Hiring a Lawyer
Legal Tips — 7 through 11
- Don't hire a lawyer who actively solicits your business
- Make sure you understand what you're paying for
- Learn how you can fire a lawyer
- Check out your lawyer's record
- Know your options and make sure your lawyer gives you them
7. Don't hire a lawyer who actively solicits your business.
If, without your permission, a lawyer or someone acting on his behalf contacts you in person or by telephone and asks you to hire him in connection with your accident, it is commonly referred to as "ambulance chasing." This is against the Legal Rules of Professional Conduct. When a lawyer will break those rules to get your business, he is probably not the kind of lawyer you want representing you.
8. Make sure you understand what you're paying for.
No two contingency fee arrangements are alike. Find out if your lawyer will take his fee "off the top" or only after all the expenses are counted up. Insist on getting this information in writing and in clear, direct language that you are comfortable with. Typical expenses include: court costs (fees for filing a lawsuit), court reporter and copies of transcripts, expert witness fees, private investigator, postage, telephone, courier, photocopying, legal research, out of town air or car transportation, and hotel and meal expenses. LegalMatch Member Attorneys will typically provide this information in their responses to your case.
9. Learn how you can fire a lawyer.
Some contracts specify that even if you fire a lawyer, he still gets a large percentage of any future award or settlement you may receive on your case. Make sure you know how to fire your lawyer – before you hire him.Back to Menu
10. Check out your lawyer's records.
Ask your state bar association if your lawyer has ever been the subject of an ethical complaint or inquiry. Knowing if your lawyer has a pattern of questionable conduct could alert you to potential problems and save you time and money. LegalMatch Member Attorneys are pre-screened for such violations prior to joining LegalMatch.
11. Know your options and make sure your lawyer gives you them.
Lawyers don't just sue. In fact, suing can be one of the more expensive and time-consuming ways for you to get compensated. Make sure your lawyer has an open mind about alternative means to resolve your problem, such as mediation or arbitration.
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