For a lay person, predicting the outcome of a legal dispute can be an exercise in frustration. This is doubly true if you are involved in the dispute and happen to encounter the kind of circumstances that can lead to tangled litigation. Here are some of the situations where you are all but required to obtain legal counsel.

Out of State Plaintiff or Defendant

A perfect example of an automatic complication in litigation is when you are injured far from home. If your case crosses state lines, meaning the parties reside in different states, there are myriad details that will have to be worked out by your attorney. The rules of evidence alone in multiple jurisdictions may not only be enough to keep a lawyer busy, but could end up damaging your case if they aren't attended to in the proper manner.
States can also have varying regulations when it comes to an out-of-state party, not to mention the potential for federal jurisdiction over portions of your case.

Business as Defendant

If you are suing a corporation or other business entity like an LLC after an accident, the very process (no pun intended) of serving the right paperwork to the right people can be enough to trip up the average person. If you don't know what an agent for service of process is or why they are important, you're going to need an attorney to explain it to you.

You can also be fairly certain if you are up against a business, they will have legal representation and will have a staggering advantage if you do not.

City or Government as Defendant

If you collide with a city bus or damage a fence at a municipal park, you're likely to end up with some legal contact with a government. In such situations, you cannot succeed without an attorney. Even for some members of your local Bar Association, the prospect of going 12 rounds with a city attorney is enough to make even successful lawyers consider early retirement. A civilian attempting to even fill out the preliminary paperwork on such a case would be well advised to either surrender or take the sane path.

Criminal Matter

By this point everyone should be well aware of the potential pitfalls in attempting to navigate an accident case with potential criminal liability without a qualified lawyer. If you are facing police questioning or charges of some kind, your top imperative should be to exercise your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent and retain legal counsel at once. Your attorney will give you exactly the same advice: Keep your mouth shut and let them do the talking.


In any legal matter where attorney-client privilege could be of some benefit to you, it goes without saying you should retain a lawyer. Privileged communications can be a very powerful tool, especially if they are extended to protect attorney work product like forensic accounting or evidence testing.

Many people inaccurately conclude attorneys are too much trouble for small matters, but there are several instances in which consulting a firm like Sackstein, Sackstein, & Lee, LLP is a great benefit. It is precisely cases like the ones above that are likeliest to become more trouble than they are worth if you don't have competent counsel as early as possible.

Author's Bio: 

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.