9 Questions to Ask a Lawyer

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Here are 9 questions you should ask every lawyer you are thinking about hiring. Use this Slideshare together with our presentation "3 Ways to Find a Good Lawyer" to help you find, interview and hire your next lawyer.

We hope this information helps you interview and hire the right lawyer for you and your family. We look forward to your comments and feedback. Thanks!

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9 Questions to Ask a Lawyer

  1. 1. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER WITH MORE THAN 1,000,000 LAWYERS IN THE UNITED STATES AND OVER 200,000 IN CALIFORNIA, IT CAN BE A CHALLENGE FINDING, INTERVIEWING AND HIRING THE RIGHT LAWYER TO HELP YOU WITH YOUR CASE. JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  2. 2. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER USING THE TIPS IN THE SLIDESHARE “3 WAYS TO FIND A GOOD LAWYER” YOU’VE FOUND A LAWYER AND NOW NEED TO INTERVIEW HIM OR HER. JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044 Click here to review “3 Ways to Find a Good Lawyer”
  3. 3. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER HERE ARE 9 QUESTIONS YOU NEED TO ASK AND THE ANSWERS YOU NEED TO HEAR. JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  4. 4. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER QUESTION #1: HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PRACTICING LAW? JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  5. 5. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER THE ATTORNEY’S ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION IS IMPORTANT AND CAN BE VERY REVEALING. IT TAKES MANY YEARS TO BECOME PROFICIENT IN THE LEGAL PROFESSION. JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  6. 6. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER I RECOMMEND THAT YOU MAKE SURE AN ATTORNEY YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT HIRING HAS, AT A MINIMUM, AT LEAST 10-15 YEARS OF SUBSTANTIAL LITIGATION EXPERIENCE. FRANKLY, 15-25 YEARS IS EVEN BETTER! JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  7. 7. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER SURE, THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS TO THIS RULE AND I KNOW SEVERAL VERY GOOD ATTORNEYS WITH LESS THAN 5 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE. WHAT THEY LACK IN TRIAL EXPERIENCE THEY MAKE UP FOR WITH INTELLIGENCE, DRIVE, PASSION. JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  8. 8. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER QUESTION #2: WHAT PERCENTAGE OF YOUR PRACTICE IS DEVOTED TO [THE TYPE OF CASE YOU NEED HELP WITH]? JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  9. 9. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER FOR THE PAST 10-15 YEARS OF A LAWYER’S PRACTICE, AT LEAST 90% OF THE ATTORNEY’S TIME SHOULD HAVE BEEN FOCUSED ON REPRESENTING CLIENTS IN THE TYPE OF CASE YOU NEED HELP WITH. JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  10. 10. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER WHY NOT 100%? WELL, THERE ARE TWO GOOD REASONS. JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  11. 11. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER FIRST, THE REALITY OF THE SITUATION IS THAT GOOD TRIAL LAWYERS ARE HARD TO FIND. MOST WILL HANDLE THE LITIGATION NEEDS OF PAST CLIENTS AND FRIENDS IN OTHER AREAS OF LAW. THEY FIND IT INTERESTING AND CHALLENGING TO TAKE ON OTHER CASES AND HELP PEOPLE SUCCEED IN OTHER AREAS OF LAW. JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  12. 12. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER SECOND, I TRULY BELIEVE THAT THE EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE GAINED IN TAKING OTHER TYPES OF CASES TO TRIAL ALLOW A LAWYER TO GAIN NEW INSIGHT TO VARIOUS “OUTSIDE-THE-BOX” LITIGATION APPROACHES HE OR SHE MAY NOT NORMALLY BE EXPOSED TO. THIS CAN BE VERY BENEFICIAL TO THE CLIENT. JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  13. 13. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER QUESTION #3: HOW MANY COURT AND JURY TRIALS HAVE YOU HAD AND WHAT WERE YOUR RESULTS? JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  14. 14. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER ASK QUESTIONS: • HAVE YOU HAD ANY COURT OR JURY TRIALS? • WHEN WAS THE LAST TRIAL YOU HAD? • HOW MANY OF THESE TRIALS INVOLVED [YOUR TYPE OF CASE]? • WHAT WERE THE PRE-TRIAL SETTLEMENT OFFERS? • WHAT WERE THE RESULTS AND VERDICTS? JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  15. 15. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER THE ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS WILL GIVE YOU GOOD INSIGHT ABOUT THE PERSON YOU’RE SITTING ACROSS FROM. JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  16. 16. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER QUESTION #4: WILL I BE INTERACTING DIRECTLY WITH YOU OR SOMEONE ELSE IN YOUR OFFICE? JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  17. 17. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER THE ATTORNEY YOU HIRE SHOULD HAVE THE TIME TO MEET WITH YOU AND TALK WITH YOU OVER THE TELEPHONE. JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  18. 18. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER THE ATTORNEY YOU HIRE SHOULD BE THE ATTORNEY APPEARING IN DEPOSITIONS, HEARINGS AND COURT ON YOUR BEHALF. JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  19. 19. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER THE ATTORNEY YOU HIRE SHOULD BE THE ATTORNEY WHO WILL NEGOTIATE ON YOUR BEHALF AND IF NECESSARY, TAKE YOUR CASE TO TRIAL. JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  20. 20. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER HERE’S SOMETHING MOST CLIENTS ARE NOT AWARE OF: IN MANY FIRMS, AFTER YOU MEET WITH THE SENIOR PARTNER DURING YOUR INITIAL CONSULTATION, THE SECRETARIES, LAW CLERKS AND PARALEGALS DO ALL THE WORK. JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  21. 21. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER YOUNG AND INEXPERIENCED ASSOCIATE LAWYERS WORK THE FILE, NEGOTIATE, AND EVEN APPEAR IN COURT ON YOUR BEHALF. JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  22. 22. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER THE SENIOR ATTORNEY OR PARTNER MAY RARELY WORK OR LOOK AT THE FILE. THIS IS AN UGLY TRUTH THAT MANY CLIENTS ARE NOT AWARE OF. NOW YOU ARE! JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  23. 23. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER FOR THIS REASON, IF YOUR INITIAL CONSULTATION IS SCHEDULED WITH A CLERK, PARALEGAL OR NEW ASSOCIATE BECAUSE THE PARTNER DOES NOT HAVE TIME TO MEET WITH YOU, WE STRONGLY SUGGEST THAT YOU RESCHEDULE IMMEDIATELY. JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  24. 24. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER IF THIS HAPPENS AGAIN, WE STRONGLY SUGGEST THAT YOU RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN IN THE OTHER DIRECTION. JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  25. 25. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER QUESTION #5: ARE YOU “AV” RATED BY MARTINDALE-HUBBELL AND WHAT OTHER AWARDS OR RATINGS HAVE YOU RECEIVED? JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  26. 26. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER REGARDING AN “AV” RATING, “YES” IS THE ONLY ANSWER YOU SHOULD SETTLE FOR. JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  27. 27. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER AN “AV” RATING IDENTIFIES A LAWYER AND FIRM AS HAVING (1) VERY HIGH TO PREEMINENT LEGAL ABILITY AND (2) THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF EXPERTISE, EXPERIENCE, INTEGRITY AND OVERALL PROFESSIONAL EXCELLENCE. JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  28. 28. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER THIS RATING IS THE BEST A LAWYER CAN GET. IT CAN’T BE PURCHASED OR BARGAINED FOR. IT’S A RATING GIVEN TO A LAWYER BY OTHER LAWYERS AND JUDGES IN THE COMMUNITY. THE ATTORNEY WHO IS BEING REVIEWED DOES NOT EVEN KNOW THE PROCESS IS TAKING PLACE. JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  29. 29. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER THE “AV” RATING MEANS THAT THE LAWYER CONSISTENTLY “SHOWS A DEMONSTRATION OF THE HIGHEST PROFESSIONAL AND ETHICAL STANDARDS.” ISN’T THAT THE KIND OF LAWYER YOU WANT PROTECTING YOUR INTEREST? JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  30. 30. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER QUESTION #6: ARE YOU AN ACTIVE MEMBER IN THE LOCAL, STATE AND NATIONAL TRIAL LAWYER ORGANIZATIONS? JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  31. 31. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER MOTIVATED AND PASSIONATE LAWYERS SHARE TIPS, TOOLS, INFORMATION, AND TECHNIQUES WITH OTHER ATTORNEYS ACROSS THE STATE, COUNTRY AND WORLD. JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  32. 32. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER IT’S IMPORTANT FOR YOUR ATTORNEY TO BE “PLUGGED INTO” THESE ORGANIZATIONS SO THAT YOU CAN BENEFIT FROM THE EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION. JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  33. 33. