Home > Finding an Attorney > HOW DO YOU CHOOSE WHICH ATTORNEY?


In my last post I discussed how to begin searching for an attorney to handle your legal matter. The best way to begin is by compiling a list of qualified, experienced local attorneys for the type of legal problem you have. I suggested starting by asking family and friends for suggestions and then getting a broader listing of local attorneys though various legal directories that are available, including mailed advertisements for criminal matters. I mentioned the online directory, Avvo.com, which lists all attorneys in Florida by location and specialty. Avvo also provides information about the attorney’s experience and major areas of practice.

The Interview Process

Once you have a list of names and phone numbers of at least three local attorneys that seem to be experienced in the area of your legal problem, you are ready for the next step. You are now ready to interview attorneys for your case. Now you can simply call the attorneys and either speak to them on the telephone, or more likely, set an appointment to meet with them. Many attorneys will provide a free consultation so that you can meet and talk with them without spending any money. Don’t expect them to give you their legal advice or to teach you how to handle your own case during a free consultation however. The initial free consultation is to allow you to speak face to face with the attorney and give him or her an idea of the nature and complexity of your case. You have the chance to find out if you like dealing with that attorney in person and the attorney can get the background needed to decide how much time will likely be spent on your legal problem in order to quote you a fee.

Just A Little R-E-S-P-E-C-T

It is very important to find an attorney that you can communicate with and who gives you complete and understandable explanations. It is important to find an attorney whom you respect, for you are hiring an attorney not just as a companion to stand next to you in court, nor solely to do paperwork for you, but really you need an attorney for his or her expert advice on the best way to proceed with your case. Just like hiring a physician for serious surgery, you are really placing yourself in your attorney’s hands regarding your legal matter. If that legal matter happens to be a criminal charge, punishable by prison, jail, driver’s license revocations or suspensions and monetary fines, you are facing a serious situation in your life and, just like your surgeon, you must have trust in your attorney. Similarly, if you are facing a contested divorce, child custody, division of property and assets or alimony, or if you have been injured in an automobile accident or slip and fall and need prolonged medical treatment and have experienced significant pain and suffering, you will need to be able to rely upon someone with experience to guide you in reaching the best possible outcome for your case.

Are You Experienced?

The attorney’s experience, both in number of years of practice and in number of cases handled of your type will tell you a lot about that attorney’s qualifications to handle your case. More importantly, does the attorney’s experience show that he or she is seasoned at the type of case you are facing? If your type of legal problem involves criminal charges, accident injuries or contested family law matters, such as divorce, child support or custody or alimony, the amount of experience that an attorney has dealing with litigation and trials should be extremely important to you. Each of those types of cases involves litigation. Litigation is the term used for legal problems that are ultimately decided in a court of law, either by a judge or a jury. Ask how many trials, including jury trials, the attorney has done. You will want to find an attorney who can communicate to you, whom you respect and who not only knows how to find the courthouse, but feels comfortable and at home once they are there. You will want to hire the best attorney that you can afford.

Next, I will talk a little about attorney’s fees and try to demystify them, as well as give some tips on how to avoid getting quoted a very high fee.

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
Telephone: 727-538-4166

Web site: www.GPottsLaw.com

Web site: Clearwater DUI Attorney

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