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Sometimes, whether you win or lose your legal battle will depend just as much on the attorney you hire as the law and the facts of your case. That's why choosing the right lawyer is so important. 

Most people will tell you to hire an attorney with a great reputation. But how do you research a lawyer's reputation? Two main sources: the state bar and word of mouth. 

We live in an increasingly DIY society. With easy access to information, a strong work ethic, and a healthy dose of optimism, we think we can solve any problem ourselves.

But part of knowledge is knowing what we don't know, and which situations we can't handle on our own. While some legal issues, like traffic tickets, are easy enough to handle without legal assistance, others are just too complex or important to go it alone. Here are ten of those times when you need a good lawyer:

What to Do If Falsely Accused of Elder Abuse

No good deed goes unpunished and that can certainly apply to efforts to help your elders. Sometimes when we try to assist others, things go awry, or our efforts are misunderstood. Good people are accused of abuse.

It happens with people who look out for kids, the elderly, and other vulnerable populations -- society wants to protect them and that means innocent people can get hurt. So if you find yourself reported for elder abuse, what should you do? It's a difficult question because there are different types of abuse and, as such, different contexts in which you might be accused.

Legal Malpractice or Just Bad Lawyering?

A lawyer is an administrator, counselor, clerk, earpiece and voice, sword and shield. It's a lot to ask and not everyone does every aspect of the job just right.

Sadly, there are bad lawyers. But that does not mean that they are committing legal malpractice or that you can sue an attorney when a case doesn't go as hoped. Lawyers do not guarantee results. They are, however, bound by the law, ethical rules, and standards of practice. And when they violate the codes of conduct that govern the legal profession, then a malpractice suit is in order.

Can My Lawyer Testify Against Me?

Your attorney can testify against you in extremely limited circumstances. If it happens, it either means you are now adversaries, on opposite sides of a case, or that the lawyer has been subpoenaed and is obligated to testify.

Regardless, a lawyer has an ethical obligation to maintain client confidences to the extent possible, which means that testimony does not equate with spilling secrets. This is true even in the criminal context when a client files a motion to reopen a case and reverse a conviction based on ineffective assistance of counsel.

Are Attorneys Notaries?

Attorneys are not necessarily notary publics. But they can be. In the same spirit, you can be a notary without becoming a lawyer.

A notary public is someone who certifies and attests to the authenticity of writings and takes depositions and affidavits, among other duties. The National Notary Association states that there are 4.4 million notaries in the United States. They are all in service to the state or territory that issues their commission.

How Much Will a Lawyer Cost?

It's the first question that comes to mind when anyone gets into legal trouble: How much will this cost? And while hiring an attorney may be expensive, not hiring one could end up costing you even more.

The total cost of hiring an attorney will depend on the attorney and your case, but there are some general principles regarding legal fees, depending on whether you're hiring a family, injury, or criminal lawyer.

Try as we might, no person is perfect. And some of those non-perfect people are our family members. This leaves us non-criminal family members with some tough choices to make. Does a daughter need drug therapy? Should you call the cops on your cousin? Is it time to consult with a lawyer?

Here are just a few of the legal considerations you should keep in mind if you've got a family member who is in involved in criminal activity.

Can My Lawyer Lend Me Money?

It may not be illegal or unethical, but it is one of the favors a lawyer probably shouldn't do for a client. Of all the fee agreements and financial arrangements an attorney can have with his or her client, lending money is one of the most problematic.

So even in cases where your lawyer can lend you money, there are serious concerns about whether he or she should lend you money. Here's why:

Like any other relationship, not every attorney-client pairing is perfect. Even if you were as careful as possible trying to choose the right lawyer, mistakes can be made and things can change.

From personality clashes to professional malpractice, here are a few reasons to ditch your attorney and find a new one: