If you ever find yourself in need of a lawyer, finding a good attorney can be challenging. Choosing the right attorney to navigate your legal dispute is critical for establishing an effective attorney-client relationship and fostering success. Here are seven qualities you should look for in choosing a Pasadena personal injury attorney:
1. Identify Your Legal Problem and Use an Attorney Who Practices in That Field
The first step in finding an attorney is understanding the problem or issue that you are facing. The law has many different specialties and subspecialties. Before you can accurately determine the best attorney to represent you, you must determine what kind of lawyer is best suited to address and resolve your problem.
2. Make Sure the Attorney has the Right Experience
The appropriate experience level is one of the most critical criteria for a lawyer. You want a lawyer with a track record of success in your type of case. Such a record of experience will increase the likelihood that the attorney can help to resolve your issue successfully.
Length of service, number of cases in a particular specialty and geographic area, and prior results are essential to consider in evaluating the attorney’s experience. With experience comes knowledge of the adversaries and personalities involved in a case, cumulative wisdom and perspective to assess risks and develop winning strategies related to a particular problem, and confidence to steer you through the twists and turns of the legal process.
3. Expect the Attorney to be a Good Communicator
Attorneys are paid to communicate with their adversaries and those who judge their cases. Equally important, however, is finding an attorney who can effectively communicate with you. You want an attorney who anticipates your questions and keeps you abreast of the developments in your case without you having to call first.
The attorney should have the ability to communicate in an organized and understandable manner. The attorney should have a reasonable “bedside manner” and good judgment when in-person communications or e-mail is most appropriate. They should also realize that over-communicating may be unnecessary and not cost-effective.
When you are asked to decide or act, your attorney must briefly explain the options available, the practical and legal advantages and disadvantages of the different courses of action, and other matters relevant to your decision.
4. Consider the Attorney’s Professionalism
“Professionalism” is more than personality. It involves specific objective actions and behaviors that distinguish the best attorneys from those who are merely competent. Among other things, you should expect a “professional” attorney to:
- Work efficiently and economically, using your resources as his own
- Return all telephone calls or client communications promptly
- Arrive at meetings on time and well-prepared
- Follow-up promptly and as appropriate
- Provide you with advice about alternative dispute resolution procedures
- Be respectful of everyone, regardless of their position, role, or status
- Be neat and project the image of success appropriate for your business
- Follow all applicable laws and ethical canons
5. Use an Attorney Familiar with Your Region
Whether you use a local or national specialist depends on the nature of the matter at hand. Someone familiar with your region will have better knowledge of the local laws and procedures and the personalities of the local judicial or administrative authorities. Moreover, face-to-face communications are generally better than telephone conferences and e-mail, so it may be better to have the specialist located close enough to visit the site of the problem in short order.
6. Get References from the Attorney
Ask the attorney to provide a few clients for you to consult. But beware, references provided by the attorneys are likely to give the most glowing references. Check deeper into their reputation and check with other sources. Hiring an attorney is a significant event; you should take your time in the reference-checking process.
7. Ask About Fees and Other Business Arrangements
The discussion will inevitably turn to cost at some point in the decision-making process. Ask the contact attorney to explain the firm’s billing procedures and methods. Some attorneys will bill by the hour, while others will follow contingency arrangements or other alternative billing methods. Ask what other charges you can expect to receive for handling your case, such as travel charges, expert fees, copying, postage, etc.
At Grigoryan Blum and Grigoryan, our Pasadena personal injury attorneys pride ourselves on being accessible and attentive to each of our clients and treating them with dignity and respect. Our partners, Tigran and Ivy, will always be there to answer your call and handle your case with individuality and empathy. If you’ve been involved in an accident, contact us for a free consultation so we can get you the justice you deserve.
Click here for our complete guide to hiring a personal injury lawyer.