Saturday, November 28, 2009

How Do You Select and Hire a Competent Attorney?

Question - "The insurance company paid for my property damage. Why do I need to hire a lawyer? If I need an attorney, how do I go about selecting and hiring one?"

The adverse party's insurance company owes no duty of care to you. The only duty of care the adverse party's insurer has pertains solely to it's insured. Those duties of care include (1) the duty to its insured from any claim you may have against their insured and (2) the duty to indemnify and hold harmless its insured from any claim you may have up to the tender of its insured's policy limits. In summary, the adverse party's insurance carrier has a duty of care to minimize any liability its insured has concerning your claim and no duty of care to you.

Consulting with an attorney provides you with free legal advice to assist you in making proper decisions that may protect and pursue your legal rights and remedies.

In interviewing your prospective attorney you should inquire as to the following:

1. Do you provide your propective clients with an initial free consultation? Most competent attorneys will provide you with an initial free consultation.

2. Do you accept cases based upon a contingency fee and, if so, what is the percentage and how is it calculated?

3. In addition to your attorney's fees, does your fee agreement provide for a recovery for your costs advanced and how are they calculated, i.e., what is your rate of reimbursement for photocopies, faxes, long distance telephone charges and other costs?

4. What experience do you have in trying cases to verdict? Although most cases settle out of court, if your attorney has the reputation of taking no cases to verdict, the insurance carriers may reduce the value of your case significantly.

5. If the attorney has taken cases to trial, what cases were they and what were the results? Does your attorney have a proven tract record of trials and verdicts that demostrates an ability to "bring in the verdict." If not, the carrier may reduce the value of your case significantly.

6. Has your attorney conducted focus groups in his practice? Focus groups provide invaluable information to attorneys in determining how to structure a case.

7. Has your attorney attended a program that pertains to the "Overcoming Jury Bias" model? Does your attorney know how to identify the five (5) jury biases that adversely effect every case and the ten (10) principles or belief systems how to overcome them?

8. Does the attorney inspire you? Does the attorney empower you? There are those who talk the talk and there are those that walk the walk. Are you being shuttled to paralegals and other support staff or are you able to talk to your attorney directly?

9. Is your prospective attorney capable of providing you with the information you need to make you a better witness to provide you with the ability to present your case in an efficatious way?

10. Research your prospective attorney and see if the things the attorney tells you checks out. I know of attorneys who obtain most of their clients from TV advertising but have never obtained a jury verdict in favor of their client!

Don't be afraid to ask questions. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. Clearly, not all attorneys are created equal!

CONTACT INFORMATION: If you or a family member have been injured or damaged due to the fault or responsibility of someone else, an industrial accident or by a dangerous or defective product, drug or toxic substance, contact Alan Morton for a no obligation, free consultation.

For additional information contact:

Alan L. Morton
1005 North Eighth Street
Post Office Box 420
Boise, ID 83701-0420
Telephone: 208.344.5555
Toll Free: 866.946.1669 [866.WIN.1.NOW]
Facsimile: 208.342.2509

No comments:

Post a Comment