Frequently Asked Questions

NOTE OF GENERAL DISCLAIMER: No Attorney-Client Relationship is formed as a result of information provided on this Web site and in the FAQ section. The site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to give specific legal advice.

Check out our Guidance on the Law section for detailed information on select areas of the law.

Do I Have a Legal Issue?

What is a legal issue?

Legal issues occur in all aspects of life. People face legal issues in areas such as family law, consumer law, personal injury, real estate, business law, wills and trusts, and criminal law. Legal issues are not just criminal citations or arrests. Legal issues include child custody disputes, business formations, contract negotiations, and many other areas of employment and life. Whether you need to find a DUI lawyer near you or an attorney for your startup small business, legal issues cover all aspects of life.

What is the difference between a civil case and a criminal case?

A civil case involves a dispute between two private parties, such as divorcing spouses or a landlord and a tenant. In a civil case, the outcome could be a negotiated settlement or a decision by the judge in favor of one party to the case with the potential for a monetary award or other relief from the judgment. A civil litigant may need a plaintiff’s attorney or a defense attorney. In a criminal case, the State, through the prosecutor’s office, charges an individual with a crime. The outcome of the case will involve the individual being found not guilty, entering a plea agreement, or being convicted at trial, with fines and/or jail time possibly resulting. A criminal defendant needs a criminal defense attorney.

Does it matter how long I wait to file a lawsuit?

Yes. In many areas of the law there are deadlines to file a lawsuit. These are known as a statute of limitations. State law may prevent you from filing a lawsuit more than a certain period of time after the events leading to the lawsuit occurred. Failing to file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations period may prevent you from bringing a lawsuit for the event in question at all.

What do I need to do to start a lawsuit?

Gather the facts and evidence, organize the information, and file a complaint in the county where you plan to sue the other party. You will need to make sure you file in an appropriate county or other court that has jurisdiction over the case.

Can I handle my case by myself?

Representing yourself is known as being a pro se litigant. The court system does allow pro se litigants to handle their own cases. The law is intricate and has a lot of rules that a non-lawyer may make mistakes on, which can hurt the chances of winning your case. You should consider the complexity of your case when deciding if you need a licensed attorney.

Do I Really Need a Lawyer?

How do I know if I need a lawyer?

You may need a lawyer for a variety of reasons, ranging from an OWI arrest to a contested dissolution of marriage. Lawyers play an important role in both criminal and civil cases as an advocate and as an advisor for you as the client. Lawyers are bound by ethical rules and strive to provide zealous advocacy in handling your case. The more complex the case or the bigger the stakes (e.g. facing jail time or losing custody of your children), the more likely you will benefit from engaging the services of an experienced lawyer.

What should I consider before hiring an attorney?

You want to find an attorney who you feel comfortable talking to about your case. You will likely need to share personal details and information that is confidential. Finding a lawyer, and a law firm, that you trust is vital. You will also need to consider the cost of hiring an attorney and the geographic location of your case. An attorney must be licensed in your state in order to practice law there.

Will I have to go to court?

It depends. You may need to go to court in both a civil case and a criminal case depending on how it progresses. Often times, this will depend on if the case goes to trial or a settlement or plea agreement is arranged before trial. If you do need to appear in court, your lawyer will be there to guide you through the courthouse and represent you before the judge. Not every situation requiring a lawyer involves a lawsuit, though. If you are hiring a lawyer for a contract negotiation, prenuptial agreement, or real estate transaction, for example, there is no lawsuit involved that would require going to court.

When is my case concluded / how long will my case take?

It depends. Some cases can be settled or dismissed early, within weeks or months of filing the lawsuit. Often times, the legal process can take months to years to go through an entire case from the initial meeting with your lawyer to a final conclusion.

What Happens When I Call the Law Office of Jawn Bauer?

What happens when I call a lawyer’s office?

When you call the Law Offices of Jawn Bauer at Bauer & Densford, during normal business hours you will likely speak to a legal assistant to start. The legal assistant will get your name and information and set up an initial consultation with an attorney. If you hire an attorney at this office, you will hear updates from either the legal assistant or an attorney, as well as via mail and email.

Will I speak with a lawyer when I call?

Yes, at some point you will speak with a lawyer based on availability in the lawyer’s schedule. In general, you can expect a call from our office within 48 hours.

How will I receive updates and be kept informed about my case?

Our office will provide you with all documents that are received and sent out on your behalf. In addition, our office will often update you via telephone or other communication concerning the status of your matter.

What information should I bring with me to an initial consultation?

You should bring any documents or other things relevant to the issue you wish to speak to the lawyer about.

What happens if I cannot come to your office?

Our office is willing to setup telephone conferences or video meetings at your convenience.

Can you represent me if I am not in Indiana?

It depends on the nature of the matter and where the dispute may be resolved. Our attorneys are currently licensed to practice law throughout the state of Indiana.

How will I pay attorneys fees?

Our office will enter into a fee agreement which will be reduced to writing. Attorneys fees can be paid via cash, check, money order, or credit card.

NOTE OF GENERAL DISCLAIMER: No Attorney-Client Relationship is formed as a result of information provided on this Web site. The site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to give specific legal advice.

Jawn J. Bauer, Attorney at Law. Serving Bloomington, Indiana, Monroe County Indiana, Indiana University, and surrounding counties. - (812) 334-0600 - 608 W. Third Street, Bloomington, Indiana