Second Opinion / Consulting Services

Do you need a lawyer for second opinion about you divorce or appeal?

There are times when you do not need (or want) to hire a lawyer to represent you in court, but you do want (or need) to talk to a lawyer.

Maybe you already have a divorce lawyer, but you’d like to run your own lawyer’s advice by somebody with a fresh view.

Maybe you are a lawyer yourself, but you do not usually practice divorce law or appellate law, and you need somebody to backstop you.

Maybe you are writing a legal drama and need to find out whether adultery is, indeed, a prerequisite to obtaining a divorce in North Carolina.

Maybe you are a newspaper reporter, and you need somebody quick explain what “denied the motion to stay an injunction” means in plain English.

Maybe you were watching Dallas reruns, Sue Allen is in court for her divorce again, and you need somebody to settle a bet you have with a buddy.

Either way, feel free to call. Second opinion / consulting services is a cost-effective way to get a peace of mind, check up on your own lawyer, or find a new approach to what looks like a total dead end.

Pasted below are examples of glowing review from clients who used my second opinion services—a lawyer whose expertise was in another field, and a client whom I helped find a fresh approach.

First, I’m an attorney and practice commercial real estate. I had to appeal some of my rulings in my divorce case and was a fish out of water. I looked around at several attorneys and everyone wanted so much and the fact of who I was going against (law firm). Then, I stumbled across Dr. Aylward’s blog on appellate issues. I knew right away that she knew her stuff. I would consult with her first before anyone else. She is an absolute expert in appellate practice.


When we contacted Dr. Ilonka Aylward, we were literally at the end of our rope.  About a year prior, my fiance had entered in to a separation agreement with his now ex-wife without the benefit of counsel.  It was an agreement that the ex-wife had commissioned a team of lawyers to draw up, and to say that it was egregious and one-sided is truly an understatement.  It didn’t take long for the ex-wife to begin exercising the powers granted to her through the agreement, and for my fiance to consequently realize that he had made a HUGE mistake.  As such, we met with an attorney in our home state of Pennsylvania to see what he might be able to do about the situation.  After reviewing the document my fiance had signed and declaring that it was “without question the worst separation agreement [he had] ever seen,” the only advice he felt he could give us was, “Don’t make her mad.”  We left his office that day feeling that our circumstances were utterly hopeless.  Soon thereafter, I began searching online for an attorney in North Carolina who might have the experience and expertise to help us, and that’s when I miraculously stumbled upon Dr. Aylward’s website.  Upon reviewing the separation agreement, which was approximately 15 pages long, she identified  one single, solitary sentence that gave us the foothold we needed to go to the court and have the entire matter revisited, which is exactly what we did.

Of course, you mustn’t read the quote above as a promise to miraculously save any desperate situation. For every time I come up with a “miraculous save,” there are dozens of times when my second opinion is just that: “your attorney was exactly right—you should quickly fold.” Either way, a fresh review will give you a peace of mind. After all, if you were already told that you case cannot be won, what’s the worst that may happen if you double-check?

Top 7 reasons you need a second opinion

1. You just want a peace of mind
2. You cannot get a straight answer from your lawyer
3. You suspect your lawyer is in over his head
4. You saw your lawyer having a drink with the other side
5. Your lawyer seems not aggressive enough
6. Your lawyer seems too aggressive
7. Your lawyer tells you there’s no winning your case