Hiring a REPUTABLE Lawyer

With all the legalities in purchasing property, even conducting personal business, what is the best way to be certain in hiring a lawyer you can trust? Is there a trusted online website based on location advertising legal services?
Already leery of real estate agents/agencies and their possible financial entanglements that would lead to recommendations. Even though an assumption, they are probably most expats first contacts or point of reference in making crucial decisions.

Best would be to ask trusted friends in the area you are planning to buy in. We were lucky to have made contacts when we first vacationed in la republica Dominicana, and went with their recommendation.  There are horror stories...

Well you ask a really good question!  Even those of us with  years and years of experience  have sometimes got the same questions! 

Really   its a matter of getting recommendations and referrals from  others.  Then  doing research online. Asking others about their experiences!   and then making a  choice and jumping in.

And just because one person has a good experience does not always mean you will.  BUT you do  shorten the odds of it being bad!

There is no  trusted website!  Its mostly pay for play here. OFTEN referrals are  paid for!  One particular lawyer, who shall not be named, routinely offered  20% commission for referrals!    That is not a referral in my opinion!  and of course, you know who ends up paying that fee!!!

Here we have recommended  a few lawyers over the years!    We are more than happy to help you as well. Tell us what area and lets see who we know!

We plan to purchase in the Bavaro/El Cortecito area. Thanks in advance for any assistance!

You say you are not here yet and have a Dominican wife.

There really is zero need to buy real estate in the first instance imo.

Many of us have rented very good properties for years before investing in our own property. And with a Dominican wife you will soon suss things out when here and probably save yourself a bunch of money in the process. My take is that it is still a cheap and better option to rent here than buy. And to build should be a longer term aim if you seek best value for money.

What you do need to think about first is getting yourself residency and many of us would recommend Lishali as the lawyer to represent you in this matter.

Not to hijack but maybe info on POP, Sosua area. Looking to loan a local a few thousand dollars to buy a decent automobile. I need an attorney that could draw up the paperwork. TIA

Whitelite : if I may suggest to you contact 809 935-0809  William Oosterman he is good gentleman a local realtor has been in Dominican for 14 years and a former church pastor . he knows quite a few people that can guide you . I trust him . blessing Krumite

No, no Dominican wife, one American wife is enough  :D  We are really looking to purchase a vacation home that can be utilized by friends and family also until we fully retire in 5 years and start splitting time in the Georgia/Western NC mountains and the DR. It doesn't seem very wise to wait too long because of market increases in real estate and we plan to be debt free in both locations by then. Living large on half the cost  :cool:

Whitelight  you need a  basic lawyer for that, but one who is streetsmart.  Misael Planco is in Puerto Plata and can assist you. You can reach him at  1-829-790-9115

Aem- sorry honey, I dont know a good lawyer in that area.  Hopefully others will know.

Aem62 wrote:

No, no Dominican wife, one American wife is enough

Aplogies my misread. The previous new introduction has a Dominican wife.

I hear used car interest rates can be 18% so I figure I can give a local friend a deal around 10% to 12% and it's a win-win for both of us. I just need to make sure it's ironclad.

No offence but can you trust any Lawyer?   lol

If you have an idea of how to do this without one, I am listening.

This was a law firm suggested by one of the agencies in the Bavaro area. Any thoughts?

Guzman Ariza (aka drlawyer.com) handles our real estate transactions. They are superb with N. America or European levels of service and professionalism. I am sure there are others here that can vouch for them. A bit more expensive but worth it. Not an area to cheap out on.

Guzman Ariza has an excellent reputation and we've always been happy with the work they've done for us. The one area I wasn't please was immigration - the person they had us speak with didn't seem to be confident in what she was telling us, but for immigration, Lishali (Lily) Baez is the only name you need to know!

Back to real estate....you'll also find some great resources on the Guzman Ariza website to answer some general questions.

https://drlawyer.com/practiceareas/real … inium-law/

planner wrote:

Whitelight  you need a  basic lawyer for that, but one who is streetsmart.  Misael Planco is in Puerto Plata and can assist you. You can reach him at  1-829-790-9115

Aem- sorry honey, I dont know a good lawyer in that area.  Hopefully others will know.

