How to Find the Right Lawyer
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How to Find the Right Lawyer

How to find the right lawyer. What to look for when looking for a lawyer and things to be aware of.

Finding a lawyer or as they liked to be called, attorney, is very easy. At last count there were 1.143 million registered lawyers in the United States. There are more attorneys in the state of Georgia than in the whole country of Japan.

Finding a lawyer is too easy, finding the right lawyer and the right lawyer for your particular legal case is the hard part. There are some things that you need to do in order to find the right lawyer.

You need to find a lawyer that specializes in the area of law that you are concerned about. You wouldn’t use a DUI lawyer for a tax case and you wouldn’t want to hire an injury lawyer for a real estate issue. Look in any phone book and there are hundreds of listings for attorneys. Not lawyers, look under A for attorney. They will usually be listed under the category that they specialize in. Categories aren’t always that clear, if you wanted a divorce lawyer you could also look under family law.

Ask people you know if they can recommend an attorney. Ask your co-workers, family members and your accountant if they can recommend a lawyer. One thing to be aware of though, if you do ask a friend or family member to recommend a lawyer and you do use this lawyer and lose your case, this can sometimes cause you to have hard feelings towards the person who recommended the lawyer. Remember that when you ask for a referral and you should lose your case, don’t hold it against the person who recommended the attorney in the first place.

I have used an attorney on a number of occasions for business reasons over the years and looking back I can see where they can actually be put into one of a number of categories you should look out for.

Don’t go for the first lawyer that is rah-rah the second you tell him or her your situation. This type of attorney will get you so fired up you will already have spent your judgment on that new yacht you’ve dreamed about. This type of attorney will have you believing you cannot lose no matter what and on top of that you will not only get your triple damages allowed by state law but 20 times that amount for all kinds of reasons. These types of lawyers are very fired up at the beginning but as time, as talk and negations go on, you find yourself losing ground all the time. Until when it is over you wonder what happened to your money and the all fired up attorney is now telling you that you should just settle for about $1.50 plus the attorney fees.

Another really bad sign that you haven’t yet found the right lawyer for your case would be if he falls asleep at his desk while listening to your situation. This actually happened to me one time, talk about losing confidence in what you hoped to accomplish.

Beware of the slam-dunk lawyer, as they are the opposite of the rah-rah lawyer. The slam-dunk lawyer seems to be only interested in a legal case if there is no way you (actually the lawyer) could ever lose this case. Your case is just so open and shut the lawyer couldn’t lose. These types of lawyers always seem to say to you “you just never know what the judge will think”. Well of course you don’t, that is why the lawyer has to do their job and present the case properly. These types of lawyers always make you feel like you have a good solid case, but they are always afraid of the judge and never seem interested in taking the case.

Personally I like an attorney who is interested in my legal problem and me and is willing to take the time to hear everything I have to say and read everything I have. Sometimes you are wondering if you even have a legal case, make some phone calls to a couple of attorneys and see if they will answer some basic questions on the phone. Find an attorney who will do a free consultation, many will have a free hour consultation and in that hour you can learn a lot about your legal case and the lawyer.

Check up on lawyers as well, each state has it’s own attorney regulatory board where you can check to see if there have been any disciplinary action against any attorney. And while you’re at it check on the opposition attorney as well. Start with your state bar association or the American Bar Association.

If you find an attorney you like but cannot afford their price, they might be willing to reduce their fee or work on a contingency basis. This is when the attorney gets one third of what you win in your case. And the lawyer only gets paid if you win your case. There is also something called pro bono which means the lawyer will take your case and represent you for free.

Make sure you are very clear on your attorney’s fees and how they charge before you hire them. You will usually be charged for everything including their mailing of letters, stamps and phone calls. That means every time you call your lawyer, don’t chitchat because that costs you money. By all means ask questions and make sure you do understand what is said to you. It might help if you were familiar with certain statutes or laws pertaining to your legal situation, that way you could ask informed questions and also understand more of what your lawyer is telling you.

© 2009 Sam Montana

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Comments (4)

Very good advice. It's a shame when your case isn't worth enough to hire a lawyer to fight it, even if it is a pretty easy win. $6,000.00 seems to be the magic number that many people have gotten away with ripping me off for. My lawyer would say "You'll probably win, but it'll cost you as much to fight it" Oh well...Good place for a lawyer joke? There must be 1.4 million of those too! Lawyer dies, gets to the pearly gates and immediately starts to argue his case with St. Peter. "I'm only forty years old, I'm in my prime. I'm too young to die. This is wrong!" St. Peter opens his book and starts to investigate to see if there could be some sort of mistake. Finally, he looks at the lawyer and says "From the hours you've billed we have you at ninety two!"

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In many cases, the person who loses the case has to pay all legal fees. Which means if you win the case, the loser has to pay your legal fees. So it is worthwhile to ask if in a particular case will the loser have to pay all legal fees. That of course is more risky if you should lose.

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Driving under the influence of alcohol (driving while intoxicated, drunk driving, operating under the influence, drinking and driving, drink-driving, impaired driving) or other drugs, is the act of operating a vehicle (including bicycle, boat, airplane, wheelchair, or tractor) after consuming .A DUI charge is very serious. Driving under the influence is a severe crime in every state. The consequences of a conviction are life-altering. If you don't seek professional DUI Lawyers to protect your rights, You may face either penalty or imprisonment.