HOW DO YOU FIND AN ATTORNEY FOR YOUR CASE?
Need An Attorney?
Searching to hire an attorney, whether it is for a business legal matter, divorce or for criminal charges, is a daunting task. I recommend that your search for the right attorney for your legal matter should begin by researching for experienced attorneys in the Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Tampa areas who practice in the area of law that you need. One obvious way to begin your research is to ask family and friends for the names of attorneys that they may have used in the past and were happy with. The problem with only using this method of research is that the information you get is very limited. Your circle of friend and family, hopefully, probably has only a limited experience with legal problems and attorneys. So, you are likely to get the name or names of only one or two attorneys, who are often the only attorneys they know. Another way to research attorneys is to look at legal directories, such as the Florida Bar’s list of attorneys in your city, the phone book listings of attorneys or the local Bar associations, such as the Clearwater or St. Petersburg Bars. One very handy online legal directory is Avvo.com. Avvo is a listing of all attorneys in your state, organized by location, areas of practice and their own rating of the attorneys. The Avvo rating system seems to be based mainly upon years of experience and involvement in the legal community. While that information is useful, the rating system alone should not be relied upon in choosing a lawyer for your problem.
Who The H*## Sent All of These Brochures?
Another useful way to collect attorney names in your local area may at first seem like an imposition. That would be the attorney direct mail advertisements which attorneys are sometimes permitted to send out, usually in criminal cases. In Florida, the Florida Bar rules allow attorneys to send advertisements by mail to people who may require legal counsel. There are several rules which limit these direct mail advertisements. The outside and inside page of the mailing must be marked “Advertisement” in red letters and the outside of the mailing cannot state what the legal problem is. Also, while attorneys may mail advertisements to people who are facing criminal charges immediately, they must wait for thirty days following an injury or accident in a personal injury or wrongful death case. If you are ever unfortunate enough to be arrested for a crime in the Tampa Bay area, you will likely receive two dozen or more mailings from attorneys within a couple of days of your arrest. Some are colorful brochures, obviously from a criminal defense law firm, while other will be more professional and subtle letters in an envelope. The Florida Bar allows attorneys to send these ads out by mail because they recognize that people who have been arrested, or had a major accident with injuries, will be in need of legal representation, but may have no idea where or how to look for an attorney. While receiving so many mailed advertisements is often annoying to the recipient, they do provide you with a list of local attorneys who are willing to take on your type of case. Within the advertisement you will usually find information about the law firm and its lawyers, such as prior experience, address and phone number. The law firms and attorneys that you like from the mailings should be checked against the Avvo.com site discussed above for experience and major practice areas.
Making A List And Checking It Twice
With the list of attorneys that you have found you are ready for the next step. I recommend choosing no less than three and up to six or more names from your research. You are not actually making your decision as to which attorney to hire yet. What is important is to find a listing of attorneys in your city or county and get the names and phone numbers of those who practice the type of law that you need and have the most experience.
Later we’ll look at specific things to look for in an attorney and how to proceed to find the best attorney for you.
Garry L. Potts is a former 15 year prosecutor and former insurance defense trial lawyer. Garry L. Potts handles legal matters in the following practice areas: Criminal Law, Civil Practice, Driving While Intoxicated, Breath test Refusals, Drivers License Revocations or Suspensions, Assault and Battery, Felonies, Misdemeanors, Sealing & Expungement, Traffic Violations, Theft, Personal Injury, Automobile Accidents, Wrongful Death, Family Law, Child Custody & Support, Divorces, Wills, Trusts and Probate. With over 22 years of experience and more than 100 jury trials, Garry Potts is one of the most experienced attorneys in the Tampa Bay area.
The Law Office of Garry L. Potts
13575 58th Street North, Suite 126, Clearwater, Florida 33760
Web site: www.GPottsLaw.com
Web site: Clearwater DUI Attorney