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Yes, there are ‘good’ lawyers – here’s how to find one

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8650_B3_rgb5(ARA) – Who doesn’t love a good lawyer joke? But for all our willingness to chuckle at their expense, there are times when we really need a good lawyer.

You don’t have to be a litigious person or someone who gets in trouble a lot to reach a time in your life when you’ll need to hire a lawyer. With well over 1.1 million attorneys practicing in the U.S., how do you find the right one for your needs?

The American Bar Association offers a few tips, drawn from its reference book “The Complete Personal Legal Guide.”

* Seek recommendations from family, friends or business associates whom you trust.

* Consult with a local referral service; most communities have one.

* Local bar associations can also be helpful.

* Meet face to face with several attorneys before choosing one.

* Be sure you are comfortable with your lawyer both personally and professionally. The client/attorney relationship will require you to divulge all information pertinent to your case, no matter how embarrassing the facts might be. The more comfortable you are with your attorney, the more at ease you will be sharing information.

“The American Bar Association Complete Personal Legal Guide — The Essential Reference for Every Household,” brings together the expertise of the ABA’s judges, lawyers and law professors to provide consumers with legal guidance in a practical, easy-to-understand format. The guide is available online at and is also widely available in book stores and through online book sellers.

Top 5 Ways Identities are Stolen

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1. Dumpster Diving. Thieves rummage through trash looking for bills or other paper with your personal information on it.

2. Skimming. Thieves steal credit/debit card numbers by using a special storage device when processing your card.

3. Phishing. Thieves pretend to be financial institutions or companies and send spam or pop-up messages to get you to reveal your personal information.

4. Changing Your Address. Thieves divert your billing statements to another location by completing a change of address form.

5. Old-Fashioned Stealing. Thieves steal wallets and purses; mail, including bank and credit card statements; pre-approved credit offers; and new checks or tax information. They steal personnel records, or bribe employees who have access.