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Erie County Lawyer Referral & Information Service

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I really need a lawyer for my situation?  
    Only an attorney can tell you if you have a case.  LRIS staff members are not attorneys and cannot answer your legal questions.

Will I get an experienced attorney?
    We make referrals from a roster of Erie County attorneys who have been reviewed to make sure they are licensed, carry malpractice insurance and are in good standing with the State Bar of Pennsylvania.  The attorneys sign up to receive referrals under panel categories in which they predominantly practice.  They are experienced in various areas of law including family law, estates, personal injury, criminal law and many others.  

How much will it cost and how do I pay?
    You should discuss future fees with the lawyer during the initial consultation. It is important to understand how the fees are determined and when they will need to be paid. The lawyer will provide a written agreement that states what the services will cost. In situations when it is impossible to determine the exact fee, an estimate can be provided.  Remember, you are under no obligation to engage the services of the lawyer after your initial consultation and they have no obligation to accept your case.

What if I cannot afford an attorney?
    The LRIS only refers to private attorneys.  The service does not offer any free or reduced fee services. If you cannot afford to hire a private attorney, an LRIS staff may direct you to an alternate community service that may be able to better assist you.

Do you have a list of pro bono - or free - attorneys?
    The service does not provide any lists of attorneys - private or pro bono.

My court date is very close and I need to schedule an appointment today.  Is this possible?  
    Unfortunately we are not able to guarantee that the attorney will be able to see you quickly.  Normally an attorney can schedule the consultation within five (5) days of the referral.  

Sometimes, for one reason or another, we may not able to refer you to an attorney. Below are a couple of  common reasons this may apply to your situation.
    You have a jurisdiction issue. We often receive calls from people whose claims arose out of events which occurred out of state, or who have court appearances scheduled in other states. If this is the case for you, you need to hire an attorney in the proper state. For example, if you have a court date in Arizona you must hire an attorney in Arizona. If you need an attorney in another state we will happily provide you with the phone number for the appropriate bar association or you can locate other Referral Services through the American Bar Association’s website.  

    We do not have the appropriate attorney to meet your needs.  Unfortunately, there are times when we do not have the appropriate attorney to meet a specific need or request, whether it involves conflicts of interest for the attorneys on our panels or when the matter is not handled by one of our attorneys.   If this happens we will do our best to provide you with the information for another service which can better assist you, whether that is another bar association or alternate community service.