4 Excellent Ways to Check an Attorney's Reputation
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Before you check an attorney's reputation, there a few aspects of working with an attorney you need to consider.
An attorney is required to offer standard care and follow the customary practice of the law. Failure to do so could land them in court, answering to legal malpractice charges. They might even wind up losing their license for malpractice.
Let’s look at malpractice claims and other factors you should consider before working with an attorney.
Number and Nature of Legal Malpractice Claims
It is estimated that the average attorney should expect at least three malpractice claims in their career. This means that it is not enough to dismiss a potential attorney based on a legal malpractice claim.
You should find out the number of claims, the nature of the claims, and the outcome of the cases. Malpractice claims range in severity, from typographical errors in contracts to conflicts of interest to mismanagement of escrow accounts. The amount of money involved could also range from thousands of US dollars to millions, as an Ames and Gough survey found out.
Also, feel free to confront attorneys about any details in their malpractice claims. If they have nothing to hide, they should be comfortable discussing it.
Something that you want to consider when checking an attorney's reputation is that you will be able to work with an attorney who can face difficult personal situations with ease and grace.
Access the state and local bar association service in your area to find factual information about your attorney.
Attorneys are obligated to become members of the bar association in the state they wish to practice in. Their details are put into the database, from which potential clients can access their records to assess reputability. From this database, you can find their status history and areas of law they are prohibited from practicing and why.
Some malpractice claims don’t get to court. Consequently, the state bar database is your best shot at knowing your attorney’s misdemeanors. Details such as failure to pay annual bar fees, inappropriate behavior towards colleagues or clients, and insubordination toward superiors can be accessed here.
Lawyer Reputation Websites
Lawyer reputation websites are great resources.
These are platforms that collect user reviews on attorney reputations all over the country and collate them in their databases. All you need to do is type your attorney’s name in the search box and read everything previous clients have said about them.
Word on The Street
Have your family or friends worked with your attorney before? What is their assessment/opinion regarding their attorney's reputation?
Just because your attorney hasn’t had a disciplinary case yet, doesn’t mean that they are the best choice for your case. Statistics show that 90% of people trust recommendations from their friends and family. So, can your friends and family vouch for your attorney?
Check an Attorney's Reputation for Money’s Worth and Results
Attorneys are quite expensive, so you need to do your due diligence before investing in one. You should also make sure, by checking the attorney's reputation, that your attorney is capable of getting the legal results you need.
Use the bar, online reviews, and friends and family to ensure that you work with a skillful and honest attorney who has great soft skills such as openness to feedback, emotional intelligence, adaptability, and work ethic.
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