Please explain “streetsmart”. I need all the prior knowledge I can get.
BTW, is he English speaking? WhatsApp?

Thanks in advance.

Hello Aem62,

I am in the Bavaro area and have an excellent  lawyer I can refer you to.  I have been working with him for several years.

I sent you a personal message...

Whitelite street smart refers to anyone who understands how things work on the street level, understand how, in this case, the law is written but also how it's applied, how it's enforced and how to get around it when appropriate. They understand when to use the law and when not to.  That's my definition in the case of a lawyer.  It also means they don't sit back and wait for things to happen, they make it happen.

Misael is the lawyer in Puerto plata. His whatsapp is +1 (829) 790-9115

As an example you can stand in front of someone at Aduanas with a copy of a specific law and they will still argue you are wrong, just because they can. A lawyer that understands the law and will fight for you is worth every penny.

Is it normal to pay for the total real estate lawyer fees upfront before they even look at your deal?

Unfortunately yes..

Just like in other countries, a retainer is paid to the lawyer to "retain" their services. "A service, once rendered, has no value." We have a good attorney in Las Terrenas who did our property transaction for very low fees. Worth every penny to have a good lawyer you can trust.

Not sure of your location, but I just bought two condo's in East Cabarete and I used Jenny in Cabarete.  For Real Estate transactions she charged one percent.  Living in the US most correspondence was through email, and she was very responsive.  Jenny la F

@Freedmeister   I understand about a retainer but to pay the entire fee upfront? Did your lawyer require you to do this? I am looking for a reputable lawyer in Las Terrenas but I also don't want to pay upfront when the property I am buying is a new build and won't be ready for a year.


Now is exactly when you should pay the lawyer the retainer.  If you wait to pay when you have a problem (and there will be problems), the retainer will most likely be much more. 

Is it normal - yes.

Is your lawyer reputable - it's up to you to verify.


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Never, but never pay anybody upfront. What is the incentive in completing the work if they have your money in their pocket. 

You can give a person a percentage and depending of the results you can give another percentage. 
I was a contracting officer, negotiator for over 15 years in the nternational.arena.
I know what I am talking about.

The post was removed for  ( it appears) promotion of themselves or their business.  That is not allowed.  Please take a classified!

Others can make recommendations to people they have had good results with.

All good, we all are learning!

You can get a listed of reputable lawyers through the American consulate., which my lawyer is listed.My lawyer is Alejandro Ruiz at 809-756-6598 in Santo Domingo

I use to deal with Pavlova for renting and legal advise +1 (829) 712-8009 very trustworthy
call her and get more info from her my name is George

Can you provide her contact information , please?

Tropical Flower wrote:

Can you provide her contact information , please?

Who is this question for? The last two posts in this thread included contact numbers with the lawyers they recommended.


We are interested in possibly purchasing a condo in the Las Terrenas area.   Do you have any contact information for a lawyer there?

Freedmeister, which lawyer did you use in Las Terrenas?

In Las Terrenas....Guzman Ariza. Not the cheapest but one of the top firms in the DR. You have to watch yourself with lawyers here as with any other business. Know who you are hiring.

Cesar Calderon at Guzman Ariza here has helped us with three real estate purchases and a power of attorney. His English is excellent and he is well known and very well respected here.

I don't think we overpaid too much on the purchases, but the POA was expensive (twice what a Santo Domingo attorney said it should be), and what we were quoted for the sale of a property was outrageous! We only needed to provide two things - a copy of a CONFOTUR document they already had on file, and a title search. We were quoted $900 US for those two things. The title search is submitted online and costs 1000 DOP and they literally just needed to pull our file and make a copy of a document for the other. We picked up our file and made a copy of the document ourselves and had someone else do the title search.

When it comes to legal matters, cheaper is not necessarily better - and is often much worse! I don't regret using Cesar for the purchases because that is something that can easily be botched and cost you a lot of money! 

Now that we are DONE with real estate transactions, I'll continue to use Lishali (Lily) Baez for residencia, wills, and anything else we end up needing.

We also used the Guzmán Ariza firm (Vladimir Alonzo) and had a good experience overall. They are definitely not the cheapest but are very reputable.