That's a question that I hear all the time, and the answer is simple. If you have a legal issue, you should call a lawyer immediately. Most often, you have nothing to lose by calling a lawyer. Most lawyers offer free consultations, and if you cannot afford them, will refer you to other attorneys that charge less or legal aid.
In the law, courts look unfavorably at unexcused delay. If a lawsuit has been filed against you, whether it is a civil suit for money, a divorce, an order of protection, or any other suit, it is imperative that you act quickly. In civil suits in Tennessee, there is always a time limit to file an answer or other responsive pleading. A failure to file a responsive pleading can lead to a default judgment, meaning you lose the case at that level of the court system. Once judgment has been granted, it is always difficult to "undo" a ruling through appeals or other methods.
Delay in contacting an attorney also puts you at a disadvantage by not allowing your attorney the full amount of time to research and develop your case. Often, I get calls from clients who have their hearing or deadline to file the next day. While it is best to do what you can and never miss a hearing or deadline, it is much better to consult an attorney immediately so they can learn about your case and prepare any filings and/or communicate with other involved parties and their attorneys. Remember, if a lawsuit has been filed against you, the other side is probably represented by an attorney. It gives you the best chance to succeed if you are too.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope the information helps. If you have a legal issue, call us today!
Disclaimer: this post is intended to be informational and is not to be considered legal advice. Use of the information contained above does not create an attorney/client relationship.