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5 Tips For Hiring The Right Litigation Attorney For Your Needs

Friday, April 27th, 2018
Tips to find the right litigation attorney for you

If you are involved in a case, or think you will be soon, you will need to hire a litigation attorney to help you. These lawyers are professionals who focus their practice on prosecuting and litigating cases. They are the classic attorneys you see on T.V. making impassioned arguments to the jury and judge. However, television provides an inaccurate picture of litigation attorneys. They actually spend a lot of their time writing and submitting arguments on behalf of their clients, trying to maneuver cases and evidence into the most favorable position.

The likelihood of succeeding in your case depends on the skill and experience of your litigation attorney. It is important that you pick the right lawyer to have a successful case, but also because you need one who works well with you. The following are five tips you can use to help you find the right litigation attorney for your case.

Verify how payments are handled

One of the first things you should ask is how the litigation attorney handles payments. Does the lawyer charge on an hourly basis, or do they work on contingency? See if the lawyer expects a retainer, and if so, how much that will be. What is the billable rate, and does she use flat amounts for specific tasks? Some law firms will always bill 0.2 hours (12 minutes) for emails, regardless of how long it takes to send them to you. Other law firms always bill 4 hours for court appearances, whether the appearance takes 30 minutes or 5 hours.

If the litigation lawyer works on contingency, that means he or she will not charge you for services. However, the firm will collect its fee from your judgment, assuming you win. The percentage could vary from 33 percent to as low as 20 percent.

Ask how many cases the attorney has won

When you ask a litigation lawyer how many cases he has won, keep in mind that he may not define winning the same as you do. You probably associate winning a case with an attorney securing a judgment from a jury trial. However, lawyers can also define wins based on favorable settlements, extracting concessions just before trial, and mixed judgments. Make sure when you ask how many cases the attorney has won, ask her to explain what that means for your case.

Find out how frequently the litigation lawyer settles cases

There are some litigation attorneys that prefer going to jury trials and rarely endorse settlements. Other lawyers settle cases more often and never take cases to trial. You will want an attorney that is honest with you about your odds of success and willing to tell you what you can reasonably expect. This is important because if you want more than your case is actually worth, you need a lawyer who will tell you when to take a fair settlement. Moreover, some attorneys put their interests ahead of their clients, preferring to go to a jury trial because they can win more money. Be sure you can trust any litigation attorney you hire.

Make sure you will be updated on your case

You won’t understand the stress of a litigation case until you are in one, so you will want a lawyer who keeps you informed and involved. However, there must also be a careful balance because you may be billed for updates. You should ask your attorney who will keep you updated and his preferred method of communication. The easiest and cheapest way to stay informed is by communicating through emails. Also, you want to know who your contact is because the person you speak with may not be the attorney who works on your case. In general, you can expect a paralegal or legal secretary to keep you updated. Knowing that you’re speaking with the paralegal can ensure that you know when to ask for the litigator to answer specific questions.

How to know an attorney is not right for you

Keep in mind that this is a suggested and not an exhaustive list of questions to help you choose a litigation attorney. If the lawyer or their staff are evasive or not specific, that is a bad sign. You should also pay attention to how well organized they are and if they respond to you in a timely manner. If they have a poor attitude, refuse to give you references, or are not willing to answer your questions, find a different attorney.

Hire professional and trusted litigation attorneys for your case

If you are involved in a litigation case, or think you may be in the future, you need an attorney you can rely on. Contact the experienced Litigation team at Brown & Fortunato, P.C. today to see how our attorneys and staff can help you or your business. We are experienced in the litigation of labor and employment disputes, oil and gas cases, and other types of commercial and individual cases. Call us at (833) 228-6300 or Contact Us by email to learn more about our Practice Areas. We are located at 905 S. Fillmore St., Suite 400, in Amarillo, Texas.