What Your Lawyer Doesn’t Want You to Know: Many names can be used to describe lawyers –mentor, advocate, intermediary, and more. However, one thing that most people don’t know about lawyers is that they have secrets – lots of them! They have secrets about how to get your case successfully resolved in the most favorable way possible, but not all of these secrets make it out into the public eye.
Top 5 tips from experts
#1 – Do not admit guilt or apologize for something you haven’t done.
#2 – Never lie, your lawyer will be very offended by you.
#3 – Always allow your lawyer to speak on your behalf and under no circumstances should you ever answer questions from the public, press, or police yourself. It could severely damage your case if anything is misunderstood by saying too much or giving out irrelevant information; better that it comes from your representative.
#4 – Don’t ask for legal advice in a public forum or place where others might hear it; ask a question when there are only a few people around and even then don’t say too much about what happened as that could put you at risk of getting into more trouble.
Understand what you’re in for
In every case, you should know exactly what your lawyer expects from you and how much you can expect in return. For example, a common misunderstanding between clients and lawyers is that all attorneys are entitled to receive money for doing nothing more than putting a case on hold. That’s not necessarily true, so make sure you understand what it is that your lawyer expects from you. If they want additional information or more meetings, make sure those expectations are clear ahead of time. Otherwise, when it comes to conflicts over fees or payment plans with your attorney, there may be a no greater feeling of betrayal.
Only hire lawyers who care about you
Don’t hire a lawyer who only cares about what he can make out of your case. That type of lawyer is easy to spot, and you’ll know when it happens. He might seem nice and helpful at first but once he gets paid his retainer, he will forget all about you. It’s in his best interest that you get as much money as possible and so don’t be surprised if some months later on, you’ll receive a letter from him asking for additional funds. Be wary of any attorney who asks for money before taking on your case or wants to agree on a contingency basis.
Learn how your lawyer handles cases
Yes, you want a lawyer who’s professional and takes your case seriously, but what you don’t want is an overpriced paper pusher. Before you hire a lawyer, ask him or her how many cases they won. At some point during your case (or after), sit down with your lawyer and learn how he or she plans on handling things. Then make sure that you are comfortable with everything he/she says—and isn’t saying—to you. If anything doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
Judge your lawyer by how they run their office
While it is true that some clients prefer a corporate, business-like approach, and others want a more friendly, small-town feel, we have found that most clients are interested incompetent legal advice from an attorney who cares about their case. Ask questions about how your lawyer likes to work with clients. See if they communicate via phone or email often. It might also be worth asking about how many of their cases settle versus going to trial. A strong litigator can get you what you want–but will it be worth it? Many defendants (often erroneously) believe the settlement is always better than fighting in court. This could not be further from the truth and should not be used as a measuring stick when choosing a lawyer.
Hire an attorney with relevant experience
The best, most experienced attorney you can afford is your best bet. In other words, don’t waste time and money on an experienced attorney who won’t be able to help you with your type of case. Finding an attorney is a two-step process: First, find out whether they are licensed in your state (if applicable). Second, find out if they have any experience with the specific area of law in which you need assistance (e.g., labor law for employee issues; contract law for business disputes). Other considerations include reputation and style—that is, are they aggressive negotiators or a more passive presence? Make sure that personalities mesh well and will be conducive to moving forward together.
If you can afford it, hire two attorneys
Two attorneys work on each case: one in-house and one retained by you (your outside attorney). The in-house lawyer usually makes sure that your case is being handled properly by your outside counsel. If you have a problem with your in-house attorney, then there’s no recourse. However, if you have a problem with your outside counsel (or he or she quits or gets sick), then at least you can find another attorney and get things moving again. Or they will be able to give up their role without causing a huge loss of momentum in your case.
Understand the fine print when hiring an attorney
Did you know that even if an attorney is not licensed to practice law in your state, he or she can still represent you there? Did you know that an attorney can charge for a phone call, even when there is no billable time? Understand what your lawyer doesn’t want you to know. Contact us today with any questions. We are here to help. [contact info]
Trust your gut when it comes to deciding on an attorney
Now that it’s time to hire a lawyer, you’re probably thinking about the price. But, before you contact attorneys or agencies, think through your hiring process as thoroughly as possible. This will help make sure you’re comparing apples to apples and that you know what each attorney offers and what they don’t. It will also help you weed out bad lawyers who either don’t have experience with your specific case or are just in it for a quick buck.
Don’t be shy about asking questions
Sure, a cheap lawyer might seem like a sound idea at first. But what if they don’t show up for court? What if they give bad advice and you lose your business? Or worse, what if they are incompetent or work against you? Those costs may not be accounted for in a price tag. Attorney’s fees will vary based on the type of service and geographic location, but legal representation should always be considered an investment. The adage that you get what you pay for holds when it comes to lawyers; cheaper attorneys generally come with major risks. Do your research before hiring anyone and remember: A great lawyer isn’t too expensive – she is worth every penny!
Look beyond price; invest in legal representation instead
While price is often a major concern when it comes to hiring a lawyer, you may be more interested in getting more bang for your buck. When searching for legal representation, do yourself a favor and look past the price; remember that other factors affect legal costs. If you’re looking for top-notch legal help, you’re better off doing your research than simply going with whoever gives you their best quote. You may end up saving money by paying a higher hourly rate than if you went with someone less experienced or competent. In short, even if they charge more per hour, they may save you time and hassle when all is said and done.