Patent litigation is a high cost, high stakes endeavor with many pitfalls for the unwary and inexperienced. If your patent application is not skillfully drafted and prosecuted, there is a risk that it will not be valid and enforceable in litigation.
Here are some tips on how to select a patent attorney, and how to evaluate their work product.
Patent attorneys often know which other patent attorneys are skilled in a community. Start by asking in-house patent attorneys and retired patent attorneys (who have no vested interest in recommending one firm over another) for recommendations.
Find patents written by a patent attorney and see what companies trusted that patent attorney with their precious intellectual property.
If you are still in doubt, ask the attorney for some sample patents (my website has samples of patents I have obtained for various clients). Review the patents against this list of poor practices:
This list is not complete but should give you can idea of the complexities of patent law. If you only understand some of the questions above, that will give you a better insight into a patent attorney's skill level than many people have.