How to obtain a lawyers win/loss case record? What would be the best source to get win/loss case records accurately & quickly?
10 attorney answers
Your question is excellent. In my 42 years of practice only 1 or 2 of 1000's of clients have asked. Experienced trial lawyers have won and lost a lot of cases. If someone contends they won every case they are being less than truthful. Best to rely on lawyers reputation or other satisfied clients.
Please note that these answers are provided as a community service and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.
There are no win/loss statistics. Also, recognize that most cases, if prepared and presented properly, are won or lost based on what juries or judges hear from the witness stand. Excellent lawyers have lost cases and less than excellent lawyers have won cases. The more appropriate questions to ask a lawyer are: how many jury trials have you tried? Have you tried medical malpractice cases to verdict, or whatever the appropriate subject matter is, etc. Understand that an excellent lawyer may have an extraordinary ability to negotiate and avoid trials. This makes a lawyer successful without going into a traditional courtroom, but instead doing something called private arbitrations or mediations. The bottom line is you definitely want to do your due diligence on the lawyer. Consult web sites like Avvo or other like sites. Talk to family, co-workers and friends. Often times, word of mouth referrals are much more valuable than looking at a self promoting advertisement in the yellow pages. Good luck.
There's a saying - a trial lawyer who has never lost a case only handles great cases.
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All of the above are correct that there is no source of win/loss records for lawyers. Occasionally you will hear or read something like "Jerry Spence never lost a case in his years as a prosecutor" which may indeed be true. But this is rare, indeed.
In litigation there are always risks of an adverse ruling. No one can predict with certainty how a jury will decide a case.
You should not infer from a lawyer's past success is indicative of a successful outcome in future cases. In would be mistake to think that if a lawyer had won 90% of his/her prior cases, if you hired that lawyer, you would have a 90% chance of a successful outcome in your case. It just doesn't work like that.
Litigation always has risks (both known and unknown). So, even if you were able to access win/loss statistics, it would be a mistake to place much reliance on them.
I agree that these statistics generally do not exist. However, a pure win/loss record would be deceiving. How many tough cases does that lawyer handle? How willing is the lawyer to go to trial instead of accepting a bad plea deal? Maybe sometimes a lawyer beats many of the charges, but a minor charge results in a conviction? How seriously do the prosecutors take a particular lawyer when negotiating? Also, a lawyer who represents wealthy clients may have a better record because he or she has the resources to hire experts etc. Most criminal defense lawyers are going to have very few complete wins.
This answer contains general information only; and it is not intended as legal advice. It is not intended to and does not create an attorney client relationship. Information contained here is only a starting point and you should consider discussing your specific problem in depth with a licensed attorney.
No lawyer knows his won-loss record unless he is inexperienced and only tried a few cases. You just need to do your homework. Go online. Read reviews on Avvo. Talk to several local lawyers in the county where you were charged. Meet with a few to get second opinions, just like you would if you were looking for a second opinion from a doctor. Ask a lot of questions and then ask more. See if he will call you back if you call with a question. Look for an experienced attorney who you feel comfortable with.
I agree with the other answers that you can't obtain that info. Ask your prospective attorney questions and see if you're comfortable with him or her.
Mr. Walsh is correct. There is no "box score" for lawyers. Do you ask for a "cure" record from your doctor? If your prospective lawyer can give you such information, they are very inexperienced or less than honest. Either way, find another lawyer. Look for experience and ratings from peers and former clients and most important, what you think after meeting the lawyer.
These statistics don't exist. While some lawyers are "better" than others, most criminal cases are decided based upon the facts of the case at hand, as well as the applicable law. A great lawyer can lose many cases when the evidence against their client(s) is strong.
Approximately 95% of cases are resolved by way of plea agreements, and can be considered "wins" under appropriate circumstances.
You are best served asking specific questions of the lawyer about his or her experience defending against the particular types of charges you're facing. Also, you may want to consider asking friends and family for a lawyer they would consider referring. When doing so, do not discuss any details about your case.
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