QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN HIRING A LAWYER
Litigation/trial work is very much the same regardless of the case. In all lawsuits, there is the presentation of evidence along with the direct and cross-examination of witnesses. Preparing for trail in a personal injury case is not much different than preparing for trial in a real estate case.
The one advantage of hiring a trial lawyer who has experience in a particular area is that technical knowledge of the subject matter is a big help in preparing for trial. Knowledge of building construction, building practices, codes and industry standards are invaluable in preparing for trial. Having experience in this area also puts a lawyer in contact with key expert witnesses who may end up testifying on one side of the case or the other. Lawyers who restrict their practice to litigation and/or real estate are more familiar with the latest cases and legal arguments that arise in this area.
If your case involves litigation, you should hire a lawyer whose practice is limited to litigation. If you like the personality of the lawyer and feel comfortable with him or her and believe them to be competent, consider hiring the lawyer. Many lawyers don’t handle cases on a contingency fee basis, so this is important also. Lawyers whose practice is limited to trial work and/or litigation, can often do things more expeditiously with less time and effort because they have repeated the same procedures dozens of times before. The client should ask the following questions to a lawyer he or she is considering hiring:
1.) How many years have you practiced law?
2.) How many jury trials have you personally tried?
3.) How many jury trials have you had in the area that my case involves?
4.) What type of fee arrangements do you offer?
5.) What do you estimate my total cost to be in pursuing this case?
6.) What do you believe my chances of success are?
7.) What can I expect to happen during the course of litigation?
Make sure the lawyer responds with answers about himself or herself and not about the firm. Based upon these answers you should have a good idea about whether to hire this particular lawyer.