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Wittman: Web can make hunt for lawyer easier

I never wanted an attorney on retainer so badly as I did last summer when my husband and I sold our home.

Selling our home had been a long, stressful process and we were very happy to have finally sold it and be moving – that is, until the real estate agent representing the buyer did everything in their power to block the closing of the sale.

To this day I don’t know exactly why the agent wanted to hold things up. After all, the commission was tied to the closing of the home.

Our agent threatened legal action and, voilà, the house closed on time. But by that point, I had many gray hairs and a much shorter-than-expected lifespan. (I guess I didn’t want to see my 80s, anyway.)

I was so appalled by the agent’s behavior that I e-mailed the agent’s boss outlining what had happened. My general point was, do you want someone like this representing you? His response was to not respond. The agent responded by threatening to sue me for defamation.

And that, dear friends, is why I wished so badly that I had an attorney on retainer.

Alas, I am but an average person of average means. That means I don’t have access to Gloria Allred or some other equally rabid and scary lawyer. But what I do have access to is a wealth of online legal resources.

If I had decided I truly needed to hire an attorney, I could have used the Pima County Bar Association’s lawyer referral service. For a $35 fee, you are matched with local attorneys skilled in the area of law pertaining to your legal matter. You also get a 30-minute face-to-face consultation. Go to pimacountybar.org for more information.

AZLawHelp.org helps low- income families solve their legal problems. It offers information and links on a variety of legal topics, from domestic and immigration issues to employment problems and housing matters.

If your need is more general – say, you want to draft a will or trust – there’s Nolo.com. Its Nolopedia offers a wealth of free legal information and the Lawyer Directory hooks you up with local lawyers specializing in whatever area of law you need.

Romi Carrell Wittman is a writer and the communication services director for Trico Electric Cooperative. E-mail: romi.wittman@comcast.net.

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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