Hiring an Attorney is easy. Finding a good one is hard. These questions will help you separate the Winners from the Losers.
What percentage of your Firm's practice is devoted to 132a Discrimination Defense?
The higher the percentage of 132a Discrimination work, the better off you will be. It is more likely that the Attorney is familiar with the various issues that may confront you and your case.
2. Who will potentially handle this case for me?
The person you meet may not be the one who handles your case. You will want to know who will be defending you BEFORE you hire.
Is He/She a Certified Specialist in WC?
This not mandatory, but it is recommended. In CA, a Certified Specialist has been recognized for completing more continuing education than required, and has passed an additional Test in the field of Workers' Compensation knowledge.
What is the total caseload of the Attorney who will potentially handle this case?
There is usually no right or wrong answer (although 100+ is a wrong answer), but more files typically means less attention to yours. Less is better, if you want to be special. Fewer files on an Hourly Agreement may mean that you are the main source of revenue for the Attorney. That may be more expensive in the end. Knowledge is power.
Approximately how many 132a Discrimination cases has my Attorney defended in the past?
As you probably can guess, the more cases/issues like yours that the Attorney has seen, the better your chance for a desirable outcome. Look for at least 25, although 50 or more is better.
What percentage of the 132a Discrimination matters has the Attorney Settled?
This one may surprise you. Some Attorneys settle everything, because they are not comfortable putting on a Trial. Some Attorneys take them all to Trial, because they think they know what they are doing.
What percentage of the Attorney's 132a Discrimination Trials avoided all Liability?
This is where you find out whether the Attorneys ACTUALLY know what they are doing. If they have avoided liability on more than 80% of the cases that they have taken to Trial, they probably have a pretty good understanding of the law and the issues. If the Attorney has lost more than 20% of their 132a Trials, you should absolutely look elsewhere. If they have won all of the Trials, check the answer to #6. Question 6 will tell you if they are Cherry-Picking the Trial cases, or truly have experience with a variety of issues in the trenches. Together, you should get a pretty good idea of the Attorney's experience and philosophy.
What is the Hourly Rate/Deposit for Representation?
Cost should NOT be your primary consideration. That is why I put it further down. First feel out the experience level and litigation record of the Attorney. THEN consider where the charges fall within your expectations. An inexpensive Attorney with no litigation record/experience is probably going to be a VERY bad long-term choice. Paying a little more, for an Attorney with excellent experience/litigation record can be a VERY wise investment.
Is there a Flat Fee Representation Option?
Some Attorneys will offer a Flat Fee option for handling the case. Many will not. I always cringe when I ask how much something will cost, and the salesperson says "well, it depends..." What I hear is "how much can I roll you for?" A Flat Fee may ultimately prove to be higher or lower than the Hourly plan in 20/20 Hindsight, but you might want to control the cost on the front end with a known number. Whether you choose the Flat Fee or not, having options is always nice.
Do you offer Payment Plans?
You should NOT expect an Attorney to work for you on credit, but you never know what is possible unless you ask. Just like the Flat Fee, some Attorneys will accommodate you and some will not. If you are willing to have a set amount charged to your Checking/Credit Card automatically each month, that may be enough flexibility to both keep you represented and in business. If you are a larger Employer, you may be able to negotiate monthly billing or a Flat Fee.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on
their profile in addition to the information we collect from state
bar associations and other organizations that license legal
professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo
with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do
What determines Avvo Rating?Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, education
Legal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awards
Legal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagements
This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority in .
Disciplinary information may not be comprehensive, or updated. We recommend that you always check a lawyer's disciplinary status with their respective state bar association before hiring them.