A Brief History of the Legal Profession

The legal profession has been around in various forms for centuries, and truthfully, no one knows who or where the first legal professional came from.  As long as there has been organized society, there have been forms of legally associated positions.   However, we do have a general idea of the history of lawyers, and where they started to become organized and recognized.


Most sources say that the lawyer, though very different from the lawyer as we know them today, originated in ancient Athens.  They were the speakers of Ancient Greece, or Orators. Citizens at that time were legally required to plead their own case without official representation, and one could not accept a fee to plead the case of a citizen.  


However, the citizen could call on the help of a friend, which they often did to get around the system.  Those who studied the legal system in depth would offer their “friendship” for services and goods and hide the exchange from the justices.  Basically, they became advisors, who did not formally represent clients, but presented their information to the court as assistance for a friend being tried.


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The first official and legal representation of clients can be traced to Rome.  People were finally able to hire a professional to represent them.  The Emperor Claudius legalized the profession, but set a limit to the income one could make.  Since the pay was not great, many of the legal representatives studied the law and took on clients as an extracurricular activity.  These were already wealthy or financially stable individuals who took on these cases as a hobby.  


They could discuss the cases together, study the law, and represent their client.   Many of the legal representatives did so as an extracurricular activity, and some did so professionally, although the legal profession did not pay well.  Eventually, the legal profession developed into a regulated and accepted position.


Throughout history, the idea of legal representation developed and progressed over time to become the organized and associated profession it is today.  


Foreclosures in Florida

Every home owner fears the lingering prospect of the bank taking back ownership of their home if they are unable to pay their mortgage payments.  When the bank repossesses property because of a failure to pay the mortgage, it is known as foreclosure.


In the state of Florida, foreclosure is a somewhat frequent occurrence.  The statistic is that one in every 789 properties received a foreclosure filing.  That’s over 9,000 homes!  Lately, the amount of foreclosure cases in the courts has been so overwhelming that extra measures have been taken to close outstanding cases as quickly as possible.


In some cases, this can mean that even though the bank and homeowner are still working together to come up with a solution, the court will still grant the home to the bank.  It’s a serious time for homeowners in the foreclosure process, because the outcome is unpredictable and more likely than before to result in seizure of your home. In recent cases, judges have ruled against foreclosure extensions, and shortened extensions to speed along the process considerably.


There are federal regulations which attempt to help the homeowner maintain their property if they are unable to pay, and services which can be handled through the bank to lighten the homeowner’s burden.  According to federal regulations, if a homeowner requests a loan modification, the bank must determine the outcome of the request before filing for foreclosure.  A loan modification is obtained through the mortgage company with the help of your lawyer, and serves to adjust the payments required on your mortgage due to unplanned financial hardship or a change in circumstances.


Florida is continuously higher in foreclosures than many other states, causing many of the courts to become backlogged with foreclosure cases.  Although effort is being made state-wide to lighten the load, homeowners are best served by seeking strong legal representation so that their case is organized in an efficient manner to be heard properly.  



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Starting a Business in Tampa

Starting a business is an exciting venture for a budding entrepreneur! It can also become a complex process, and ensuring that you are covering all bases in the beginning can save you time and money in the long run.

If you are starting a business that requires you to operate on a specific property, such as a restaurant or storefront, you will have zoning laws and legal codes to meet.  There are different requirements based on what type of business you are running.  

Hiring a lawyer can help you determine what requirements you have to meet. They can also help you to get in touch with the right people to move things along.  Think of your lawyer as a connector.  They know all of the right places to contact, and how to contact them, to get your business started as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Figuring out what type of entity you’ll become is also important.  Should you become a corporation, an LLC, or just operate as a sole proprietor?  Corporations have the most protection financially and legally, but also have the strictest requirements when it comes to forming and operating.  

An LLC will protect you to a certain point financially, but will also require documentation which states your intentions as far as making decisions, dissolving your business, and distributing finances.  

The easiest entity to claim is a sole proprietorship, but that connects you completely to your business, and you are personally responsible for the actions of your business both legally and financially.

