With so many options how do you choose? Here are some tips for you to use.
Retain an Honest Lawyer
That is not a typo.
Honest lawyers not only exist, but are preferred to ensure you are dealing with a person you can trust to handle your case.
If you hire an attorney who is dishonest in general, how can you expect him/her to be honest with you? Not to mention the fact that, when it comes to the law in particular, honesty is ALWAYS the best policy.
So how can you tell if your lawyer is honest? A reputation is worth a thousand words. Find out what the yay-sayers say about him or her. Even take a look at their naysayers. If they’re not all claiming the attorney is dishonest and showing proof of such, then you’re on the right track.
Notice whether the lawyer is looking you in the eye when speaking to you…
Ask the attorney about your odds of winning the case. If the lawyer sounds unusually optimistic and does not tell you any risks (almost every case has SOME risk involved), then they are probably not being honest. If you have got a bad feeling…investigate it.
Your instincts are a great tool upon which to draw in making this determination, however, here are some other ways to know who you’re dealing with:
Ways to Select an Attorney
- Start with the referrals of family and friends.
- Ask your social media network for referrals.
- Utilize the resources of an Attorney Referral Service.
- Check your local Bar Association’s website.
- Consult the Yellow Pages, search on-line, or go to the local library and consult a legal directory.
- You may qualify for legal assistance based on your income so contact the legal services office near you or check with your local Bar Association
Factors to Consider When Reviewing Lawyers
Your attorney should be thorough, responsive, reputable, and, most importantly, available. If your attorney does not respond to your inquiries, hear your concerns, or constantly delegates your communications to a paralegal, this may not be a lawyer who has a heart for your success.
Other areas to consider:
• How long has the attorney been in practice?
• Does the attorney seem familiar with the area of law involved in your case?
• Do their typical cases involve the area of the law you with which you need assistance?
• How involved is the attorney in community events and activities?
• Is the attorney considered in good standing with the state Bar Association?
• Is the attorney involved with legal associations connected with his discipline, such as the Nevada Justice Association for trial lawyers?
• What are others saying about the attorney?
• Is the attorney highly rated among his peers?
Potential Fees for Services
• Hourly Rates: The fee is based on the amount of time the attorney spends working on your case.
• Fixed Fee: This is a flat fee charged for a routine service such as an uncontested divorce, a simple bankruptcy, or a will.
• Contingency Fee: The attorney receives a percentage of any amounts recovered on behalf of the client, plus expenses.
Note: Your client fee agreement will prominently disclose which fee method or methods will be utilized in your prospective case.
Other costs associated with your case may include:
• Filing Fees, including e-filing fees
• Deposition transcription fees
• Phone Calls
• Serving Papers
• Witness Fees
• Computer-Related Costs
• Travel Expenses
A prospective lawyer should disclose how such expenses are covered and what effect these may have on a potential settlement.
Once you have your list of potential lawyers down to your top few choices, some questions you should ask when interviewing the attorney may help narrow your choices:
- Is this case within your experience?
- How many cases have you won in matters similar to mine?
- What are the possible outcomes of my case?
- How long will the matter take to resolve?
- What are the alternatives in resolving this matter?
- Will the case likely settle out of court (or pre-litigation) or will it require litigation?
- Do you recommend trial, mediation or arbitration?
- What are your rates and how frequently will you bill me?
Depending on the type of attorney you are seeking, there may be a few additional guidelines to consider that will help you make the most beneficial selection, particularly when it comes to selecting a personal injury lawyer.