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How can you be comfortable that you are getting a reputable Attorney?

Duxbury, MA |

I was represented in a personal injury case in Massachusetts where I believe my Attorney committed malpractice. Now, leery of the profession, I do not know how to look for an Attorney to help me sue another Attorney. I am over 50 and besides my original injury case, I have worked all my life and never brought suit against anyone.

Attorney Answers 8

Posted

This site offers a search feature which will allow you took for lawyers who specialize in malpractice. You would have a difficult case on your hands so you must find someone with considerable experience handling attorney malpractice and may need to look outside your county into Boston for the best representation.

Best of luck!

If you are in Massachusetts, my answering of your question does not constitute an attorney/client relationship and are for informational purposes only. If you wish to contact me to discuss your question further I offer a 30 minute free consultation and can be reached at 413-522-6263. If you are not in Massachusetts I am not giving you legal advice as I am not licensed in your state and my comments should be viewed as for informational purposes only.

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Asker

Posted

Even if my Attorney was in Boston.

William N. Chambers

William N. Chambers

Posted

That likely won't matter.

Asker

Posted

Thank You

Posted

NOthing you can do can guarantee that your lawyer will represent you properly. You can, however, maximize your chances of getting the right attorney by checking out his credentials: does he seem to have the educational and trial experience so that he will know what he is doing? Does he have high ratings on AVVO? If that checks out, meet him. Does he seem like someone you can work with and feel comfortable with? Does he seem interested in helping you? Is he clear in describing what he can (and can't) do? Does he seem willing to promise you the moon in order to sign you up? If his paper credentials are strong and he seems like the right lawyer for you, hire him.

Evaluating any legal question requires a detailed knowledge of the specific facts involved. Since a short question will rarely contain all the relevant facts, the answer here should be considered a general comment for your consideration and not legal advice.

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Posted

I have been a lawyer for 37 years, and I have been a client a couple of times. I agree with Mr. Stolzberg's advice and I want to emphasize a couple of things. Avvo ratings, Super Lawyers and all that are all very well but they can be manipulated. Reputation can be pumped up with public relations. You need somebody you can talk to, and somebody of strong character as well as strong experience. If an attorney promises you any particular result, leave. If an attorney spends a lot of time talking about himself or herself, and not much time listening to you, leave. I learned these lessons as a client, not as a lawyer. They made me a better lawyer.

Any opinions stated in response to Avvo questions are based upon the facts stated in the question. Responses to Avvo questions are for general information purposes only, and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice.

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Jeffrey K. Varszegi

Jeffrey K. Varszegi

Posted

Great advice. I remember reading Jay Foonberg's book on starting a law practice, in which he tells of one of his first clients. This person liked Foonberg's candid approach so much that he wanted to hire him even when Foonberg protested his own lack of experience. As an attorney I try to avoid even the appearance of a "hard sell", because I want potential clients to be at ease. I think a lot flows from the mindset of a practitioner-- looking at every contact as a chance to make a buck, versus as a chance to help someone with brief advice and potentially start a lasting relationship, whether or not the person needs one's services at that point in time. It could be that I'm too soft, but my experience has been that avoiding pushiness not only is the nicer way to be, but tends to make people want to hire me more. I just try to project being a straight shooter (and of course try to actually be one as well). I agree about the ratings on these sites being subject to manipulation. Choosing an attorney on such a basis alone is tantamount to picking the one with the biggest, flashiest ad in the phone book.

Kenneth L. Shigley

Kenneth L. Shigley

Posted

Excellent points. I have all the wonderful ratings -- AV Preemeinent, Super Lawyer, Legal Elite, Avvo 10.0, etc., etc. That's all nice to have, but every bit of it can be manipulated easily by anyone who knows how.

Posted

Never select an attorney on the basis of advertising. Most of those who advertise on TV or bus placards are terrible lawyers ,have poor professional reputations and operate settlement mills that flip cases for 10% of case value in order to make a quick buck without doing any serious lawyer work.

Research the credentials of the attorney. Look for a lawyer who has been in practice at least 10 years, specializes in your kind of case, has verifiable and successful trial experience, has received meaningful professional awards or distinctions, has frequently lectured or published in his or her field, is a good listener, and has great support staff.

For more, see the "Smart Consumer's Guide to Hiring a Great Lawyer," http://www.injurytriallawyer.com/library/Smart_Consumers_Guide_To_HIRING_A_GREAT_LAWYER_eBook.pdf

http://www.atlantainjurylawyer.com/attorney-lawyer-1008563.html

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Posted

I agree with all of the other answers. One of the best ways to get a sense of a lawyer is to sit and meet with him or her. Most initial consultations are free.

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Kenneth L. Shigley

Kenneth L. Shigley

Posted

A really professional attorney will try to find time to meet with you in person, discuss your case in depth, really listen to you and discuss the pros and cons of your case without promising a particular result. If you find an intake interview being conducted exclusively by a paralegal (the actual interview, not such preliminary screening), or if a lawyer tries too hard to impress you with his expensive toys or promises an outcome, flee.

Posted

The best advice I can give is to do your homework. Make sure you are going to a firm who handles legal malpractice cases and not one that just lists it on their website. Choosing an attorney is just like choosing any other professional - word of mouth, feedback from others and your own research will go a long way.

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Posted

Look to any resource that can't be manipulated by a marketing company or gamed by the law firm. This rules out Avvo and most online resources.

Try your local Bar Association and then cross-reference the Attorney or firm through LinkedIn. Don't forget to ask around. You'd be surprised who amongst your circle of friends might be of assistance.

Regardless, you should review all the answers provided by the other attorneys who took the time to respond. I know a few by reputation and their advice it worth serious consideration

THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE
You pay for legal advice. This is free.

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Posted

Hiring an attorney who you do not know is always difficult. The range of competency and integrity between various attorneys is staggering. Experience should be an important factor for which there is no substitute, however it is no guarantee as there can be "issues" with experienced attorneys as well. If I needed an attorney, a word of mouth recommendation from a trusted person who knew them or had previously hired them would be the most important factor in making such a decision. Attorney's provide services of a very personal nature. They must be able to get along with you, demonstrate genuine concern for your needs and be responsive to you (particularly with regards to communication) . Obviously, they need to be competent as well. Hiring an attorney is similar to hiring a surgeon- If you do not fully trust them, do not get on the operating table and close your eyes. In any event, I wish you the best of luck.

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