If you are facing a lawsuit or need to file one, the process can be very stressful. While many attorneys and law firms are well versed in many aspects of law, you need the best protection for yourself and your interests. Here are five areas to focus on when hiring a litigator.
Are you Experienced?
Your case is special to you. The outcome could determine how you live the rest of your life. Find a litigator that has specialized in cases that are similar to yours. You want to have confidence heading into a trial that your litigator is very familiar with the nuances of your individual case. Try to avoid some of the pitfalls many people make, like choosing the biggest firm in town because of their size, the one that runs the most TV commercials, or picking a lawyer who is famous.
Are you a Winner?
Your litigator may have knowledge in this arena, and may have gone to trial many times, but were they effective? Has this attorney won landmark cases? When they settled, were their clients happy with the outcome? Attorneys can settle for a variety of reasons, but ultimately their goal is to get the results that the client desires. It is important when searching for a litigation attorney to have a clear understanding what you hope to achieve in your case.
Are You Connected?
The legal community is close knit, and relationships can help dictate the outcome of a trial. An attorney’s familiarity and working relationship with particular judges and opposing lawyers are significant. If you already know who the other law firm is or who the judge is in your case, you can ask prospective lawyers about their dealings. If you need to settle your case, has your prospective lawyer successfully negotiated with the other attorney? Does this attorney have a favorable record with the judge? Does the judge approve of your attorney’s courtroom behavior? Your attorney’s relationship with the other central figures in your case is a critical element to the outcome of your trial.
Can We Talk?
While your attorney’s relationship and communication style with the other litigator and judge are important, this is second to the communication and relationship formed between your attorney and you. How reassuring is your attorney when it comes to your case? Do they believe your side? The client-attorney relationship is largely built on trust and having understanding dialogue. Make sure you are feeling heard at the onset of this relationship. Is your attorney responsive? Nobody likes his or her concerns to go unanswered. While you want an attentive attorney, be aware that they represent many clients, and can spend several days in a courtroom helping someone else achieve a successful outcome. It may take you a few days to get a response, but make sure that response is thorough.
What is Your Fee Structure?
Ultimately, the way you communicate, and how often can cost you. Most attorneys offer free initial consultation – a feeling out period between potential client and attorney. If you both decide to proceed, you’ll want to know how much the services cost. Understand that legal representation has a price, from research and consultation to preparing and filing court documents; the hours add up. Find out if the lawyer strictly charges by the hour or fractionally. You don’t want a 10-minute phone call to cost you an hour’s worth of service.
When searching for an Orange County litigator, make sure they fit your needs.
You will want to have the utmost confidence in your legal team. Some cases demand special skills and subject matter knowledge, and Heritage Law’s litigation experience is vast. We have lawyers who concentrate their practices in substantive areas, including trusts and estates; business and commercial disputes; employment; real estate; premises and product liability; and unfair competition.