Property owners, be it of residential or commercial property, could find themselves in a condemnation case where the government seeks to acquire the property. The governmental power that allows this is eminent domain. If you are faced with condemnation, contacting a skilled and experienced Fairfax condemnation lawyer is the most important step you take.
Condemnation permits a local, state or the federal government to purchase private property for the purpose of creating roads, parks, or some other public use. While it is true that the government has the ability to take private property for public use, it doesn't mean you are without rights.
You will want to consult with a condemnation attorney to see if you could challenge the government's decision to take your property. It may not meet certain public necessity or public purpose standards. This is a very complicated area of law and requires the assistance of a condemnation lawyer.
An attorney can often resolve your particular legal issue faster and better than trying to do it alone. A lawyer can help you navigate the legal system, while avoiding costly mistakes or procedural errors. You should seek out an attorney whose practice focuses on the area of law most relevant to your issue.
Prepare for your consultation by writing down notes of your understanding of the case, jot down questions and concerns for the attorney, and gather your documents. Remember that you are trying to get a sense of whether the attorney has your trust and can help you address your legal issues. Questions should include how the attorney intends to resolve your issue, how many years he/she has been practicing law and specifically practicing in your area, as well as how many cases similar to yours the attorney has handled. It can also be helpful to broach the subject of fees so that you understand the likely cost and structure of your representation by a specific attorney and/or legal team.
Bill by the hour: Many attorneys bill by the hour. How much an attorney bills you per hour will vary based on a number of factors. For instance, an attorney's hourly fee may fluctuate based on whether that hour is spent representing you in court or doing research on your case. Attorneys in one practice area may bill you more than attorneys in a different practice area.
Contingent fee: Some lawyers will accept payment via contingent fee. In this arrangement, the lawyer receives a percentage of the total monetary recovery if you win your lawsuit. In sum, the lawyer only gets paid if you win. Contingent fee agreements are limited to specific practice areas in civil law.
Flat fee: For "routine" legal work where the attorney generally knows the amount of time and resources necessary to complete the task, he/she may be willing to bill you a flat fee for services performed.