Finding the Right Lawyer
You should not hire an attorney based on an advertisement. How do you know the lawyer you see in a TV ad or on an Internet site will do a good job on your case? How do you know if he or she is willing to take your case all the way to Court if necessary, and handle it in a competent manner?
When possible, a personal reference is always a smart thing. By hearing from someone who has been represented by a specific attorney, you can find out the answers to these questions:
1. Did the attorney keep the client informed at all times?
2. Did the attorney return phone calls promptly?
3. Did the attorney keep the case moving forward, without unjustified delays?
4. Was client treated with respect and courtesy?
5. Was the client satisfied with the result?
Assuming you do not have a personal referral, you might try asking these questions of a law firm you are considering:
1. Will I be represented by the person in the ad, or will I be assigned to an associate I have never seen before?
2. Do you try cases in front of a jury when necessary? What percentage of your cases right now are in litigation? (Believe it or not, some personal injury lawyers have never tried an injury case on their own!)
3. Where do you live in relation to your office, and how many offices do you have? (If the lawyer lives 90 miles from the office you go to, how often do you think he or she will be there to meet with you)
4. Has the lawyer ever been reported to the Florida Bar? Are there any grievances against the lawyer?
Apart from that, be vigilant when you go to the lawyers’ office. Is the building professional? Is the staff professional and courteous? Does the lawyer seem to rush through the free consultation, or does he or she take time with you?
Incidentally, I’ll answer the above questions for myself.
You will be represented by me, and only me.
Yes, I try cases in front of a jury, and have had many cases in litigation (including complex products liability cases against major corporations).
I live one mile from my office, so clients know where to find me. I am not trying to balance six offices; rather, I am here and available to my clients.
In 17 years of practice, I have never had a single client file a complaint with the Florida Bar.
As for the office and staff, you will find both to be extremely professional and warm.