What is the difference between a jellyfish and a trial lawyer who does not take cases to trial? One is a spineless poisonous blob, the other calls himself a trial lawyer.
Here are two questions you must ask a personal injury attorney before you sign a contract:
How many cases have you taken to a jury trial?
Although quantity does not always mean quality, if the attorney you want to handle your case does not have a track record of taking cases to trial, chances are the insurance company will not take him or her seriously. As litigation expenses have increased and courts have become more and more crowded, an entire generation of attorneys (those born after 1975), have little or no jury trial experience. Being a successful trial attorney is an art and not a science. Successful trial attorneys are not what you might think and the attributes that make trial attorneys successful today are different than the attributes that made trial attorneys successful 30 years ago.
I am proud to say that I am a graduate of Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyer College in DuBois, Wyoming. In case you have not heard of him, Gerry Spence is, as my classmate Chris Hammons explains, “the Michael Jordan of trial lawyers.” In Gerry’s program, we learned how to understand ourselves in such a way that we can connect with jurors. More than anything, we learned that we have to be honest with ourselves before we can expect others to be honest with us. Ask yourself: Is the lawyer you are considering honest with him or herself?
Do you have malpractice insurance?
This may seem like an awkward question to ask but it is very insightful as to how the attorney handles his or her own affairs. Although the state of Montana requires all of us to have automobile insurance, there is no such requirement for attorneys to carry legal malpractice insurance.
An attorney who carries legal malpractice insurance tends to put his clients first. Things happen in the practice of law, and nobody is perfect. If an attorney makes a mistake, his or her clients should not have to suffer. Although this is a difficult question to ask, you should.
Foust Law Office carries malpractice insurance through Lloyd’s of London. If you are interested in information confirming our coverage, we are happy to provide it.
We also suggest that you take a minute to look around our website for more information on how to find the right lawyer for your case, every time.