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Dickerman & Associates

11355 W Olympic Blvd. Suite 100 Los Angeles CA, 90064 | (310)268-6666

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Posted on:Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Guy walks into the Bar, asks for a beer. “Sorry,” the Bar-keep replies, “no beer for you! But I’ll give you something better, and for free: a primer on how to go about choosing the right lawyer.” And here is what he told me:

Lawyers vary in quality more than perhaps any other professionals. Passing the Bar Exam means merely that the student knew enough law and could conduct the minimal amount of analysis necessary to begin to handle legal matters. A law license tells nothing about the person’s honesty, integrity, emotional stability, judgment, interpersonal skills, and other critical intangibles.

It therefore falls to the client to protect himself (“him” includes “her” in this article) when retaining a lawyer, lest he invite the kind of unfortunate situation I see too often: A client frantic with fear and anxiety because his trial is imminent and his lawyer just bowed out because he was disbarred, or is unprepared, or can’t take the pressure, or he squandered his client’s money, etc. I got a call recently from an overwrought fellow whose trial was to begin in three weeks, and who had just discovered his “lawyer” wasn’t, in fact, a lawyer. And that was the good news: The bad news was that no desirable attorney was likely to play Lone Ranger, after a year’s litigation that was in disarray.

Such scenarios can easily be avoided, as can more “ordinary” instances of unhappiness with chosen counsel—which I am called on regularly to cure. That requires careful investigation, including personal referrals, if possible; checking out the lawyer’s discipline status with the State Bar; using search engines to see what’s been written about the lawyer (aka Google); examining his website; scrutinizing his academic and professional credentials; and interviewing him with questions designed to determine if he’s the right lawyer for you. Here are, from my experience, some of the factors that are most likely to lead to success and avoid disaster: ... Read Full Article:


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