I suffered a near-fatal pulmonary embolism due to the drug Yasmin and am interested in joining one of the various Mass Torts now starting. I'm confused about how to handle this situation. Many lawyers have reached out to me. How can I distinguish between an ambulance chaser who's no good and a terrific firm who will represent me in the best way possible for the best outcome possible? I've used Martindale.com to do background searchs, but this only gets me so far.... Any advice would be greatly appreciated. My hospitlization was physically and emotionally traumatic, and the last thing I need is a client/lawyer relationship that is not optimal. If I'm to move forward with Mass Tort, I only want to do so with good representation.
I would have to disagree with the previous respondent. It's rarely the case that "legally virtually any attorney with experience could handle such a matter." Rather, mass and complex torts are highly intricate, and you will need solely a law firm with a depth of experience in mass tort litigations, in navigating the New York court system in such litigations, comprised of attorneys committed to excellence both at the trial and settlement negotation levels, and that will put you first as your counsel. Checking attorney credentials on sites such as Avvo and Martindale is recommended, and will usually provide you with a good threshold feel for the attorney or firm you're thinking of retaining.
Choosing a lawyer to represent you in this is not an easy task. You need to meet face to face with the lawyer or lawyers in the firm you are "interviewing " for the position of representing you. You need to feel comfortable with the individual you will be dealing with. You can do some research by going to their web site and other attorney rating sites. Are they members in good standing with New York State Trial Lawyers, for example. Yasmin or drospirenone as it is properly known has been responsible for some very bad complications. You need to make sure that the attorney or firm you hire has experience litigating serious personal injury matters in both New York State and Federal courts. Don't be afraid to ask what experience they have had in this regard. Also, be aware that once you hire a lawyer, contrary to some of the previous answers, here in New York you can "fire" that attorney for no reason at all, at any time during the course of the litigation if you are not satisfied with the representation you are getting. So while you don't want to be in that position, if you are you are not bound by any contract. Take your time and make sure you feel comfortable when you make the decision.
I would suggest that you go by your gut feeling, go by what your instinct is as to communications and how well the individual attorney will keep in contact with you. I generally have issues with attorneys reaching out to potential clients without any initial contact from the client...
Overall, the reality is that legally virtually any attorney with any experience could handle such a matter - and that due to the large volume of plaintiffs there will be more than adequate legal representation... as a result I would suggest to you that your primary concern should be your own relationshp, personally, with your attorney. Especially, given the fact of the circumstances you have undergone as a result of your condition... i would agree that aggravating factors due to a poor relationship would be the last thing you would need.
if you have any further questions feel free to contact us directly.
You are taking a wise approach to this matter by doing your research, now, before you get rushed into signing a Contract of Representation with any particular firm.
Unfortunately, many law firms "lead" with their Contract so that they can tie-up, or hook, the client even before the firms know much about the possible case. The reason that firms do this is because once you have signed a Contract no other attorney is permitted ethically to speak to you about your case. Further, while the law firm can easily terminate the client's representation after the firms learns more about the client and the case, it is more difficult for the client to switch law firms. For example, the law firm that quickly got their hook set in the client may be very, very slow to provide the client who wants to move on with the proper documentation that other lawyers would want to see before speaking with that client, e.g., copy of Contract "voided" by firm together with letter from firm stating that the representaion has been terminated.
So once you avoid that mistake, how should you assess potential lawyers who might handle this Yasmin pulmonary embolism case for you.
First, when you call the law firm do you even get to speak to the lawyer, or are you limited to speaking with an intake clerk or a paralegal, etc. If the lawyer is interested in your case, she / he should want to learn more about your situation before taking you on as a client AND afford you an opportunity to learn more about she / he handles drug injury cases. For this purpose, she / he should offer to send you their Yasmin Questionnaire with no obligation on your part to hire her / him if you complete and return it, or not.
Second, you need to learn what type of experience does that lawyer have handling drug injury lawsuits. Asking the lawyer might work, here, but you should also do your own investigation using the internet. Does the lawyer's web site provide information about what is going on in the Yasmin litigation, e.g., federal court MDL order, and what it is about Yasmin that makes it different than other birth control pills and, as a result, more likely to cause blood clots, e.g., the progestin it contains: drospirenone, or DRSP? Further, you might want to see whether the lawyer writes a blog which demonstrates that she / he is closely following developments in the drug injury law practice area.
I could go on, but you probably get the picture by now. While a law firm may consider it to be a beauty contest of sorts -- pick me, pick me -- you need to be comfortable with the lawyer you select to handle your case because she / he will be an important part of your life for the next two or three years.
I wish you the best in all aspects going forward.
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