How can I find out what an attorneys win and loss records are?

Asked over 4 years ago - Miami, FL

I am trying to find out an attorneys experience, meaning wins, losses, dismissals, etc.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Craig A. Epifanio

    Contributor Level 18

    Answered . Mr. Cook's analysis is spot on. You need to speak with an attorney in person. Get a feel for them as well as asking them about their experience. As Mr. Cook said wins and losses can be very misleading. What might be a win to one client is a loss to another. It depends on how satisfied they are. If you speak with an attorney and you are not comfortable with him/her or his/her abilities then speak with another one. It's just like any other professional, whether it be doctor, lawyer, accountant, etc.; do they have their client's interest at heart, if yes then you've got a good attorney.

  2. Jonathan Burton Blecher

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    Answered . Unfortunately, you won't be able to get accurate stats about those categories. You will have to rely on a face to face consultation with the attorney and pose those questions.

    Most lawyers don't keep those sort of stats, but you should be able tell from speaking with them about level of their experience. You can sometimes look to how much a lawyer charges for a case. If the fee is low, the attorney is probably not going to be working very hard on the case, and has a "volume" practice.

    Try speaking with several lawyers before you make a decision and compare what each of them has to say about your case.

  3. John Patrick Guidry II

    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . It's a good idea to ak an attorney how much experience he/she has dealing with your specific issue. Every case is different, and some attorneys have more experience with your facts than others. I know some attorneys that deal exclusively with DUI cases, so sure, they'll take your money on a grand theft charge, but you should consider this in your analysis. Be sure to bring all of the arrest reports to your meetings, because the more detailed the allegations are, the better analysis you'll get from prospective attorneys.

    Good Luck,

  4. Aaron Michael Cook

    Contributor Level 8

    Answered . You are not likely to be able to find a chart or graph of an attorney's wins and losses record. You may be able to put something together through public records searches, or through legal research services like Westlaw and LexisNexis. However, you probably won't be able to easily access these sections of the services even from a public law library. Moreover, it may not even be accurate, complete, or helpful.

    The more important thing to realize when hiring an attorney (I assume that's why you're checking into the record) is not his or her win/loss record. Every attorney will have both wins and losses. It doesn't necessarily tell you anything about the attorney's ability to help you.

    By way of illustration, many attorneys may have staggeringly high loss records because they take pro bono cases or cases where they genuinely try to help others, rather than focusing on whether the case is "winnable." Also, criminal defense attorneys often have mostly "losses" because they plead out their clients. However, given the facts of each case, a plea may be a "win" (compared to a conviction of a greater charge) even if it is recorded as a "loss" (client goes to jail).

    Finally, nearly all civil cases settle or do not go to trial. These are mostly unreported because they are confidential. Moreover, a settlement can be viewed as either both sides winning, or both sides losing. It's difficult to quantify.

    Perhaps the only major barometer you should check out is whether an attorney has a negative disciplinary history. While this doesn't mean he or she is incompetent or unethical, it is probably more helpful to know than a win/loss record. Disciplinary records should be available through the state supreme court's website. Google it.

    In sum, I doubt you can find an attorney's win and loss record. However, the good news is that the information probably wouldn't be helpful. Your best bet is to find an attorney who is knowledgeable of your problem area and discuss what the best options for you are.

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