What Should I Look For in a Trial Attorney?
Why Does Practice Area Matter?
There are many factors to consider when selecting legal counsel, and they may not always be the same from case to case. Of course, the biggest and most important factor you should always look for in a lawyer is whether they practice in your specific case area. More than that, they need to have a strong record of experience and documented success within that particular practice area.
Although it may seem like all attorneys can perform roughly the same function, the truth is that it takes decades to become a true specialist in a given practice area. Any lawyer who claims they can cover every area of the law is unlikely to have the specialized, in-depth knowledge that you need to be successful.
A personal injury case, for example, has a very different process and trial strategy when compared to a criminal defense case, even if both may be heard by a jury in court. While an estate planning lawyer can be invaluable in helping you create a living will, that same lawyer may struggle to give you the solid and accurate advice you need to file for bankruptcy.
What Factors Should I Consider in My Trial Attorney?
If you suspect that your case will end up in a courtroom, it becomes even more important to review an attorney’s credentials carefully, and think about how their past experiences could affect your case. Many attorneys consider themselves to be “settlement” lawyers rather than true trial lawyers, and are unwilling or unable to take your case all the way when needed.
Here are some of the most crucial things to look for in a trial attorney:
- Actual trial experience. Just like you wouldn’t want a freshman debate champion to become your legal advocate, you don’t want to make it to trial only to find out that your attorney has never even been inside a courtroom! To prevent this outcome, ask a lot of questions about their past experiences, and how many cases they’ve taken to trial.
- Communication skills. Although this can be hard to measure, take some time to think about your prospective counsel’s communication skills. Do they speak clearly and concisely? Do they carry themselves with poise and a high level of professionalism? If so, they will be more likely to convince a jury, should it come down to a verdict.
- Reputation with peers and clients. Reputation means everything in the legal profession. Good trial lawyers often receive awards and recognition, both from their peers and from former clients. Read lots of online reviews to see what others have said about your lawyer in the past, and review their personal bio for key accomplishments.
- Strong relationships with experts and judiciary. In many cases, your lawyer will have to draw on outside experts or consultants to make the winning argument. They also need to have strong relationships with the local judiciary, and an understanding of how the court system works. Firms that take the time to build strong outside relationships are more likely to give you quality results.
At Carlson & Burnett, we have decades of combined experience helping clients in family law, criminal defense, personal injury, and other areas of litigation. We’ve established a strong reputation for honesty and effective trial advocacy, and you can see that reflected in our client testimonials. Because we work hard and care deeply about our clients, you can rest assured that we’ll provide a winning combination of both compassionate counsel and aggressive advocacy in court.
Call today at (402) 810-8611 for a free case evaluation in Omaha and surrounding areas!