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER QUESTION #7: CAN YOU PROVIDE ME WITH THE NAMES OF 5-10 PAST CLIENTS WHO ARE WILLING TO SHARE THEIR EXPERIENCES WITH ME ABOUT YOUR REPRESENTATION AND FIRM? JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  34. 34. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER YOU CAN SIT ALL DAY IN THE ATTORNEY’S OFFICE AND LISTEN TO THE ATTORNEY TELL YOU JUST HOW GREAT HE OR SHE IS. JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  35. 35. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER WHILE THE ATTORNEY MAY BE VERY CONVINCING, HOW DO YOU REALLY KNOW IF HE OR SHE IS TELLING YOU THE TRUTH? JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  36. 36. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER I BELIEVE SMART CONSUMERS SHOULD INDEPENDENTLY CONFIRM THE LAWYER’S ABILITIES BY TALKING WITH PAST CLIENTS. JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  37. 37. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER IT IS NOT OK FOR THE ATTORNEY TO RESPOND WITH SOMETHING LIKE, “MY CASES ARE CONFIDENTIAL AND I CAN’T DISCLOSE THIS INFORMATION.” THE DEFENSE ATTORNEYS AND INSURANCE COMPANIES KNOW WHICH CASES THE ATTORNEY HAS HANDLED AND SO SHOULD YOU. IF YOU GET THIS KIND OF RESPONSE, BE VERY CAUTIOUS. JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  38. 38. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER GOOD LAWYERS HAVE PLENTY OF HAPPY AND SATISFIED CLIENTS WHO ARE MORE THAN WILLING TO SHARE THEIR EXPERIENCES WITH YOU. JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  39. 39. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER QUESTION #8: DO YOU HAVE TESTIMONIALS FROM PAST CLIENTS AND OTHER LAWYERS I CAN REVIEW? JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  40. 40. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER CLIENT TESTIMONIALS ARE AN EXCELLENT WAY TO SEE WHAT PEOPLE HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THE LAWYER YOU ARE MEETING. SOME LAWYERS EVEN HAVE TESTIMONIALS FROM OTHER LAWYERS IN THE COMMUNITY. JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  41. 41. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER IF AN ATTORNEY DOES NOT HAVE, OR CANNOT GIVE YOU CLIENT TESTIMONIALS, YOU NEED TO ASK, “WHY NOT!” JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  42. 42. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER QUESTION #9: AS MY CASE WORKS ITS WAY THROUGH THE LEGAL SYSTEM, WILL YOU ALWAYS LOOK ME IN THE EYE AND TELL ME WHAT YOU HONESTLY THINK AND BELIEVE AS OPPOSED TO WHAT YOU THINK I WANT TO HEAR? JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  43. 43. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER IF YOU HAVE A GOOD CASE, YOU WANT YOUR LAWYER TO TELL YOU. IF YOUR CASE IS WEAK OR HAS OTHER DIFFICULT LEGAL ISSUES, THEN YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THEM RIGHT AWAY. JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  44. 44. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER YOU ALWAYS WANT YOUR LAWYER TO BE TRUTHFUL AND HONEST WITH YOU CONCERNING HIS OR HER ASSESSMENT OF THE CASE AND YOUR OPTIONS. JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  45. 45. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER THE LAST THING YOU EVER WANT IS TO HAVE YOUR LAWYER TELL YOU WHAT HE OR SHE THINKS YOU WANT TO HEAR RATHER THAN WHAT YOU REALLY NEED TO HEAR. JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  46. 46. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER USE THESE 9 QUESTIONS (AND ANSWERS) TO PROPERLY INTERVIEW LAWYERS YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT HIRING. DOWNLOAD AND PRINT THIS SLIDESHARE OUT AND TAKE IT WITH YOU TO YOUR MEETING. JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  47. 47. 9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A LAWYER WE HOPE YOU FOUND THE INFORMATION IN THIS PRESENTATION USEFUL. IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY DONE SO, MAKE SURE TO USE “3 GOOD WAYS TO FIND A LAWYER” FIND A LAWYER” JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044 Click here to review “3 Ways to Find a Good Lawyer”
  48. 48. 3 WAYS TO FIND A GOOD LAWYER MITCH JACKSON HAS BEEN AN ACTIVE TRIAL LAWYER SINCE 1986 AND IS THE 2013 CALIFORNIA LITIGATION LAWYER OF THE YEAR (CLAY AWARD) AND 2009 ORANGE COUNTY TRIAL LAWYER OF THE YEAR. MITCH’S LAW FIRM WEBSITE IS JACKSONANDWILSON.COM AND HIS COMMUNICATION TIPS BLOG IS MITCHJACKSON.COM JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044
  49. 49. 3 WAYS TO FIND A GOOD LAWYER CONTACT INFO: LAW FIRM: JACKSONANDWILSON.COM COMMUNICATION TIPS: MITCHJACKSON.COM TWITTER: @MITCHJACKSON JacksonandWilson.com 800.661.7044

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