FAQ: Hiring a Lawyer
What Should I Look for When Hiring a Lawyer?
The main thing to look for when hiring a lawyer is to ensure that the lawyer will be able to fully address the legal issues you are currently facing. You will want to make sure that the lawyer has experience in dealing with the legal issue at hand, and that they are fully licensed to practice law in your area.
Also, it helps to check whether the lawyer has a similar outlook and perspective as you. If there is a conflict of interest during the trial, you may need to obtain a new lawyer, which can be time consuming and costly. Lastly, check to ensure that the lawyer hasn’t been disciplined or is not currently disqualified by their state bar association due to an ethical or professional violation.
How Do Lawyers Charge for their Services?
Some lawyers charge a flat rate based on the amount of time that they put into a legal case. This is often subject to negotiation before trial, and can sometimes involve complex calculations to determine the rate. Other lawyers use what is called a contingency fee. This is basically a portion of whatever damages the person is able to receive as a result of the trial. State laws have different rules regarding the details and limits of contingency fees.
What Does a Lawyer’s Record of Wins and Losses Reflect?
A lawyer’s track record of wins and losses can sometimes be a good indicator of their skill and ability as a litigator in court. However, this is not always the case. For instance, their record might not reflect they might have been able to have a defendant’s sentence drastically reduced. Or, they might have been able to obtain a very suitable settlement amount for their client.
Thus, you may wish to ask an attorney about their previous cases, especially if you feel that their history may affect the outcome of your own personal injury case.
What Are Attorney Ethics Laws?
Every state has its own set of ethics and professional responsibility laws that govern the standards for the practice of law in that state. These might cover issues such as:
- Attorney liability for client property or monetary accounts
- Professionalism when interacting with clients
- Confidentiality and privacy of the client’s information
- Rules regarding monetary compensation for services
- Attorney advertising
You may need to consult with a different attorney if you believe that your lawyer or a previous lawyer had committed any ethical violations. Also, you may wish to inquire with a lawyer if you need help regarding the legal professional standards in your state.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help with My Issue?
Hiring a lawyer may be necessary, especially if you need to file documents with the court. Your attorney can advise you on how to proceed, and can offer you legal representation during trial. Also, your lawyer will be able to discuss whether there are any alternative legal options for your case.
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Last Modified: 01-14-2014 03:50 PM PST
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