3 Tips on Locating a Reputable Attorney

It never ceases to amaze me how many criminal cases in Denver go to a plea bargain without an attorney. In the end usually I hear from a defendant just how unhappy they are with the process and the disposition of the case. Of course hiring an attorney was not an option because of the cost associated with hiring an attorney or lawyer, and usually I hear about their previous experience which wasn’t a positive one. I think we have all hired an attorney or legal professional that just didn’t seem to give the services they charged for, and that is exactly why I am writing this post.

Solid legal counsel is going to cost money; there is no way around that. Having excellent representation is worth more than handling negotiations with a District Attorney yourself; I have seen this first hand, over and over again. So with that being said, how do you locate that Denver attorney or Denver lawyer that is going to both fit your budget and give you the representation that you deserve?   First, start off with the consultation. It seems to me that most people will attend one consultation and then either hire that lawyer or not hire a lawyer at all.

What I have found is that attending three or maybe even four consultations is the best way to make a decision as to whether or not you will need an attorney. I have never recommended that someone not hire an attorney, but there are those rare cases where just handling the case yourself probably makes better sense. For example a simple traffic violation versus a criminal charge like domestic violence, in the case of the traffic violation, this might be a case where I would negotiate with the Denver District Attorney myself.

I know you are saying, “All this goes without saying, doesn’t it?” Yes it does, but I want to make certain that I am clear. For serious charges, it is rare that a defendant does not benefit from consulting with a Denver Criminal Defense Attorney. Your Denver Criminal Defense Lawyer should be able to identify important pretrial issues and explain it to you in a way that you are never out of the loop. If you feel that your attorney is proceeding without explaining the entire process to you, then it is probably time for you to find a different attorney or stop the process and make certain you are completely informed.

This is why the consultation process was so important to begin with. It is never okay for you to just go with an attorney because you feel like they know what they are doing; make absolute certain that you know their experience is going to be a benefit to you. Seems to make sense while you read this, but how many times have you allowed an attorney in Denver to file a motion on your behalf without reading the motion? When you read the motion did you understand it?

If you did not understand the motion, did you tell the attorney to go ahead with the motion? Make sure you ask the simple questions and understand the ramifications of your case entirely, this will prevent future disappointment. It seems that whenever I hear a defendant complaining about their attorney or lawyer, they explain that the attorney never explained the sentence to them all the way or, “I never agreed to serve four years probation but that is what I received.” Had they taken the time to understand their case and just throw it in the hands of their attorney they probably would have known about their sentence and they would not be surprised with the outcome.  

Be wary of entering into a retainer agreement which calls for additional payments if the case will go to trial, make certain that you nail the fees down in the beginning. I have had many experiences where attorneys have gone crazy with the retainer and it was spent in a matter of weeks. I am not suggesting that you constantly negotiate with your attorney about their fees; a good attorney is going to be expensive. I am suggesting that you not pay more than you have to. Find out what the retainer is going to cover and if that retainer is expected to take your case through trial.

It is not unusual for appellate lawyers to hear clients recite that they entered into guilty pleas after they were unable to come up with necessary funds to pay their lawyers to proceed with a trial. It is your responsibility to find out how much your case is going to cost. I can already hear your attorney giving you the most common, “Well, it really depends on whether or not we go to trial, if we go to trial would there be an appeal?” When I can’t seem to get a straight answer from the attorney I move on to the next, it is not unreasonable to hear an estimate of what it will cost.

Of course a good attorney will inform you that they are uncertain because they do not want to be held accountable should your case cost more than originally anticipated which is completely reasonable. All we are looking for here is an estimate so that we can be prepared to go to trial if we need to.   In my experience, finding a good criminal defense lawyer in Denver can be difficult, here are some suggestions of resources I have found useful:  

1.)           Referrals – If you were arrested and incarcerated, then obviously what better crowd to ask for referrals. It seems inmates always know which criminal defense attorneys are worthwhile and which are not. This is not the absolute best source for referrals, but I do find more value here than asking an attorney for a referral. I don’t want to be referred to an attorney just because they played golf with the attorney I asked for the referral from. However, if you do already work with an attorney or lawyer in Denver  that you trust, than this would absolutely be an excellent place to start for a solid referral.  

