everything that he has come to know in the exercise of his profession. This does not apply to facts which are obvious or which do not require confidentiality due to their significance.
A lawyer must therefore keep everything that he has come to know in the exercise of his profession - and of that you can be sure - to himself. Normally, due to the duty of confidentiality, a lawyer is not even allowed to disclose to third parties whether a certain person is his client without the consent of the client.
How can the right lawyer be found?
There are several conditions that determine whether a lawyer is the right legal representative for you and your legal concerns. In principle, a lawyer who specializes in the area of law in which you are seeking advice is suitable. A lawyer specializing in trademark law is unlikely to be a specialist in labor law at the same time.
The way of communication is just as important, i.e. the question of whether you are looking to contact the lawyer on site or whether you prefer to communicate with him by phone, email or fax. However, there is not always the need for a face-to-face conversation, especially with consulting clients, while other clients prefer precisely those consultations with eye contact. Especially in the IT industry and its legal concerns, many clients look forward to quick and inexpensive clarification of questions via e-mail or telephone, without having to go to the law firm.
The lawyer and his professional specialization
The lawyer you choose should definitely specialize in the field in which you want to be advised. Since subject areas such as administrative law, internet law or inheritance law are very complex specialty areas in themselves, only the corresponding specialist knowledge of a lawyer can be used here for advice.
Even if theoretically every licensed lawyer can work in all areas of law, it should be ensured that the law firm concerned also focuses on your complex of questions. In analogy, you would be less likely to have a heart operation performed by a dentist. A good and trustworthy lawyer can also be identified when he says clearly in which areas of law he is not active and as a result sends you to a specialist lawyer colleague.
If possible, the lawyer's specialty should not only be noted on the website, although with lawyers it is often difficult to see through whether the focus "Internet law" is given because it is a hot topic at the moment or whether the legal representative is actually a professional in this area is. Due to the strict duty of confidentiality, it is not possible for lawyers to simply state previous clients as references on the firm's website. Especially since most clients, regardless of private individuals or companies, attach great importance to confidentiality and therefore only reluctantly and rarely release the lawyer from the duty of confidentiality. After all, no one wants to see their name on a criminal defense attorney's website for reference.
At this point, recommendations from friends and acquaintances are helpful. In addition, specialist lawyer titles are a good selection tool for choosing a lawyer. In addition, a Google search can be used to determine whether a lawyer regularly publishes something in "his" legal area, publishes books or is named and linked as an expert by print and online media.
The cost of the lawyer
The question of costs is an essential criterion when choosing a suitable lawyer. Above all, a distinction must be made between legal representation and out-of-court advice from the lawyer.
The judicial activity
Essentially, the legal fees are the same for all lawyers for judicial representation. These are regulated in the Lawyers' Remuneration Act (RVG) and, in the case of civil law disputes, are based on the so-called value in dispute. A table on the amount in dispute can be found in an overview of the Federal Bar Association (BRAK).
However, there is also the option of concluding a fee agreement with the lawyer here. In this case, the lawyer can also demand higher fees than the statutory fees. If the lawyer would receive very little remuneration for a lawsuit in accordance with the statutory fees because the amount in dispute is so low, this is usually the case. However, it can also be a very busy specialist who is particularly rewarded for his special skills in legal proceedings.
Furthermore, since 2008 lawyers have been able to agree a contingency fee in individual cases. These agreements take the form that if the client loses a lawsuit, he only pays part of his own legal fees; in the other case, however, if the lawsuit is won, the lawyer can demand a surcharge on top of the legal remuneration.
The extrajudicial activity
The extrajudicial activity of a lawyer (e.g. drafting contracts, advising, defending against claims or checking an online shop) can also be billed via the statutory fees of the RVG.
Agreements on hourly rates are also not unusual and possible. Those can be just over 100 € per hour in simple cases over 200 - 300 € per hour up to 700 € and more per hour. There are no legal requirements for this. The hourly rate varies depending on the level of liability risk for the lawyer, the complexity of the case, interviewing a proven specialist and the size of the law firm.
A fixed flat fee is a third option for out-of-court activities. In this process, the client knows from the start what costs to expect. If the processing of the mandate turns out to be more complex than expected and the fee is insufficient for the costs incurred, the lawyer has to struggle with this problem.
Various options for legal advice
How legal advice is given is completely different and depends on both the client and the lawyer. In the digital age, thanks to technology, it is no longer absolutely necessary for the lawyer to sit across from each other during a consultation.
If eye contact is important to you during counseling sessions, you have to go to a lawyer in the vicinity for better or worse. In the meantime, however, there are convenient databases and online directories that show law firms in the vicinity, sorted according to their place of residence and the focus of their legal work.
The advantage here is that meetings take place on site and files can be looked through together. A disadvantage, however, is that appointments have to be made and the travel time to the office can be considerable in unfavorable cases. For example, a patent law specialist is not always available in rural areas.
Legal advice over the phone
Advice over the phone is particularly recommended when preparing a process and answering simple questions from consulting clients. The information provided by the lawyer by telephone is just as binding as an oral statement on site. Telephone advice is only profitable when answering simple questions or in the context of ongoing support from a law firm, since the lawyer often lacks the necessary documents in whole or in part with this type of advice.
The costs arise from a time fee, the statutory remuneration or a fixed price. There is also the case of a chargeable lawyer hotline, where the hotline tariffs (usually from € 2 per minute) are billed.
Legal advice via email
Legal advice by email is only recommended for simple issues and questions. The lawyer is dependent on the transmission of the necessary documents and necessary information from the client via email.
This form of legal advice is also binding, so the lawyer is liable for his statements. Therefore, the legal representative can also request remuneration for an email consultation.
Legal advice is recommended in these areas
Right of withdrawal, data protection declaration, imprint obligation in connection with websites
Early repayment penalty - as part of the termination of a loan agreement
Warning for file sharing (e.g. by Waldorf Frommer)
Terms and conditions and data protection declaration for the online shop, trademark registration, trademark research
eBay terms and conditions, Amazon terms and conditions, Dawanda terms and conditions & legal on other sales platforms
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