How to Hire an Attorney - KOTA Territory News

How to Hire an Attorney


Gary Jensen
Beardsley, Jensen and Von Wald

            Hiring the right attorney is important.  It can be confusing.  If you do some research and ask the rights questions, it will be easier and you'll make a good decision.   

            Ask around - your friends, co-workers, and family.  They can be good resources, especially if they have hired a lawyer to help them. 

What questions should you ask?  Who should you ask? 

Ask the lawyer you're thinking about hiring before you decide who to hire.  In other words, interview the lawyer.  Ask about the lawyer's experience.  Has he or she tried a case to a jury?  Your case will likely be decided by a jury if it's not settled so you want a lawyer who tries cases to a jury.  How many jury trials has the lawyer tried?  When were those trials?  What were the results?  Did he or she win? 

Are you comfortable when meeting with lawyer?  Do you have confidence in him or her as you interact with them?  Is there a professional atmosphere about their office?  Is the lawyer and staff professional?  Do they care about you - really care about you and your legal issue? 

Be clear on the issue of fees.  You and the lawyer want to be clear on that important subject.  How will fees be charged: by the hour, on a contingency basis, or something else.  When will you be billed and how?  What about costs incurred beyond the lawyer's time?  When will you be expected to pay?  What can you/should you do if you have questions about the bill (you should ask)? 

Lawyers are rated by their peers by Martindale-Hubble. 

Check them out at: 

You want a lawyer who is "AV" rated, the highest rating a lawyer can achieve. 

            Don't be shy.  Ask all the questions you want to ask.  Make sure that your lawyer puts in writing whatever agreement is reached. 

You're making an important decision and you want a lawyer who genuinely appreciates how important you and your legal issue are.

E-mail Gary

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