You also need to determine your place of operation.  Finding a great location and the perfect space is exciting and full of unlimited possibilities!  Once you find the perfect space, you can start designing it according to your vision for your business.  Finding the right furniture should be a top priority, maybe a pre furnished location would be the smarter choice. I’ve always used Cornerstone Furnished Solutions and highly recommend them. 

When you decide what space to use, you may want to consult a lawyer to go over the lease with you and ensure your interests and the interests of your business are protected. 

Unlike a personal lease, you will need to ensure that the longevity and restrictions allow you to operate your business professionally.  If you are purchasing the building, you will want to get a lawyer as soon as possible to offer you advisement and research the property.

Starting a business can be exciting and exhilarating!   By knowing the simple steps to getting started, you can make sure you are prepared to begin your journey to success.

When You May Need a Lawyer Throughout your Lifetime

Many people assume that when you hire a lawyer, you are doing so because you are in legal trouble, or going through a major life change, such as a divorce.  However, there are many reasons you may want to consider hiring a lawyer that have to do with small changes, or even daily life.


One thing all Americans have in common throughout their adult lifetime is the need to file and pay taxes.  In many cases, you may need a lawyer for tax purposes.  IRS communication with taxpayers is more common than ever.  

When you receive a letter from the IRS, a lawyer can help you interpret the communication and find out exactly what the IRS is looking for.  More importantly, they can also help you handle situations such as audits, proof of residence verification, or liens and levies on your property.  A lawyer can also represent you if the information the IRS has on file resulting in a balance is false, or unfounded.


The next milestone you may meet is marriage.  When you get married, you may wish to hire a lawyer to protect your assets with a prenuptial agreement, or to merge your assets properly.  Marriage is a contract between two individuals, and some prefer to outline the details of the marriage agreement before entering into the marriage legally.

Someday, you may also wish to purchase a home!  Once you buy a house, you will need a lawyer to complete the sale, just like if you were building a custom home in Tampa you would need Cogdill Builders Florida. A lawyer is typically hired to handle the closing, and represents your interests to ensure that the mortgage, contract, and transition is handled properly.  A lawyer will also investigate the property for outstanding liens and obligations, which need to be settled before the sale of the property is complete.

Let’s say you decide to adopt a child.  You will definitely need a lawyer to represent you in the adoption, help you file the proper paperwork, and advise you on the necessary documentation.

Finally, it is the responsibility of an individual to determine where their assets will go in the event of their demise.  Most people wait too long to draft a will, leaving their property in a state of limbo and uncertainty.  A lawyer can ensure that your will is created properly, and even executed appropriately when the time comes.


Life has many important milestones, and many of them require reliable legal advice.  Make sure you know not just the unusual, but the everyday reasons you may need legal representation throughout your life.

How to Choose the Right Lawyer

For most people, there comes a time in our lives when we need a lawyer, whether it be for basic legal advice or documentation, or a more serious matter.  

Making sure you have the correct person to represent your interests is essential to trusting your legal matters are taken care of.  

Finding the right lawyer can seem complicated, but if you follow these basic tips, you can quickly simplify the selection process.

Where to start - The American Bar Association can help you find accredited lawyers through their online directory.  

The national Lawyer Referral Directory through the ABA website can direct you by state to attorneys in your area.  Once you have a list, you can start asking questions.

Explore services -  You probably have a pretty good idea of what you need legal help with.  Verifying which lawyers offer those services is the next step to choosing your representation.  

Luckily, a lot of basic research can be done right on the web.  Many law firms or independent attorneys list their services on their website.  You can also get basic contact information from the internet.  

Set aside time to call at least a few different offices and find out about the services they offer, as well as their specialties.

Meet and Greet - Once you’ve determined which lawyer you are interested in having represent you, it’s time to meet them!  

Set up an appointment for a consultation.  While you may be charged for the time you spend going over your case, it is well worth the expense to ensure that you feel comfortable with your representation.

Legal matters can be stressful, and finding a lawyer that makes you feel comfortable and confident is important.  With these simple and easy steps, you can help find the lawyer that works best for you and can fit your needs.