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Five questions you should always ask your lawyer June 19, 2008

Posted by Herb Chestnut in Uncategorized.
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It is difficult enough to hire an attorney when you are familiar with the legal issue and the lawyers you deal with.  When an individual has been injured and needs a workers’ compensation or personal injury attorney for the first time, it is almost impossible to know if you are selecting the right attorney.  Ironically, in most cases, whether you have selected a good attorney will only be determined when the case is over.  The five questions below will not insure that your attorney is competent or the best lawyer for your case.  It will give you some insight into the type of attorney you are hiring.

The decision that you make in hiring an attorney will have more to do with the eventual result than any other decision you make on the claim.  Most people make this decision on the type of ad someone has in the phone book or what commercial they see or hear on television or radio.  Just because an attorney appears in these mediums is no reason to either hire or reject them.  Hire someone you feel comfortable with and confident in.  Hopefully, the suggestions above will be helpful.

Herbert J. Chestnut, Esq.

June 19, 2008

1.  How many years of experience do you have?  This seems to be an obvious question but it is amazing how infrequently it gets asked.  Experience is the key to the practice of law.  The old adage is that, with a lawyer, you pay for the grey hair.  The more experience an attorney has, the more likely that he or she has had a case similar to yours.  However, every professional must start somewhere.  If your case is assigned to a young associate, make sure that someone with experience supervises the case.

2.  What percentage of your practice is in this area of the law?  The practice of law is becoming more and more specialized.  It stands to reason that an attorney who chooses to concentrate his or her practice in a single area know that area better than one who tries to do a little of everything.  It is very difficult in this day and time to be a “jack of all trades.”  Also, relationships between opposing attorneys does play a part in the successful resolution of a case.  The more specialized an attorney is, the more likely he or she is to know the opponent if the case goes to litigation.

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