Knight Junor & Samuels
                 
   
   
 
     
  Civil Litigation
  Corporate and Commercial Legal Services
  Conveyancing and Estates
  Criminal Defense
   
 


 

Frequently Asked Questions Answered

1. Who should I call if I or someone I know is arrested?

If you or someone you know is arrested, your first concerns should be safety and bail. You should contact your lawyer and a close friend or family member.

2. How can I get a divorce?

In Jamaica, divorce is obtained through an application to the Supreme Court. It is relatively simple to obtain a divorce today compared to several years ago. However, there are still several steps and some strict timelines involved. A qualified attorney can make an application for divorce on your behalf after you have given the attorney some basic information about your marriage. Factors such as whether or not you have young children from your marriage, or whether you and your spouse jointly own any property or bank accounts may affect the length of time and complexity involved in obtaining your divorce.

3. Why do court cases take so long?

Ordinary citizens who become involved in court matters, often find that their cases take a long time to settle. The length of time depends on the nature and complexity of the cases, and can involve a fair amount of waiting time as there is a backlog of cases facing each court and cases are heard on a first come first served basis. In criminal matters, the investigation process also takes a significant portion of the time. However, civil matters are usually settled in a more reasonable time.

4. Is there any way I can assist my attorneys with my legal matter?

Yes, certainly. Your matter will proceed more smoothly if you provide information to your attorney in a timely manner. Try to jot down relevant details before you visit your attorney, and come prepared with names and dates of people, places or events. If you are unable to keep an appointment with your attorney call beforehand to reschedule. You should ask for clarification on anything that you do not understand, and ensure that you are clear about dates and addresses of court or mediation sessions at which your attendance is required.

5. Why do I need a lawyer to buy land, if the vendor has already agreed to the price?

The ownership of land is a complex matter because land is capable of having many ‘interests’. This means that even if the vendor has a valid title for the land, there could be other factors such as leases, mortgages or covenants that may affect your rights as a new owner. During conveyancing, your attorney conducts investigations to uncover any outside interests on the property and to ensure that rights to ownership are properly transferred from vendor to purchaser.

6. How can I choose the right lawyer?

Three important considerations when selecting an attorney are: competence, convenience, and affordability. An excellent measure of the legal competence of a firm or attorney is its reputation among its competitors. In addition, testimonials from satisfied clients says a lot about the quality an attorney. You should also ensure that your lawyer is registered and properly qualified to practice in your jurisdiction. Convenience covers the accessibility of the firm (by phone, fax, online or in person), and the personality of the attorneys and staff; your lawyer should be easy to talk to and should inspire your trust and confidence. Affordability: Legal fees can be high, but some law firms offer flexible payment schedules, some will take matters on a contingency basis and some even do pro bono (free) work. Do your research before choosing a firm, and aim to have all your legal matters handled in one place.

7. Should I really report every accident to my car insurance company?

Yes. And never sign any document accepting liability, as the insurance company can then refuse to pay damages on your behalf.

8. How can I sue someone who has wronged me?

You can sue someone in person by going to the Civil Registrar at any Court, or you may opt to go through an attorney.

9. What should I do if someone tries to sue me?

Consult a lawyer or someone with the necessary experience who can advise you.

10. Should I call the police or a lawyer if I am defrauded?

For criminal action or to get immediate response in an emergency you should call the police. If you wish to sue for recovery of your money, you will need to retain the services of an attorney.

11. What can I do if I think my employer is being unfair?

Consult your lawyer or the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

12. I signed a contract; how can I get out of it without being sued?

Whether you can get out of a signed contract without being sued depends on the terms of the specific contract. It is a good idea to get an attorney’s advice before entering agreements. But if you have already signed on the dotted line, the sooner you get a professional legal opinion the better.

13. At what age should I write a will?

You should write a will as soon as you reach eighteen (18) years old, if you have any real or personal property.

14. I was injured in an accident and I cannot afford the medical bills?

You may be able to get compensation for your accident. If you consult an attorney, your case can be handled on a contingency basis so that your bills will be taken care of for you.

15. Where can I go if I cannot afford a lawyer?

If you cannot afford a lawyer, you may visit the Legal Aid Clinic at Norman Manley Law School, U.W.I. Mona, or the Kingston Legal Aid Clinic on Tower Street, Kingston.

 
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3rd Floor
4 Duke Street
Kingston, Jamaica
Regional Office
Suite 7
22A Ward Avenue
Mandeville, Jamaica
Regional Office
Suite 1
The Palms Plaza
Junction, St. Elizabeth
Cyberspace
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info@kjslaw.com.jm
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