"Dante e Virgilio" - Divina Commedia, Giovanni di Paolo (c. 1444-1450), Londra, British Museum

Extrajudicial assistance

The primary goal of the Negozio Giuridico lawyer is to empower clients with the tools to solve their problem themselves. 

However, the client may prefer to be assisted, or even represented, in negotiations - for example if he believes he lacks the necessary skills and feels uncertain about his legal grounding - or because he would rather avoid the stresses of facing the other party directly.In such cases, the Negozio lawyer can become a valuable alter ego for the client, with the added benefit of his skill set, comprised of both professional qualifications and distance from the issues at hand.

For example, someone wishes to buy a house or flat, and has to sign a promissory contract (a legal prerequiste to any property sale in Italy). He might bring the draft contract, drawn up by the estate agent, to the Negozio, to get clarifications on certain clauses of the document.

The lawyer-consultant provides him with all the required information: the buyer can now change or add to the contract on his own. However, the client may prefer to be advised in the drafting of the preliminary contract, or even request assistance until the final signed contract is signed.

After being informed of the fees and duration of extrajudicial assistance, the client will be free to make a decision. If the client opts to resort to the lawyer’s services, the latter will assist the client by examining and working through all the delicate issues connected to buying a house: he will contact the estate agent, the seller, and then the notaio, the public official who records and witnesses the sale proceedings. The lawyer will make sure no previous mortgage or other unpaid fees exist; verify all clauses in the vendor’s deeds – and even previous ones – and in the homeowners’ association agreements, usually included in the final contract, which may result in obligations and limitations that often go undisclosed.

The same type of procedure might be applied to any number of different cases.

For example, someone who co-owns a house or flat that cannot be divided with a brother, with whom they have been in conflict with for years. The two must inevitably come together to answer ordinary and extraordinary property management issues; however, their personal relationship is so compromised, that no communication is possible.   Or someone who believes a neighbor has trespassed his rights. Or yet, questions related to the distribution of an inheritance, the collection of a debt, the renegotiation of a credit or a mortgage, or the separation of a couple.

In all these cases, and many more, the Negozio lawyer can take an active role: first of all, by informing the client of his rights and obligations (consultancy), then by verifying whether an extrajudicial negotiation is possible with the brother, neighbor, husband, or bank, and finally, when possible, by aiding the client towards a non-traumatic solution (assistance).

Once more, it should be pointed out that the Negozio Giuridico lawyer undertakes as his “statutory limit” the prohibition of representing the client in court in the same case:

      • the latter therefore has the absolute certainty of dealing with an impartial professional whose main interest is reaching an agreement,
      • who will advise a recourse to the courts only when unavoidable;
      • and who will receive no financial reward from the legal proceedings themselves.