When trying to figure out how to choose the right lawyer, you’re probably going to get all sorts of different advice. Many people or companies are going to be in need of a commercial litigation lawyer at some point along the road, and it’s usually when the stakes are high. Despite our best efforts to safeguard against the unexpected, life is full of surprises and sometimes things go wrong in business or professional relationships, the costs can accumulate quickly, so it’s important to have someone you can trust on your side.
1. Someone who can resolve the problem for good
Due to the fact that the losses and risks can quickly get out of control, a good commercial litigation lawyer knows how to act fast. They are able to guide their clients through difficult disputes and understand the importance of resolving the problem for good. In fact, that should be their number one concern, making the problem go away so that their client can focus on their life and business. This also means that a good litigation lawyer steps in to take the majority of the burden off the client’s shoulders, but you also want someone who understands that you want the problem solved in the most long-term stable way possible.
2. Telltale signs of an effective litigator
Doing a little bit of extra research can go a long way when finding a good litigation lawyer. There are regulatory authorities and directories for a reason. These are resources open to the public that can help you determine whether or not you have found someone you can trust. You can find information like any discipline history and the lawyer’s current license status. Court record are also free and open to the public to access. You can run your lawyer’s name through these search engines in order to see what comes up.
3. More is not necessarily better
One thing to keep in mind when making use of court records though, is that a good litigation lawyer is often able to settle the case before going to court, and therefore many decisions are never published. Therefore, you shouldn’t expect to see a long list, but it can be worth your while to read what the judge said about the lawyer or his work in the decision. By the same token, if a lawyer “lost,” it doesn’t necessarily mean that the lawyer is bad. Rather, you are looking for any indication that the lawyer has questionable ethics, or lacks diligence or competence.
4. No fool proof measure
Just like more cases doesn’t necessarily mean a better lawyer, the longer they have been practicing is not a reliable indication either. For example, a freshly graduated lawyer could be ideal for small claims files or as a second-in-command on a larger file. Likewise, a practitioner with decades of experience could end up being a disaster if you don’t feel you get along well enough to have an honest relationship.
5. It depends on the specific complications
As long as other things are in order, a lawyer with five or more years of litigation experience should be able to handle most disputes for a professional or a small business quite well. As with other professional industries, it is likely that the fact a lawyer has been practicing for a long time will be reflected in their fees. For that reason, if you’re trying to decide between a lawyer with 3 versus 13 years of experience, you could be paying a whole lot more for relatively low increase in value. Be sure to compare rates before you commit.