How to Hire an Attorney.

One of the most daunting tasks in a legal situation  is hiring an attorney.  Its is not something you ever look forward to doing, regardless of the reason for why you need an attorney.  But, there are several things you should do before contacting an attorney and several things you should do afterwards.

Pre-Attorney check:

  • Ask your Family.     It is likely someone in  your family, or a close friend, has been through the need for an attorney and used one.  This will help you determine who to use and just as importantly who NOT to use.
  • Ask your Preacher.    Your preacher, pastor, rabbi, etc… may well know who can help you.  Sometimes they are reluctant to get involved as it may pit one parishioner vs. another, however, in my experience they try to steer either one or both to someone equipped to help that particular person.
  • Ask Trusted Professionals.    Your CPA, Banker, Counselor.  They know who has a good reputation in the community and in some instances may have worked with the attorney.
  • Review the Web.  Do they have a web presence? Review their site for content? Review for practice ares; Jack of all trades or limiting their practice?

Interview the Attorney:

  • The Initial Assessment (or consultation, as some attorneys call it) is as much you gathering information on the attorney as the attorney is getting information on, about and from you.
  • Ask about Experience; trial experience, experience in the area of law you seek, experience with the potential judges and counsel-opposite(s).
  • Explain.  See if they can explain the process in English.  I know some big words, but I also know when to use them.
  • Ask about Fees.  Know what a “Retainer” is. (Unearned money which the attorney earns as they work on your case. Typically you are billed for every phone call, email, text, letter, appointment, interview and court appearance).
  • Trust your gut.  Instinct matters.  If you don’t click, don’t have that trust – move on.  There are a lot of attorneys out there.
  • Be smart about it too.  If the attorney can explain it, has the experience and is in your budget, don’t delay taking action, sometimes you have to make the best decision, on the best information available at the time.  (Maybe your gut is wrong….)
  • Be Honest with them.  Every dirty detail.

After the Hire:

  • Be clear on Expectations.
  • Communicate, Communicate, Communicate. (Phone, text, email, as needed)
  • Follow their advice.  That is why you hired them.
  • Give feedback.

This is not a perfect list, but it is some food for thought when hiring an attorney.

Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney that gets hired more often than not.  If you think you need an attorney you probably do.  

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer    Visit the website: Thompson Law Firm

You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 

What to do when you get Legal Papers?

It has to be one of the worst feelings in the world.  You are working, perhaps at your job, or you jut got home and there is a strange person there with an envelope.  You hope against hope that it is not a package from 1) the IRS and/or 2) an attorney.  The person may be a plain clothes process server you have never seen before or even a sheriff’s deputy or constable.  What do you do? Run? Scream? Invoke the Castle Doctrine? No.

Image courtesy of pixbox77 /

Breath. Take the papers. Be polite to that person, as they may later be a witness.  If not nice, at least be indifferent.

What to do When you get Legal Papers?

  • 1) Take the papers.
  • 2) Review the papers.
  • 3) Make a copy.
  • 4) Take them to an attorney.

“Okay. I took the papers. What next?” Call your lawyer.  DO NOT IGNORE THE PAPERS!  Do not put them in the car to be forgotten. Do not pile them up with your junk mail.

In most instances the moment you received those papers a potentially critical deadline began to run.  That deadline can be from 2 days to 7 to 30 or 45 days, but nonetheless a clock is now ticking.

On numerous occasions I have had a potential client call and say that they have Court on Wednesday. I think, “well today is Monday they can’t do that.” My next questions is when did you get the papers? “June. About a month and a half ago”  Yikes. Don’t do this.

Think of all the anxiety they have put themselves through with the weight of those legal papers on their mind. If you get papers take them to an attorney.  Have them reviewed, know what they mean and how you need to respond to them.

Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney and has been served papers before, so he knows what he’s talking about.  Trust the Bow Tie.

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer    Visit the website: Thompson Law Firm

You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or

Go to the Fair!

MS State Fair, October 2012.

It’s the first weekend in October in Mississippi. The air is cool and crisp in the mornings. We are enjoying some of the best weather Mississippi has to offer and the Mississippi State Fair is in town for nearly two weeks!

Attending the fair is an annual tradition in our family. We go for food, fun and to see the “sights.” The Mississippi fair is as diverse a cross-section of MS as you can get; young and old, blue collar, white collar and no collar. Half of the fun is people watching.

Some great memories are of the “arm-band” nights and riding the rides, always being a little nervous that they could come flying apart and send your hurdling towards High Street. It never happened. It was also fun to watch the Hurricane, the Cyclone, or whatever the “natural disaster” named twisting ride was in action that year. Ever wondered what that hose is for nearby?

Enjoy some junk food, but not too much. Oh, and if you are wondering what is legal about this…Go to the Fair, don’t have an Affair!


  • What are the ride ticket prices? 4 coupons = $5; 22 coupons – $25; 55 coupons – $60
  • When do they start charging at the gates? During the weekdays at 1:00. On weekends at 9:00 A.M. Saturdays and 10:00 A.M. Sundays.
  • Do you have to pay for parking? Yes, Parking on the MS State Fairgrounds is $5.00. Businesses outside the fairgrounds charge their own rates for parking and it not controlled by the Fair Commission
  • How much are arm bands? Arm band rates are different for each special. Please check our website for more information.
  • Can I bring a wagon for my children? Yes
  • What time are the concerts? Most concerts begin at 7:30 P.M.
  • Do I have to pay gate admission if I’m buying an armband? Yes, gate admission is not included in the cost of the armband
  • When do the rides begin? Please check the website for the times that the rides will begin each day.
** Please check the website at for all information regarding the fair.

Divorce, Child Custody & Support, Alimony, Contempt, Modification, Adoption, Appeals, Corporate Counsel, Professional Licensure Issues, and Civil Litigation.

%d bloggers like this: