Do’s & Dont’s of Choosing a Lawyer
Your choice of an attorney to represent you in a case will have an effect on you that may be hard to imagine at the time that you make the choice. After all, locating an attorney can be as quick as finding a name in the telephone book or catching an ad on TV. But beware! You will most probably have to live with that choice for a long time, and the wrong choice can be as painful to you as a bad toothache–except that your choice of a lawyer goes on and on.
Without question, the very best source for choosing an attorney is by way of a friend or relative’s recommendation. Even better is if you used an attorney yourself previously and were very satisfied. Nothing can beat the recommendation of a satisfied and happy former client. The MOST common complaint against lawyers is that they either do not return phone calls, or the client cannot get through to their lawyer. See what the experience of your friend or relative was in this regard.
Often, however, it is not that easy. You may not be able to find someone who either experienced the same problem you are trying to deal with, or may not have been satisfied with the lawyer they used. What then?
First, what NOT to do. Do not even think about hiring an attorney whom you have never met before but shows up at your door unannounced. He may have heard about your accident from some source and decided to “chase” after your case. This is illegal and unethical. Just imagine that if an attorney, sworn to uphold the law, shows such contempt for the law and the standards of his profession, what kind of treatment you can expect ! And even more so, never, ever agree to meet with an attorney recommended by an individual you have never before met but gives you a lawyer’s card in the hospital or at an accident scene. This, too, is blatantly illegal, and attorneys that must resort to this type of solicitation are to be shunned, if not prosecuted.
Today, however, there are many legitimate sources to find, evaluate and finally choose someone to represent you in what could be one of the most important decisions you will have to make. Advertising is legitimate. Certainly one of the best sources is the use of the internet which affords you the opportunity to find out much more about an attorney you are thinking of hiring then was ever available in the past. Websites are good beginnings, and you should never hesitate to ask an attorney questions about himself or his background. A little careful screening in the beginning can avoid a lot of heartache later.
Posted by New York Personal Injury Attorney Steve Orlow