“How To Pick An Attorney”

When choosing an attorney, there are several things that you need to keep in mind to help you find a good fit. It is usually a big decision, and you need to make sure that the business relationship is going to be strong throughout the process. Here are some thoughts to keep in mind:

1. Personality matters. You need to have someone that you get along with, who understands you, and you can communicate well with. This will be key throughout the case. I often recommend that potential clients meet with at least three different attorneys to get a feel for what would work best for them.

2. The attorney should be able to articulate the steps to be taken to resolve or litigate your case. An experienced attorney will be able to formulate an approach based on what you tell him or her that makes sense to you and is fairly clear. Legal processes can be complicated, but they are not mysterious, and you should be able to understand the plan to gather and present your evidence in court.

3. Get personal recommendations, if possible. Keep in mind that advertising is paid for by the attorney with the specific purpose of getting you to hire that attorney. Personal recommendations will almost always steer you in a better direction that an advertisement or billboard.

4. Be wary of promises that sound too good to be true. Court cases are inherently unpredictable, and if the pitch you are given is basically “Don’t worry about the details, just pay the money and we’ll take care of it,” you might have a real problem.

5. Make sure you understand the fee structure. Is it hourly, a flat fee, or a percentage? Is the retainer refundable if the case ends early or if you change your mind? What are the hourly rates and fees? Again, these should be clearly spelled out.

6. Don’t fall for pressuring tactics. Good attorneys don’t need these. You should be able to take the retainer agreement home to think about it, consider, and call back tomorrow or whenever. If you are getting pressured to sign up RIGHT THEN in the office, walk out. This is a big decision and you are in a law office, not a used car sales lot.

DISCLAIMER: All legal principles quoted are valid as of the date of writing in the State of California. However, you should NEVER base your actions on a legal article, blog, or internet story, as facts in real life are complicated. You should have your case evaluated by an attorney experienced in the area of law needed for your case. In addition, there are often exceptions and potential changes to results that occur due to facts that you may think are trivial or unimportant. This article should not be taken in any way as legal advice on your specific legal matter.

NOTICE: This blog and all materials on our website constitute advertisement materials, and the promulgation of such materials is meant for the residents of the State of California only. The attorneys and this firm do not practice law in any other state. In addition, the promulgation of these articles does not in any way create an attorney-client relationship and any inquiries and information you may send to the attorneys should be general and not specific, as they are not confidential.