If you have a family law, criminal law, or civil law matter that requires you to hire an attorney, you need to make the right choice. Choose your attorney carefully or you may not reach a satisfactory resolution and you may end up spending thousands of dollars. Here are some tips as to what lawyers to avoid:
1. The cheapest lawyers. The saying “you get what you pay for” definitely applies here. The lawyers that have the lowest rates in town normally do not have the skills, motivation, ethics, and devotion to your case. There is a reason they are not billing the average rates for lawyers in your community. Retaining the cheapest attorney will actually end up costing you a small fortune to correct the errors and mistakes that attorney might make.
2. If a lawyer promises you a specific outcome, leave and do not look back. During an initial consultation, an attorney only receives a snapshot of your case. It is impossible for her/him to know all of the evidence, facts, pros and cons of your case, to form a professional opinion as to the outcome of your case. If an attorney makes such promises, he/she normally does not remember the promises made and when an unfavorable outcome is reached, he/she will deny all such promises. Every case and Judge is different, it is impossible to predict a specific outcome in any case.
3. Beware of the attorneys that brag that “they win everything” or that they are the “aggressive attorney you are looking for”… If a case goes to trial, it is rare that one party “wins everything”. Most courts make rulings that are somewhere in the middle of what both parties are seeking. Not every case that is taken in by an attorney has better facts and evidence than the opposing party’s case. An attorney may make the best out of a bad situation, but those who proclaim he/she wins everything, does not have a sufficient understanding of the law to understand he obtained a poor result, or selectively forgets negative outcomes, or is lying. An overly aggressive lawyer will fight every little aspect of your case. A party needs to limit their fights to legitimate disputes or the case can go on for years and cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars, and years of emotional stress. An attorney who advertises he/she is aggressive, the toughest, or meanest, may also be very abrasive to the Court and cannot obtain favorable outcomes from certain judges. Such an overly aggressive lawyer is normally not a successful negotiator because he/she is disliked in the legal community. It is hard to compromise with an attorney when he/she is unjustifiably costing your client large sums of money in legal fees. Your attorney should listen to you and the facts in your case, carefully analyze your case, be a good negotiator, and have the skills and toughness to litigate when necessary. Your attorney should not talk about herself/himself unless you ask questions concerning his/her abilities and experience.
Gene Leposki, Certified Family Law Specialist
Underwood Perkins, P.C.