What to Look For In an Attorney
Many attorneys have a lot of experience, but it also helps if they are really good at what they do; an attorney with 20 years’ experience is only a good choice if they were a good attorney for the type of law you need. For example, an experienced divorce attorney probably won’t be able to handle a drug case; it’s better to research and interview several attorneys and choose one with the right kind of experience, and someone with a record of clients who are happy with their work.
Sifting through several attorneys is important for the same reason you research surgeons before elective surgery; you want the best possible work, but you also want to feel comfortable with them and feel like they can communicate, and explain all the issues and answer all of their questions. You also want to make sure the attorney is easy to reach and always available.
Too often, I have handled many cases in which people came to me after another attorney had messed up. Many DUI attorneys might be okay with just helping their client plead out quickly, but they may not know how to handle a trial. Look for someone with a lot of successful trial experience, and who knows how to handle a case and do so without being really annoying.
People want someone who will fight for them, not just put on a dog and pony show even as they’re actually selling their clients down the river; they want someone who can get the job done, not someone who just makes a lot of noise. Some attorneys get in way over their head because the client waved money in front of them; just because they say they can handle a murder case doesn’t mean they know what to do.
Again, communication is crucial; one of the biggest complaints against many attorneys is that they don’t communicate well with their clients; they don’t visit them in jail, they don’t call them occasionally just to update them and they don’t show them the discovery. That’s what makes me different; I do all of those things and more, because the best thing an attorney can do to make his clients happy is to keep them in the loop.
Is it A Red Flag When an Attorney Seems Overconfident and Gives a Guarantee?
If an attorney guarantees anything, the client should just thank them for their time and leave, because no one can guarantee anything until the case is over. I may have a good idea of what might happen, because I’ve been doing this for 36 years and have handled thousands of cases, but I have learned enough in that time to know that nothing is guaranteed. Every case is unique, and anything could happen.
A few attorneys in town tend to make lying guarantees, so I tell my clients that they can go with that attorney if they want, but only if they can get the attorney put the guarantee in writing, and that the client would get all of their money back if his guarantee wasn’t met. No attorney would ever do that, of course.
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