What Is The Difference Between A Lawyer And An Attorney?
On the radio and television you will see both terms used interchangeably. “If you are hurt call So-and-so Legalman, attorney at law” or “We have over 20 highly experienced lawyers working at our law firm.” So which is it? The answer is not terribly complex.
A lawyer is someone who has completed training at a law school but has not passed the state bar exam. Anyone who has finished law school can officially call themselves a lawyer. They can provide legal guidance to individuals and companies but they cannot legally represent them. For example if someone is fighting their bank from foreclosing on their home, a lawyer will be able to tell them what to do but will not technically be able to go to court for them.
An attorney is a lawyer who has passed the state bar exam. They are legally able to represent you and go to court in your place. They can only represent you in the state that they passed the bar exam in. So an attorney in florida will not be able to represent a client who lives in Georgia. An Orlando car accident lawyer can give advise while a car accident attorney would be able to physically represent their client in court.
Lawyer – completed law school but has not passed the state bar exam
Attorney – complete law school and completed the state bar exam
Car Accident Victim: My wife was rearended by a police officer the other day. It really messed up our car. He apologized and said he was distracted by what looked like it might be a pursesnatching in progress. Another officer came out and wrote up a report but did not give him a ticket. That bothers me. Their risk management office has contacted us and agreed to repair our vehicle and give us a rental car. My wife’s back is killing her. A friend of mine said oh no, don’t go against the police because they’ll never forget it. How would hiring a lawyer help this situation?
Car Accident Lawyer: Lawyers are here to help preserve your rights. Civil liability is not predicated on the issuance of a traffic ticket or lack thereof. It sounds like the officer was 100% at fault. State police officers go through a variety of different kinds of local training. They are usually under pressure of multitasking so this accident is not unusual. City, county and state police agencies are not required to carry no fault coverage on their cruisers, some do, some don’t, and if they did not in your wife’s case the rules are that she can collect for pain and suffering for any injury. Remember she must seek treatment within 14 days of the accident or she loses $10,000 (or more) in medical expense and lost wage benefits. Hiring a lawyer would help your wife collect money for her pain and suffering, her medical bills, lost wages, and repair her car.
Even with the economy finally on the upswing people around the country are still having a hard time making those mortage payments. Especially those who bought a house without a fix percentage. One can go from paying $600 a month to over $1000 and if a tight budget is already required one can go under very quickly. There is also the common area of job loss. If one applies for a 30 year mortgage does the bank really expect one to hold that same job for 30 years? Here is a example of a person in that exact situation.
My wife and I are $150,000 underwater on our middle class home. We were able to make the payments for the first 3 years but every month is a stretch. About 2 months ago our interest rate jumped and the mortgage increased by $400.00 a month. We are still making payments but getting a little further behind each month to the point where were are certain the bank will attempt to foreclose on our home. We were looking into finding a experienced foreclosure attorney but figured it would be too expensive to hire one. I figure if I do a good amount of research I will be able to defend myself in court without the assistance of a lawyer. Can I fight foreclosure without hiring a lawyer? Is this a wise choice to save money?
Banks are usually known for having an upper hand especially if you try to fight them without an attorney. For some reason many people fighting home foreclosure forget about one key factor: During the fight you will not be making mortgage payments. With that said you want to prevent the bank from being able to foreclose on your home for as long as possible. During this time you can start saving your money and you will have more then enough to pay for a experienced foreclosure attorney. There are some that are as inexpensive as $200 a month. The average home owner in Florida cannot do that without the help of a reliable Orlando foreclosure attorney. There is a process which all banks must go through before a home is taken from the owner. Since banks will typically make more money by foreclosing on a home they have been known to give their employees quotas to meet and resort to robo signers to move homes quickly. We typically look for bank errors and sometimes even bank fraud. Prior to looking in a case we need to determine what the end goal is. Do you want to stay living in your home or are you underwater and need to get out. Do you live at the property or do you just own it? If a home owner’s goal is to continue living at the home we would negotiate with the bank to get a loan modification. If the goal is just to move or get out from under the property we would push for a short sale. Bankruptcy is also an option but usually a last resort.
Edit: Special thanks to the lawyers at The Freedom Law Firm for answering this question