HOW NOT TO CHOOSE A TEXAS LITIGATION ATTORNEY
So, what factors should clients consider in NOT hiring a Texas litigation attorney or law firm? I know the question sounds controversial and may not be well received by our competitors. However, at 36 years in the law business, I really don’t care! Here are some considerations.
Go for Experience, if NOT – head for the exit door!
This is critical and often overlooked. Like Doctors, Lawyers require the necessary experience to serve their clients properly. Many clients respond to the first legal ad that pops up which can be problematic or when they meet a potential lawyer are embarrassed to find out his or her qualifications. Well, get over it!
Always ask whether the attorney has the specific experience in the area you are seeking representation. For example, if you are wanting to file a lawsuit or assert a claim against an ex-employee for violating a noncompetition clause and going to a competitor, you need to ask whether the lawyer or firm has extensive experience in that specific area. A general litigator notwithstanding major trial experience is not sufficient.
- Claim relating to software or IP – get not just IP attorney but IP Litigator.
- Claim relating to fraud of business partner – get a corporate litigator who understands both corporate law and litigation.
- Claim relating to franchise fraud – get a lawyer knowledgeable in franchise law and litigation relating to that.
- Violation of your trademark or IP – get an IP Litigator.
- Defective home construction – get lawyer with experience in suing residential builders who is also a litigator.
- Solar installation fraud – get a lawyer with experience in solar contracts and litigation.
And so on.
Get complementary legal assessment, if NOT – head for the exit door!
Many law firms charge a substantial hourly fee for the initial consultation. I don’t fault them for this as that is the existing business model in my industry. However, we do it differently.
Look for a firm like ours which will provide a meaningful legal assessment of your case from the first meeting. Meaningful means that the lawyer has looked at the contracts or analyzed the facts before the meeting and can advise comprehensively.
Get a Risk/Benefit assessment, if NOT – head for the exit door!
What this means is that the law firm lets you know your chances of winning or prevailing. To be fair, no law firm can read the future and many are reluctant for a variety of reasons to provide a risk/benefit assessment before they are hired.
Look for a firm like our which will offer a full legal assessment on a complimentary basis in the first meeting and also offer a risk/benefit assessment. We have seen most cases before and can do this readily.
Find out the capabilities of the Firm, if NOT – head for the exit door!
There is no general rule on how to select a law firm. However, clients are well served by a firm which has the capacity to handle the case at hand. That includes paralegals, support staff, and – as in our case – multiple offices. A law with greater bandwidth has the substantial resources to concentrate on addressing the clients’ legal needs. It is really that simple.
Find out the costs, if NOT – head for the exit door!
This will make some lawyers cringe. If you have that unfortunate reaction, run for the exit door! In fairness, it is sometimes difficult for a lawyers to estimate the cost of services given the complexity or variables which are uncertain. That said, it should still be possible to get a reasonable estimate.
Check of Lawyer’s Background – if resistance then head for the exit door!
Go to the Texas State Bar website and search whether your potential attorney has ever been disciplined for a violation. If this occurred, you might think twice about hiring that lawyer or firm. Here’s the link: State Bar of Texas
Bottom Line: Tread carefully before you hire a lawyer and consider the above suggestions.
Although you have many options in the selection of an attorney in Texas, we hope you will consider the Moster Craft law firm for your needs.