Even as a lawyer, I have had the opportunity to hire lawyers. Some experiences were good – others were horrid.
The first thing I check out is response time to returning my phone call or responding to an email or a text. Here’s where my 24 hour rule comes in to play – if I don’t get a response within 24 hours – that lawyer isn’t going to work for me. Watch out for the slickster that plays good until he or she gets their retainer. I had one big shooter out of Farmington Hills that was great until he got his hands on my $5,000 retainer – then he disappeared. I would have to call him, email him, fax him and then put up with his “holier than thou” attitude when he finally deemed it appropriate to take my call. Needless to say, Mr. High Flier get’s no referrals from me.
Another important fact is whether the lawyer is insured for malpractice coverage. Everybody makes mistakes – and I do mean everybody! If your lawyer makes a mistake, does he have the where with all to fix it.
Price is a poor indicator of competence. When speaking about lawyers, my dad would also remark,”Jesse James used a gun.”
In the world of Bankruptcy law, there is much more to the process than just filling out forms. In my practice, I draw on over 20 years of experience in many different types of law – real estate, transactional, business litigation, estate planning – pretty much the whold gamut but for personal injury or workers comp. All those different experiences helps me better under the meaning and implications of the number that go into your forms.
In addition to the foregoing, here his a list of some other relevant question for evaluating a prospective bankruptcy lawyer:
How much of the lawyer’s practice is dedicated to bankruptcy cases for individuals and couples?
Does the lawyer care about your ultimate objective in filing ?
Do you get a chance to talk and are you really heard?
Does the attorney explain your choices and the legal procedures in language you can understand?
Are you comfortable asking questions and disclosing the difficult and messy situations in your financial life?
Are you offered a written representation agreement that you can understand that tells you what services are included in the quoted fee?
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