Smart advice for selecting a Lawyer when you need one

Smart advice for selecting a Lawyer in Washington County when you need one

Knowing you are required to go to court can be frightening, but there is a way to reduce your stress. Find a great lawyer. The tips and tricks in this article we hope will be helpful.

  • Check to make sure your lawyer is available to answer your calls or emails. A lot of people are disappointed because their lawyer is impossible to get in touch with. You want to avoid being left wondering what’s going just because he is out playing golf.
  • Define your case before seeing a lawyer. First, you should think about whether you really need a lawyer. You ought to have representation if you are faced with criminal charges, a divorce case, or complicated civil litigation. Your situation may be different from those mentioned, but you still could need to speak with an attorney about something important.
  • A specialty lawyer may cost more, but in the long run, it will probably cost you less. In reality, a specialty attorney will spend fewer hours doing research on the case than a general lawyer, reducing their hourly fee.
  • Before signing with a lawyer, ensure you find out if your lawyer has dealt with and won similar cases to your own. A lawyer may claim to specialize in a certain area of law, but if he did not win any of those cases, you should try someone else. You can find this information on the Internet with a little digging. The lawyer should willingly provide it, as well.
  • Have an extensive list of questions for your potential lawyers. Your lawyer should be able to provide you with answers to your questions. They are responsible for making you feel comfortable with their knowledge base. If you feel that they are not as experienced as you had hoped, then choose a different lawyer.
  • Ask your attorney if there is any task you can personally perform to cut down your expenses. You might help with paperwork. If there is paperwork to be picked up at the courthouse, offer to pick them yourself so you will not have to pay the office staff to do it.
  • You can always get a different second opinion if you feel your lawyer isn’t doing the best job. It can be pricy to change the legal council mid-stream, so make sure you know what you are doing. A second opinion can be a smart move before you make any decisions.
  • Ask questions about your specific case and charges and possible outcomes.  Ask your lawyer for what their past experience fighting your type of charges.
  • Most importantly, if you do not feel the lawyer you are interviewing fits your needs or case, then choose a different one. Not all Lawyers fit all cases or people, so do your due diligence so that you can achieve the best possible result for you and your case.

Clearly, having a good lawyer can make all the difference to your court case. Instead of picking someone based on a low rate alone, choose someone that will work for you and with you for their fees. Apply these insights to your case, then you walk out of that courtroom with the best possible outcome possible.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to connect with me at 412-406-6082


Attorney Joseph Horowitz

2021 Eviction Moratorium Extension and Tenant Rent Relief Update

Normally a time to celebrate with family and friends, this year’s winter holiday season was largely spoiled by the global pandemic. The normally joyous countdown to 2021 took on an ominous tone for millions of financially struggling Americans facing eviction. While the federal eviction moratorium enacted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) was set to expire at midnight on Jan. 1, there was a collective sigh of relief as lawmakers finally passed a second COVID relief bill.

We’ll discuss the current state of renter protections, President-elect Joe Biden’s plans to help struggling tenants, and steps you can take to protect your interests as a renter.


Which state and federal eviction moratoriums remain in place after the federal moratorium ends on Jan. 31?

The federal moratorium that ended at midnight on January 1, 2021 was immediately extended to January 31. Right after President Biden was sworn in on January 20, he had the CDC extend the federal moratorium through March 31. Any extensions beyond that date will depend on actions taken by the Biden Administration and what they’re able to work out with Congress. As with past moratoriums, the one-month extension protects tenants from eviction for nonpayment of rent only. If you owe back rent, nothing in this or past legislation forgives your debts, it just protects you from receiving an eviction notice.

You also need to meet certain conditions in order to qualify for protection, such as falling below the $99,000 annual income threshold and making a good-faith effort to pay at least partial rent. This involves filling out some paperwork, which includes the CDC Eviction Moratorium Declaration.