2.)           Courtroom Observation – Before you discount this one, stop and think. Doesn’t it make sense that you would watch an attorney in the courtroom and see how they handle themselves? I have found an excellent attorney by just going to court and watching several cases.  

3.)           Directories – There are several competent law directories with excellent attorneys for all different sectors of law practice. If you are going to utilize a directory to locate your attorney then it is imperative that you interview a couple of different attorneys so that you are making an informed decision. Seems to make sense right? Again, I have heard over and over again, “We went with the first attorney we met with, he/she seemed capable”. Don’t get lazy, talk with a couple of different attorneys and make certain that you are happy with your decision don’t get lazy, talk with a couple of different attorneys and make certain that you are happy with your decision.

No matter what happens you will need to deal with the consequences of the case. This is not the end all guide to hiring your Denver attorney, but a summary of some important things to consider when hiring an attorney. No matter what it is important to try and be as objective as you can and not get swallowed up with the emotions that are usually tied to a criminal case. Good advice, but usually difficult to follow. This article should not be considered legal advice and is simply a resource for those navigating their way through the many Denver Attorneys that are available.  

Attorneys

These days, people seem to need an attorney for any and everything. Whether it be buying property, divorce, civil lawsuits, criminal defense, even buying a horse. Attorneys are available for every need and can be found to fit any budget.
Many people find that choosing an attorney can be a painful process. There are so many things to consider including experience, price, and availability. One of the biggest problems for people is that they cannot find an attorney suited for exactly what they need and end up severely disappointed.

There is no shortage of attorneys anywhere. Shop around, ask questions, and research the right kind of attorney for you. Choosing the right attorney makes a huge difference in the outcome of your issue. If you need an attorney to defend you in court, make sure he or she has been trained in criminal law and also make sure they have dealt with a situation similar to your own. Some attorneys specialize in felony cases, others in misdemeanors. If your attorney has previously been through the process that you will soon go through, it will be much easier. Your attorney can coach you and guide you if you are confused or indecisive. Other attorneys do not deal in lawsuits or crimes, they are specifically trained to aid in the creation of contracts. Any time you buy or sell something, you usually have to sign a contract agreeing to certain terms, these attorneys helped the seller or buyer come up with these terms and write them out officially. There are attorneys who specialize in different areas of business such as restaurants, appliances, or pets. Their job is to create a contract, or terms of sales agreement, in which their client will not be liable should any malfunction occur. Not only do these attorneys create the contracts, but they can also help you understand them before you sign them. Unfortunately, the numbers of divorces are rising and thus the number of divorce attorneys is rising with them. These attorneys are trained to aid in the process of divorce and in the process of distributing the couple’s assets. They work with you and the other attorney to come to an agreement between the couple or in court, should it lead there. They can analyze the marriage and suggest an appropriate compromise.

In any situation, attorneys can be expensive. Some offer their services for free to those who qualify and others are very expensive. Their rates, however, do not decide their availability. Expensive attorneys and cheap attorneys are very busy and, no matter what their cost, may not be available when you need them while other attorneys may have very open schedules.

People’s needs for an attorney may vary and the attorney market reflects these needs. Do your research, ask friends for recommendations, and ask questions before you decide. You need to be comfortable with your attorney and confident in his or her abilities because they are not working alone, they are working with you.

5 Steps to Hiring a Brain Injury Attorney

One of the most important decisions a traumatic brain injury survivor must make following an accident is choosing the right attorney. Finding the best attorney for your case can be a daunting task, especially for someone with a brain injury.

Choosing an attorney should not be taken lightly in Wisconsin, because the law here makes it extremely difficult to fire your personal injury attorney and find a new attorney to take over your case. The following 5 simple steps will help you find the right Brain Injury Attorney for your case.

1. Identify the Type of Case You Have

Start by identifying your particular accident. If you were injured in an automobile crash, then you need an attorney handling auto accident claims. If, on the other hand, you were injured in a semi-truck crash, then you need an attorney that has successfully handled tractor-trailer accidents in the past. The Internet is a great resource to gather general information about your particular accident and finding an attorney with experience handling such a case. For example, conduct a web search for “(your state) Car Accident Attorney,” “(your state) Truck Accident Attorney,” etc.

