HAVING THE MONEY FOR A LAWYER
QUESTION 24: HAVING THE MONEY FOR A LAWYER
When a person goes to a lawyer, often the lawyer asks for some
money down, and expects to be paid the balance after the service
is performed. Let's say there is a pressing reason to use a lawyer,
but you only have enough for the down payment, and you are pretty
sure that coming up with the rest will take quite a while after
the lawyer does his work. Is it essential to reveal this beforehand
to the lawyer, or even wait to go to the lawyer only until you are
very sure that you will have all the money when it will be required?
What if it is essential that the legal service be performed now?
RABBI BELSKY'S ANSWER
If it's a legal service that's essential that it be performed now,
if the person needs to be kept out of jail or something - to prevent
a loss - then he needs a lawyer. He's able to give the down payment
now, and when the rest of the money comes in, he'll pay the rest. Is
he so absolutely certain that he won't get the money?
But does he have to reveal to the lawyer that he doesn't have the
Maybe it will be a bill that he will be able to manage, perhaps by
borrowing. If you have to have a lawyer, why shouldn't you? So
you'll owe the money. People sometimes pay off bills over a period
of time. They make payment arrangements. But if the money is totally
out of your range, that is something else, and you would have to reveal
So you're not obligated to tell beforehand that there's a likelihood
that you won't have the money when it is due?
Yes, if it's only a likelihood that you won't have the money. But
if it's absolutely certain that you won't have the money, then you
have tell him..
So you don't have to reveal that?
No, unless it's pretty certain that you won't have it. How does a
person know for sure that he won't get the money? He may have to
borrow to get the money. - and maybe that's that's how he will
NEXT WEEK'S QUESTION 25:
Can you go to a magazine store and look at the magazines as
long as you want without the intention of buying one? If
you don't know the policy of the store, should you ask? Even
if others do it, is there a danger of chillul Hashem (desecration
of G-d's name)?
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