Experience in handling mass torts, or multi-party injury cases.
Injured MD & DC citizens should choose a law firm that has experience in mass torts involving dozens or hundreds of victims, from many locations. In September 1988 I was beginning the practice of law in the Greater Washington DC area. On the 9th of that month, there was a catastrophe in a Maryland High School Gym, when a set of bleachers collapsed and almost 100 students suffered serious injuries. My job was to litigate with two senior lawyers until we had gathered the facts and evidence we needed to compensate all of the students. With the three of us working around the clock for weeks and months on end, we were able to force a settlement so large that the manufacturer of the bleachers had the agreement sealed to protect the company's reputation. The experience that comes from working through all of those claims against a huge out of state company has given me the skills to win against METRO in this current catastrophe.
Location - can you find a lawyer whose firm practices in DC & MD?
Adding to the challenge of finding an experienced lawyer is the challenge of finding one that practices wherever the court requires it to be tried. Since the METRO crash happened in DC, that might mean a DC lawyer. But many cases against METRO are filed in Maryland state and federal courts. You will need to discuss with your firm, its ability to file in all state an federal courts in the greater Washington DC region.
Don't settle for a lawyer who will file the case where it is convenient for them. Ask them why it should not be filed in each of the other courts in the region. If you don't get a smart, clear, logical answer, then you haven't found the lawyer you need.
Convenience - can you find a lawyer near you, who has the experience and abiltiy to file in multiple courts?
Adding to the challenge of finding an experienced lawyer is the challenge of finding that lawyer near your home. Being injured means facing difficulties with travel and with financial demands at home. What you need when looking for a lawyer is someone who you can see and meet at your convenience, and that means someone nearby. When looking for a lawyer, you should be looking near home. And that should not mean sacrificing experience.
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