Find answers to frequently asked questions

Where is Lawler Brown’s office?

Lawler Brown is located at 1600 West Main Street, Marion, Illinois 62959.

What are Lawler Brown’s business hours?

Lawler Brown’s business hours are between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Additional hours can be made available as required.

Do I need a lawyer?

The best way to find out if you need a lawyer is to talk to one. Lawyers can provide advice on a number of legal matters of importance and significance to you, your family or your business. Lawyers advise people every day on issues ranging from personal matters (wills, estates, buying a home) to business matters (contracts and leases) to formal legal disputes before a court.

Can Lawler Brown help me?

To see a list of practice areas in which Lawler Brown can assist, click on “SERVICES”. You can also call our office and tell the receptionist you would like to speak to a lawyer about your specific problem (such as personal injury, contract issue, probate). The receptionist will take your information and direct your call to the attorney to determine if he can assist you.

How do I contact Lawler Brown lawyer?

You can always call our office during business hours at 618-993-2222 and speak to a lawyer. You can also contact Lawler Brown by e-mail or by submitting an intake via our website.

What should I expect from my lawyer?

You should expect to have your legal questions promptly answered in such a way that you can decide how to proceed with your particular legal issue. Lawyers give legal advice, they do not make ultimate decisions for you. You can also expect that your discussions with a lawyer will remain confidential.

How much do lawyers cost?

It depends.

Sometimes, an attorney may charge a “contingent fee.” In such cases, primarily personal injury lawsuits, the attorney agrees to be paid a particular percentage (usually 33.3%) of any ultimate recovery. In such cases, the client remains responsible for costs of the case such as filing fees, expert fees, etc. In these types of cases, the contingent fee must be documented by a written contingent fee agreement.

Attorneys and law firms are a business like any other. Generally, at Lawler Brown Law Firm the attorney will be the work at a certain dollar amount per hour. The amount charged “per hour” will be discussed by the attorney before any work is done on your case. Every month you should receive a bill from your attorney showing what was done on your issue or case and the time the attorney has spent on it.

Attorneys may also charge a “flat fee” for particular work. Such work might include drafting a will or attending a real estate closing. These types of fees are usually charged for work that an attorney believes will not require extensive research or time.

Lawler Brown may ask for a “retainer fee.” A retainer fee is really nothing more than paying legal fees in advance. A retainer fee is an amount of money that you will be required to pay at the beginning of the representation that the attorney will put in a trust account. You will still receive monthly bills, but as work is performed on your case the bill will be paid out of the money held in the trust account. If more time is spent on your case than you have paid as a retainer fee, the attorney may ask for additional fees or may just bill you on a monthly basis. If your case concludes (or you decide for whatever reason you don’t want to proceed) any money in the trust that has not been used to pay fees will be returned to you.

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Mineral Rights in Oil and Gas: What You Need to Know

The traditional conception of real property ownership was that a landowner owned his plot of land along with a column of dirt down to the center of the earth and a column of air up to the sky. This conception no longer holds true. It is now common, especially in Southern Illinois, that when one purchases a piece of real property, the purchaser obtains title to the surface of the land, but not the column of dirt beneath it. Very often, the mineral rights to a piece of property have been severed, and the owner of the mineral rights has the authority to mine them. When mineral rights are severed in the conveyance of a piece of property, the severance creates two distinct and separate interests in the land—a surface estate and a mineral estate, either of which can be conveyed, devised, or leased. When this occurs, the owner of the surface estate is subservient to the owner of the mineral estate. This means that he may not interfere with the activities reasonably necessary to extract the minerals from underneath his land. While title to metallic minerals vests2 at the time of conveyance, title to oil and gas does not, due to the tendency of these types of minerals to move around under the earth. Rather, mineral rights in oil and gas do not vest until they are actually discovered. Thus, mineral rights to oil and gas are better conceived of as rights to exploration and, very often, they are mined pursuant to a mineral lease rather than outright ownership. These leases are subject to the same rules as...

When Can Your Neighbors Legally Take Your Land?

When Can Your Neighbors Legally Take Your Land? There is a concept in real estate law that is little known outside the legal world, whereby a trespasser can gain legal title to someone else’s land. The “trespasser” in these cases is usually a neighbor but, nonetheless, someone who does not own your property can become the legal owner by his use of it through a concept known as adverse possession. Claims of adverse possession are creatures of common law in Illinois, and require a showing of several elements. In order to legally take title to land, a person’s use and possession of the land must be: Hostile (against the right of the true owner and without permission) Actual (he or she exercises physical control over the property) Exclusive (In the possession of the trespasser alone and no one else) Open and notorious (the trespasser must use the property as the true owner would without hiding the occupancy) Continuous for a period of 20 years Adverse possession claims are especially common in rural areas (like most of Southern Illinois) as opposed to towns and cities because it is often more difficult to determine where one piece of property ends and another begins. Example of Adverse Possession Let’s take a look at how a hypothetical adverse possession case might play out. Assume there are two property owners—the Smiths and the Joneses—who own neighboring farms. Mr. Smith erects a barn that he believes is on his property, but is actually 15 feet over the property line on the Jones’s farm. Mr. Jones says nothing about this, and Mr. Smith uses this barn as...

Why You Should Never Resist Arrest

Resisting arrest is very common and occurs any time a person interferes with or obstructs an officer’s attempt to make a legal arrest. In Illinois, it is usually charged as a misdemeanor. However, if there is an injury to the arresting officer, the offense rises to a felony. The charge of resisting arrest is defined at 720 ILCS 5/31-1:1 “A person commits the crime of resisting arrest if they knowingly resist or obstruct the performance by a peace officer, firefighter, or correctional institution employee of any authorized act within his or her official capacity.” While the most classic examples of resisting arrest are fleeing from the scene or engaging the arresting officer physically, the statute is worded broadly and encompasses a wide variety of behaviors. For example, you can be arrested simply for refusing to put your hands behind your back, refusing to lay on the ground, refusing to put your hands on the squad car, or refusing to clear the scene of a crime when ordered to do so. Resisting arrest is also a difficult charge to escape; even if the underlying charge against the defendant is dropped, resisting arrest is an independent charge and will remain. Thus, it is not a defense to resisting arrest that the underlying charge was dismissed. Further, a conviction for resisting arrest can even lengthen a person’s sentence if they are ever convicted of a future offense. Possible punishment for resisting arrest is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois and is punishable by up to one year in prison and up to a $2,500 fine. If the police officer is injured during the incident,...