Some states and local governments also implemented new or extended eviction moratoriums and other tenant relief measures. State and local eviction protections vary by location. Most moratoriums prohibit one or more of the following eviction procedures:

  1. Eviction notice
  2. Eviction court filings
  3. Eviction hearings
  4. Eviction orders, judgments, and writs of execution
  5. Eviction (removal) orders

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, for example, signed an executive order extending New York’s eviction moratorium to May 1, 2021. New York’s moratorium suspends all five stages of eviction for qualifying tenants. Oregon’s eviction moratorium was extended through June 2021 (pending court challenges by groups representing landlords), but it doesn’t require that courts stop eviction orders, judgments, or writs of execution. Washington Governor Jay Inslee extended Washington’s eviction moratorium to March 31, 2021, also making adjustments to provide additional assistance to landlords and property owners. In California, Governor Gavin Newsom hopes to extend the state’s eviction moratorium beyond March 31 to June 30, with a vote scheduled for Thursday, January 28.

The main takeaway is that many U.S. tenants are protected against eviction for nonpayment of rent through at least March 31, although additional federal relief could be in the works. State and local protections, meanwhile, vary quite a bit and are still very much in flux.

Does the COVID relief bill enacted last December provide any additional tenant protections or aid?

The latest COVID relief bill, signed into law on Dec. 27, does provide additional relief for tenants beyond the moratorium on evictions. Specifically, the $900 billion legislation provides $25 billion in emergency tenant assistance, which can be used for up to 12 months for overdue rent and utility payments from the beginning of the pandemic, or for future bills. Renters would apply for assistance with relief organizations, selected by state and local officials, who will pay the funds directly to landlords.

Applicants must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible for rent assistance:

  1. Have a household income that is less than 80% of the area median income (AMI).
  2. Have at least one household member who is at risk of becoming homeless or experiencing housing insecurity.
  3. Have at least one household member who qualifies for unemployment insurance benefits or experienced a financial hardship due to the pandemic (directly or indirectly).

Although the application process will vary by state, relief will be prioritized for households with incomes falling below 50% of AMI and who have at least one member who has been unemployed for more than 90 days. Household income from 2020 or monthly income at the time of application will be considered when determining eligibility (subject to recertification every three months). This legislation also provides funding for landlord-tenant mediation and case management services.

What additional tenant protections or support has President Joe Biden proposed?

President Joe Biden has proposed several ambitious housing measures that would help vulnerable tenants, including substantial investment in affordable housing and tackling lending discrimination. The more immediate concerns, at least for tenants, include greater protections against eviction and additional rent assistance. Their plate piled high with coronavirus-related action items, the Biden Administration has provided some details about tenant protections, which include an extended eviction (and foreclosure) moratorium through September 30, and additional rent and mortgage payment relief. The additional renter assistance is folded into President Biden’s American Rescue Plan.

A more unified, nationwide approach to COVID-19 will hopefully come out of Congress now that the final Senate races have been resolved. The Biden Administration has begun discussions with majority and minority leadership in the House and Senate to try and put together bipartisan support for the American Rescue Plan. The plan not only includes eviction and rent payment assistance, but also back-rent relief and water and power assistance.

What can I do as a renter who is experiencing financial hardship and worried about eviction?

First of all, you can hopefully breathe a sigh of relief that an eviction notice at the end of January is less likely to happen with the eviction moratorium extended. During this short reprieve, you might consider communicating with your landlord about next steps. You’ll have a difficult time negotiating if you wait until the last minute and they won’t know your intentions if you remain silent.

By acting now, even if you’re protected from eviction, you may be able to secure more favorable terms from your landlord (perhaps a reduced monthly rent or a long-term repayment plan). For example, proposing a Rent Payment Plan or Late Rent Payment Agreement will demonstrate that you’re proactive and willing to do whatever’s necessary to fulfill your obligations. If they agree to your proposal, make sure you get it in writing.

If you are evicted after the eviction moratoriums have ended, seriously consider attending the hearing. There may be a way to defend yourself against removal, but attending the hearing will at least get you a court date. Otherwise, there will be a default judgment against you and your removal will come a lot sooner. If you need legal assistance, you may be able to find a legal clinic that provides free or reduced-cost services.

