HOW DO I CHOOSE THE RIGHT ATTORNEY?
TEN TIPS ON HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT LAWYER.
The purpose of this article is to provide some helpful tips on how to choose an attorney. Finding the right attorney is often an emotional experience because most people try to avoid them, until they need one. Then, it is the result of a traumatic life event like an accident or business problem. Many people do not realize that lawyers focus their law practices in specific areas. For example, there are transactional lawyers and trial lawyers. The difference is that transactional lawyers are knowledgeable with closing real estate or commercial sales transactions, but they do not usually do many trials. On the other hand, trial lawyers usually have acquired skills in the courtroom. Exceptional trial lawyers have an innate charisma with jurors in addition to knowing the rules of evidence and procedural law needed to successful win a case. So the first tip is to know what your own situation is before choosing a lawyer. If you need a trial lawyer to prosecute a grievance for you then do not go to a transactional lawyer, and vice versa.
The second tip is to realize there are different kinds of trial lawyers. There are personal injury, medical malpractice, product liability, premise liability, to name a few. Additionally, there are business and partnership lawyers that may focus their practice in partnership matters. Depending on your circumstances choosing a lawyer that fits your specific need will enhance the likelihood of a successful out.
The third tip is to work with a lawyer who understands that what you are going through is an emotional life event. This means you want a compassionate lawyer who will explain the progress of your case to you each step of the way, return your telephone calls, answer your questions and simply treat you in a professional and compassionate way. I suggest this takes interviewing prospective lawyers. Advertising bill boards and television commercials is not a reliable way to choose the right lawyer. You have to make an appointment, ask questions about your case or situation, and see how comfortable the lawyer makes you feel. Chances are, if the lawyer lack stature, professionalism and compassion he will not be great before a jury. And you want a great attorney, not just a good one! So interview your lawyer, get to know him and ask questions.
The fourth tip is size doesn’t matter. That’s right, just because a law firm has 100 attorneys it doesn’t mean they will do a better job than the sole practitioner lawyer who focuses on his clients and their cases. Often larger law firms are business and commercial lawyers, while personal injury law firms are smaller. For my money, if I am the victim of medical malpractice, or injured by a dangerous machine, I want a smaller personal injury law firm with experience and a record. So do not be fooled by the size of the law firm. Make a point to meet and know the lawyer who you will work with.
The fifth tip is find a lawyer with an established history and who is trustworthy. For example, if you need a personal injury lawyer interview one that has a history of winning cases like your case. A good track record is a good indication that the lawyer has all the right stuff.
The sixth tip is to write down your questions before you meet your lawyer. It is an emotional time and you may forget to ask something while at the lawyer’s office. The great trial lawyers like people. So he or she will not mind if you bring along a family member.
The seventh tip is to ask the lawyer about his experience in handling cases like your case. Personal injury lawyers may have expertise in different types of consumer injury cases. For example, medical malpractice cases require a lawyer who works in that field. Medical malpractice case law cases and he must be up to date with the changes. Statistically, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control, there are more than a quarter of a million deaths per year in this country as the result of medical malpractice and hospital malpractice. However, medical malpractice cases also have a high statistical loss rate at trial. It is imperative that if you are the victim of medical malpractice, physician error or hospital negligence that you retain an experienced lawyer in this area.
The eight tip is check the lawyer’s client testimonials. This you can usually do before you meet your lawyer because they are posted on the website. You may be thinking that lawyers post only their best successes on their websites, but it is still a starting point. Remember, you are playing detective and gathering information. Check to see if one of the client testimonials is from a client who had a case like your case.
The ninth tip is to consider how long your lawyer has been practicing law and whether he has a trustworthy reputation. Start with his or her website for clues, but you may even contact the bar association if there have been client grievances file against the firm.
The tenth tip is to find someone who is tough and will fight for your legal rights. Find a lawyer who has already demonstrated the ability to take on a tough case and win it. You want to find that lawyer who will connect with you and fight hard so that you may get your life back on track.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
George T. Baxter, Esq., has practiced law for over thirty years and has won millions of dollars for his clients to help them get their lives back on track. The Trial Lawyers for Public Justice nominated him for their “Trial Lawyer of the Year” award. He is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, which less than three percent of lawyers are indocrinated into. He was also named in the top ten personal injury lawyers for client satisifaction. He is a New Jersey personal injury lawyer who takes medical malpractice cases, hospital negligence, product liability, auto accidents and many more types of injury cases. For more information visit www.gbaxterlaw.com or for a free consultation about your case call 201-266-6871.