What I’ve Learned from Avvo, 0418 COBJ, Vol. 47, No. 4 Pg. 16

Author:BILL HUBBARD, J.
Position:Vol. 47, 4 [Page 16]
 
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47 Colo.Law. 16

What I’ve Learned from Avvo

Vol. 47, No. 4 [Page 16]

The Colorado Lawyer

April, 2018

THE SIDEBAR

BILL HUBBARD, J.

If you don't know what AVVO is, go to www.avvo.com and find out. It's a website that lists attorneys. It allows another attorney or someone looking for an attorney to find one. If you don't have an AVVO listing, you probably should. It can be both a source of clients and referrals to and from other attorneys. Because I live and practice in Pagosa Springs and there are a lot of retirees here, I use AVVO to find attorneys in other areas when I can't help a client, usually because they are from another state and own real estate there.

AVVO also allows people who have, or think they have, a legal problem to post a question, which will then be answered by one or more attorneys. There is a disclaimer stating that there is no attorney-client relationship with the answering attorney and most answers contain advice that the person asking should consult an attorney who has some degree of expertise in the area of the questioner's problem.

So, what have I learned? For one thing, people who want or need advice can reduce some of the most complex problems to about 200 words or less, or some use way more. A typical answer may say that the attorney just does not have enough information.

Some of the most complex problems deal with wills, trusts, and financial powers of attorney: "Can the agent named in a power of attorney change the principal's will either before or after the principal dies?" "My Dad died 10 years ago and his real estate is still in his name." "I am the beneficiary of a trust, but I don't know anything about it and no one will answer my questions." Testators and settlors tend to be secretive about what they want to happen from a will or trust. They need to tell someone they trust what they want done, but many just put these documents somewhere and no one even knows they exist.

Many questions also involve thorny family matters: "My wife's mother took our children away from us and won't give them back." "What do I do if my ex-spouse won't pay his or her debts, child support, alimony or maintenance...

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