4 Essential Questions About Experience to Ask Your Potential Lawyer
It’s no secret that experience matters when you’re seeking out a legal team to represent you in court. But what experience is the most important kind of experience for your potential attorneys to have? If you ask these four questions during your initial consultation, you should have an excellent idea of just how experienced a lawyer is with cases like yours.
Have you ever handled this type of case?
This is perhaps the most important question you need to ask any potential attorneys you’re speaking with. You wouldn’t want a family law novice handling a complex divorce case, and the same goes for any field of law. Your lawyer, whether for a personal injury or bankruptcy case, should be an expert in that field and have adequate experience there.
Do you practice in the courthouse where my case will be?
This is something that might not strike you as important at first, but a legal team’s familiarity with certain judges can be a distinct advantage to you. If an attorney has specific experience with the judges who are presiding over your case, they’re more likely to know how to handle certain situations. In addition, it means your lawyer can give you more reliable advice to use in the courtroom.
Have you ever been accused of attorney misconduct?
As a potential client, you have every right to know if your attorney has violated or been formally accused of violating the rules of their profession. While this information is usually easily accessible through your state’s legal licensing authority, it’s still important to ask the attorney in person. As previously stated, you’re entitled to an explanation of the circumstances and outcomes of any accusations of misconduct.
Do you have any conflicts of interest?
Advising clients of any conflicts of interest is an ethical obligation, but again, it’s still important for you to ask this question in person. A good example of conflict of interest would be if you want to sue a doctor that your potential legal team has represented numerous times in the past.
Civil lawsuits cost $239 billion to the U.S. economy every year. While your lawsuit might not cost quite as much, not asking these questions during an initial legal consultation could lead to a costly mistake.