2. Research Your Specific Type of Injury and Your Symptoms

You should also conduct research on your specific type of injury and symptoms. For example, you could conduct a web search for “Mild Traumatic Brain Injury,” “Moderate Traumatic Brain Injury,” “Severe Traumatic Brain Injury,” “Post-Traumatic Headache,” “Dizziness,” etc.

3. Search for Names of Potential Attorneys

Once you have identified what type of case and the type of injury you have, and have done some preliminary internet research, you can begin searching for attorneys that have experience in accident cases that result in injuries to the brain. Again you should turn to the Internet. The Yellow Pages may also be of benefit, however, because there is a limited amount of information that can fit on one page it is usually an inadequate resource. Television is even less helpful, because of the time limit on the ads and the insistence of some personal injury attorneys to run generic catch-all commercials promising a big settlement on all types of case and injuries. Search the web for an attorney with experience handling your particular type of accident and your particular type of injury, including your symptoms.

Once you have your list of possible attorneys, you should read their particular websites closely. Check out the organizations to which they belong. They should belong to organizations that advocate for victims that have survived traumatic brain injuries. Also, look for past settlements and jury verdicts concerning traumatic brain injury.

4. Call and Request Written Material From the Attorney

It is critical that you choose the right attorney from the outset. You can simply call the first attorney you see on TV and set up an appointment. However, this is not recommended as it is hard for you to determine whether this attorney is truly experienced with traumatic brain injury based simply upon a TV advertisement. Instead, call and ask the potential attorney to send you information this attorney uses to develop and document his client’s traumatic brain injury symptoms. If you request written material before meeting with the attorney, then you cannot be pressured into signing something you may later regret. You will be able to first read the attorney’s educational materials and then decide on your own time whether this attorney is right for your case.

If you do call an attorney for written materials and instead of politely sending you some free educational information, they attempt to get you into their office or offer to send someone out to your house or hospital room, then beware. Brain injury victims are usually quite vulnerable following an accident and they should never feel pressured into signing anything, including an attorney’s fee agreement.

If the attorney or law firm does not offer informative, written materials, or if they are pressuring you to come in and sign a retainer, then they may not be reputable.

Keep in mind that the ethics rules prevent attorneys from directly contacting you in person, by telephone, or by email, unless you contact them first. If an attorney solicits you without your request, then you should immediately report them to the Office of Lawyer Regulation (877) 315-6941.

5. Schedule an In-Person Appointment with the Attorney and Ask Questions

Once you have done the necessary background research, it’s time to set up a face-to-face meeting with the attorney. Make a list of questions and bring the list with you to the appointment. If the attorney is competent and experienced with traumatic brain injury, he/she will likely appreciate your persistence and answer your question much more directly.

Here are some suggested questions to ask:

Will you be the one handling my case from start to finish? (If the answer is “no,” immediately request to meet with the attorney that will be handling your case from beginning to end).

What is the process for handling my case? What steps will you go through?

When will my case be ready to be resolved? (If the attorney promises a quick settlement, they may be telling you what they think you want to hear as opposed to the actual truth).

How many active cases are you personally handling at the present time?

Have you ever represented people with traumatic brain injuries before? What were some of the results?

How do you obtain most of your brain injury cases? (Referrals from attorneys, other professionals and former clients is the right answer).

Have you attended or presented at any brain injury conferences or seminars?

Do you belong to any trial lawyer brain injury organizations?

Are you a member of any national brain injury associations?

Are you a member of your state’s Brain Injury Association?

What is your AVVO ranking? (A rank of 9+ is excellent).

Attorneys that devote a majority of their practice to the representation of traumatic brain injury survivors will not be learning on the job during your case. They will not have to learn new medicine for your case.

Instead, you can be comfortable with an attorney experienced in the representation of brain injury victims knowing they have worked with some of the best experts in the fields of medicine for brain injuries and an experienced brain injury attorney will not be intimidated when faced with brain injury medical experts that have been retained by the insurance companies to say that you did not sustain a life-changing injury. As a result, experienced traumatic brain injury attorneys are usually in a much better position to obtain the appropriate amount of damages for their clients with traumatic brain injuries because they have a better idea as to the amount a jury may award for this specific kind of injury.