7 Critical Questions to Ask When Retaining an Attorney

Retaining an attorney can be a significant decision that can have permanent ramifications on the outcome.
 
 
April 5, 2011 - PRLog -- By Lawrence A. Strid  http://www.stridlaw.com

In the thousands of  interviews that I have had with potential clients over the past 33 years that I have been practicing law, I have noticed that most people don't ask enough questions about the attorney that they are considering to retain.

Questions that probably should be inquired of any potential attorney would include the following:

    1.  Would you take my case to trial if it can't be settled?  If so, will it cost me more, and if so, why?
    2.  How many cases like this have you tried in your legal career?
    3.  How many cases similar to mine have you handled in your legal career?
    4.  What can you do to make the case more economical for me to take to court?
    5.  Would you consider taking the case for a lesser fee than what you are now quoting me?
    6.  How would you propose to handle my case if I were to retain you?
    7.  What will I owe if there is no recovery on the case?

Unless it is for a very minor matter, costing a minimal amount, clients should insist on a written retainer agreement being signed, and they should read it before signing it.  Don't be pressured into signing a retainer agreement in the attorney's offices the first time that you meet with him or her.  If you do sign a retainer agreement, make sure you get a copy for yourself.

Don't be afraid to first discuss the subject of retaining a potential attorney with someone that you trust, be it a friend or relative or spouse.  Don't be afraid to bring that person with you when you visit the attorney, so that you can both ask questions.

If the legal matter contemplates your being billed for fees and/or costs on a periodic basis, make sure that you let the attorney know that you expect to receive monthly billings.  Review them when you get them and don't be afraid to ask questions if you don't understand the billing.  A client shouldn't be charged by the attorney for answering questions relating to their bill.  

Beware of attorneys that promise results that sound too good to be true on the front end, before all of the evidence and discovery pertinent to your legal matter are on the table.  Litigation can be affected (for better or worse) by all sorts of factors once the case gets underway.

Beware of attorneys who profess to "specialize" in certain areas of the law.  The California State Bar only certifies attorneys as "specialists" in a handful of legal areas, and then subject to the attorney's experience in that area and passing a specialization examination.  There is a difference between an attorney who limits or confines his practice to certain areas of the law, versus an attorney who can accurately and truthfully hold himself or herself out as a "specialist", so be aware of the distinction.

Lastly, an attorney that you can't reach on the telephone or by appointment is the functional equivalent of not retaining an attorney at all.

Communication and questions are a client's best safeguard to obtaining competent legal counsel to handle their particular legal problem.  

Lawrence A. Strid has been practicing law since 1978 in the areas of personal injury and general civil litigation.

There is no charge for an initial legal consultation and telephone consultations are welcomed.

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Lawrence A. Strid has been practicing law since 1978 in the areas of personal injury and general civil litigation.

There is no charge for an initial legal consultation and telephone consultations are welcomed.
http://www.stridlaw.com
End
Source:Lawrence A. Strid
Email:***@stridlaw.com Email Verified
Phone:(949) 861-3660
Zip:92618
Tags:Personal Injury, Accident Attorney, Law, Legal, Personal Injury Lawyer, Auto Accident Attorney, Medical Malpractice
Industry:Legal, Family, Medical
Location:Irvine - California - United States
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Page Updated Last on: Apr 05, 2011
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