Regardless of which side of the issue you are on, dealing with a legal case is nerve-wracking. Enlisting the services of an experienced, knowledgeable lawyer can take some of the fear out of this important decision. The better your lawyer, the better the likely outcome of your case. Use these tips as a starting point for finding the best attorney.
Never hire the first lawyer you come across. There are so many out there that it can be tempting to select the first one you come in contact with. Take your time and consult with a few before you make your decision. You don’t want to make the mistake of choosing the wrong one.
You have a right to expect clear, consistent communication with your lawyer. He or she should be able to give you a general summery of what you can expect in terms of your case, as well as what potential issues might arise and what could be done to remedy these issues.
Make it clear up front that you would like your legal fee agreement in writing from your lawyer. This will help you avoid the surprise of an unexpectedly high bill. Make sure that all expenses and fees are itemized, so that you’ll have a clear understanding of what exactly you are paying for.
When looking for a good lawyer, make sure to obtain personal references. Talking to the local community that have experienced issues similar to you. For instance, if you’re a victim of sexual harassment, speak with a women’s group. Ask them about the lawyers they had and what their experiences were like.
Before you hire a lawyer, see if you can resolve any dispute without one. Often people are able to resolve their problems without having to find a lawyer. If you are not able to solve your problem without a lawyer, then it is in your best interest to have a lawyer on your side.
Prior to hiring an attorney, contact your state bar association to find out if they have any complaints against them. The less complaints that have been lodged against them, the better. Anyone with large numbers of complaints should be given a wide berth.
Once you have decided to hire a particular lawyer, make sure you receive a written retainer letter that specifically defines the scope of representation, the details of the services you are to receive and the applicable fee structure. By doing this, you will stand a much better chance of getting precisely what you bargained for and you will have useful documentation of the intended relationship should you need to pursue the lawyer in a malpractice action at some point.
Check the desk of the lawyer if you are going in for a consultation. Make sure that he is neat, well-organized and clean. Also, notice his speech when you have a conversation with him. These are very good indicators of how professional he is, and how well he will present your case in court.
Meet with several potential lawyers, even if the first one seems like a good choice. Choose a lawyer who is reliable, qualified and knows how to make you feel comfortable. Getting off to a good start by making smart choices can make a huge difference in your legal case!
Before you hire a lawyer, you need to consult the state bar association to ensure they are in good standing. The state bar will also let you know if there have been any ethical complaints or inquiries filed against the lawyer. This could alert you to some potential problems and save you some money and time beforehand.
It is unwise to enter into an agreement with an attorney until you have a mutual understanding of the costs and fees. Some lawyers want a retainer to even consider cases. The retainer is usually just to have the lawyer available for your needs.
With luck, you should now be more knowledgeable about what can happen during legal cases. The first step to any legal proceeding is to find a good lawyer, then follow his or her advice. With a great lawyer handling your case, things are more likely to go smoothly and in your favor.