Finally, do your research and apply for any tenant relief programs that may be available where you live. If you’re already protected by the federal eviction moratorium, then you should already have been doing this. Still, there may be new programs or protections you weren’t previously aware of that can help you.

Avoid eviction and have a truly happy New Year

Thankfully, no Americans will be evicted for nonpayment of rent until at least March 31. Still, there is plenty of work left to do to ensure that an eventual nationwide wave of evictions doesn’t increase housing insecurity as we work our way through the pandemic together. While new legislation offers hope, you’ll also need to take certain actions to protect your interests as a tenant. If you have additional questions about your rights and legal options as a renter, ask a lawyer.

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.




What to do if your child is being investigated by the Police

PSA…Recently it seems like the police are bored and have begun investigating teenagers a lot. I have gotten numerous calls from people AFTER they let their children (I’m including 18 and 19 yo too) talk to police without consulting a lawyer. Even if your kid did nothing wrong, talking to the police is dangerous. I got a call today where a woman gave permission to search her son’s phone. You can see how that is a terrible idea I hope. The police aren’t there to help you or your kid. Be smart. Call a lawyer. At least try to get some advice.
I hope you also know that the idea that a quick confession will “help you” is not true hardly ever. Most likely your kid will get charged with a crime and their life will be ruined. At least talk to a lawyer before you do something you regret.
Lastly, the idea that kids should own up to their actions is admirable. Destroying their lives is not always the best way to show them personal responsibility.
Be smarter in all your interactions with the police. You have the right to a lawyer for a reason and they really don’t want you to call one.

Looking for an Auto Accident Attorney in Carnegie?

If you are looking for an Auto Accident Attorney in Carnegie, then you have come to the right place.

Every day there are so many careless and reckless drivers out on the roads.  You try and protect yourself and your family the best you can, but one day, WHAM. Out of nowhere someone backs into you, or sideswipes you, or even worse there are multiple injuries in a more serious accident.

First, I feel for you.  The trauma that comes with an auto accident is never easy.  You have so many things to handle, and now a car not working is another thing on your plate.  Listen, 2020 has been rough on everyone, and the insurance companies will not cut you a break because of it.  When you are looking for an Auto Accident Attorney in Carnegie, then you need to give me a call, and let’s discuss your case. If you try and go it alone, it will make life much more difficult for you, and the insurance companies are not looking out for your best interests.

If you have damage to your car, health care needs, and doctor or hospital visits then what comes next? The bills. And if you are underinsured by your car company or your health care company, then you will assume all the liability of these charges, and I have seen medical bills go over $100,000 many many times.

If you got into an Auto Accident in Carnegie, then you will need legal representation.  I will fight for you. I will fight to protect you and to get you or anyone else that may have been injured in your car accident in Carnegie.  I have been helping my clients for decades and will help you to get the compensation you deserve.  Many times, these types of cases require little if not zero out of your pocket, and when I get you a fair settlement, we let the insurance company take care of my fee.

I try and be fair to all of my clients, and we will always find a way to make the money portion of your case work.  All you need to do is give me a call and let’s talk.  It’s free and confidential, and I will explain to you how I will WIN your case and get you the compensation for your auto accident.  That’s why when you have an auto accident in Carnegie, and are looking for an auto accident attorney, you need to call me first!

Thank you and I look forward to helping you

Joseph Horowitz



Another Client Found “Not Guilty!”

Very happy for my client. Today was a good day.

Former Uber driver accused of false imprisonment, harassment found not guilty

PITTSBURGH — A former Uber driver accused of false imprisonment and harassment of two women was found not guilty on Monday.

Reporter: What was your reaction when you heard the verdict?

“Relieved that the truth has finally come out,” Lomotey said.

See the entire story here:

uberdrivernotguilty jospehhorowitzlaw 1 Joseph Horowitz Law