How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask CalAttorney2 Your Own Question
CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 10238
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing both landlords and tenants in residential and commercial property disputes.
71563194
Type Your Landlord-Tenant Question Here...
CalAttorney2 is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have bed bugs and have been evicted.the landlord feels i

Customer Question

i have bed bugs and have been evicted.the landlord feels i was responsible.your assitance?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 5 months ago.

Dear Customer,

When you use the phrase "assistance attorney" I assume that you are looking for an attorney willing to accept your case on what we refer to as a "pro bono" basis.

It is unlikely that you are going to be able to get an attorney to take this case on a "pro bono" basis (for free). Keep in mind, when you are asking a law firm to take on a case "pro bono" you are asking not only that the attorney donate their time to your case (time that could be spent generating work for clients that are paying for his or her services), but you are also asking that the law firm actually spend a fair amount of their money to litigate your case (it costs law firms a lot of money to litigate something for their clients (costs of filing fees, staff expenses, copying, subscriptions to legal research and other software, etc.), so there are not many firms that can provide pro bono litigation services.

You can check with firms (usually look for larger firms that can absorb these kinds of economic losses), and see if you have something in your case that offers them a good trade off. (Is your case noteworthy or somehow able to generate some news for the law firm - pro bono representation can be a form of very inefficient advertising, but if your case can get their name out there, it may be worthwhile; Is your case a cutting edge matter - some law firms and attorneys are interested in being the first attorney (or one of the first) to litigate a big issue, they want to argue an issue before the appellate courts that may make new law; Along the same lines, does your case have an issue that compliments or is similar to the firm's other (paying) client's interests - for example, if you have a land use issue for a small property, and the law firm represents a lot of big property owners with similar interests, that may have the same issue, the law firm may be willing to represent you in order to resolve this particular issue).

An alternative type of representation (that is more commonly used when the client does not have a lot of funds) is the "contingency fee agreement" where the law firm will advance its services and the costs of litigation, in exchange for a portion of the client's recovery. So the client will get representation without having to pay anything up front, but will have to reimburse the law firm for its expenses, then pay the law firm a portion of their recovery to compensate them for their time and efforts. (These fee agreements can be changed between the parties, and some lawyers will have the client pay for the litigation costs as the matter is being litigated, and the client will only have to split part of their recovery to pay for the attorney's time when they win).

It is important to discuss with your attorney the details of your compensation agreement at the time that you sign up for services (this contract is usually referred to as the "Legal Services Agreement"), and if you have any questions, the lawyer should be more than willing to explain and discuss them with you.

You can find local attorneys using the State and local Bar Association directories, or private directories such as www.AVVO.com; www.FindLaw.com; or www.Martindale.com (I personally find www.AVVO.com to be the most user friendly).

  • I will be very direct with you here, based on the very short details we have to work with on this forum, I would not be surprised if you were unable to find an attorney that is willing to handle your claim without you being willing to pay out of pocket (called an "hourly fee agreement"), and most such attorneys will require a substantial amount to be paid in the form of a deposit. If you find this to be the case, you can still sue the landlord yourself in small claims court. Small claims court in Florida allows you to sue for up to $5,000.00 in damages quickly and easily without requiring an attorney and is designed so that you can represent yourself. The FL Courts have some information online: http://www.flcourts.org/resources-and-services/family-courts/family-law-self-help-information/small-claims.stml and each County Court has their own information packet available. You can also find helpful information in your local law library.

Related Landlord-Tenant Questions