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Seven Questions to Help You Determine Which Trial Lawyer is the Right One for You!

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A perspective client met with me recently and asked the question, "There’s so many lawyers out there today! How do I go about selecting the right lawyer?" I smiled and responded by saying, "Now, you’re asking the right question!"

There are a number of talented lawyers out there in the world today - each ready, willing and wanting to help your family and you resolve the problems that are facing you. How do you determine which one is best for you?

The process of hiring a lawyer is a process of elimination. However, saying that, there are a number of clients and lawyers that do not make a "good fit" for each other due to a number of factors. Fortunately for you, there exists a number of resources available to assist you in selecting the right attorney to help you resolve the legal issue that befalls your family and you.


In researching online for an attorney, you should ask yourself the following questions:

1) Does the lawyer have the expertise and experience to assist me with my legal issue?

2) Does the lawyer have a proven track record in dealing with clients with the type of the problem or legal issues that I have?

3) What do other former clients have to say about the type of service the lawyer provided to them?

4) Does the lawyer have an established track record of satisfied clients that believe that they received outstanding service from the lawyer while he worked on their case?

5) Does the law firm provide you with access to the lawyer to meet with you and consult with you throughout the case while it is pending or are you palmed off to a "case manager" or other associate to answer your questions?

6) Does the lawyer provide you with his personal email and cell phone number to allow you to be able to reach him directly after hours if the need arises?

7) Does the lawyer treat you as if you were an inconvenience when you call or does the lawyer provide you with VIP status when you contact him or her?

It’s not so much about finding "the" right lawyer to hire as it is finding the lawyer that makes a good fit for you.


You can learn a lot about a lawyer these days by researching the lawyer’s background and past performance vis a vis online. You can start by investigating the perspective lawyer’s website.

Unfortunately, many, if not most, attorney websites are nothing more than glorified commercials that provide you little, if any, information regarding your legal rights and remedies. On the other hand, there are a few attorney websites that are designed with you in mind and help educate you on a variety of topics concerning your legal rights and remedies. Instead of focusing on the lawyer, these rare websites are designed to help provide you with information that addresses your needs and wants regarding the legal issue that pertains to your case. What kind of lawyer do you need? One that is self absorbed regarding their own self-worth or one that is focused on helping provide you with the information you need to help you resolve your legal issues at minimum cost? We both know the answer to that!

Your quest should also be focused on finding an experienced attorney that you can trust and develop a working relationship with that will help resolve the legal issues that are present in your case.

Other websites try to focus their attention on providing you with information to provide you with information that can help educate you as to your legal rights and remedies. Some websites brag about the money they have acquired on behalf of a few clients - and let’s face it - for those who are seeking compensation for injuries and damages, it’s hard not to be impressed with someone who touts that they have received a big settlement or verdict along the way. But the question remains, does the lawyer have a proven track record over decades of years of handling large cases with verdicts and settlements of the type and kind that pertain to the legal issues you are addressing in your case or did the attorney happen to be "struck by lightening" in having an occasional great case to work with?


The central concern you may have is whether your perspective lawyer is going to be attentive and accessible to you during the pendency of your case or will he or she suffle you off to someone else in your firm. In other words, will the lawyer fit time into the lawyer’s busy schedule to work with you on your case or does the lawyer typically delegate important responsibilities to other people in his firm such as a "case manager?" You want to know up front before you retain a law firm if the perspective lawyer is one of those lawyers who doesn’t want to work directly with their clients and instead hire case managers to "deal" with them. These lawyers refuse to return telephone calls or emails and instead have their subordinates return calls or emails in their stead. They come across as "too busy" to talk with you. But as you may know, if the attorney is too busy to talk with you throughout the case and instead hire non-lawyers or associates in their office to fulfill that task, how will the trial lawyer be able to get to know you and be able to tell your story to a claims adjuster or a jury if the need arises?

Does the lawyer come across as a caring person - one whom a jury will like and trust? This is important to you, because juries are just like you in that respect. People don’t care or trust what the lawyer knows, until they know how much the lawyer cares.

You should ask yourself what is it about life’s lessons that has taught the lawyer how to communicate well with others? What experiences as a parent and/or grandparent had that empowers the trial lawyer with the ability to relate with a jury and/or claim representative that will cause them to allow them to treat the information presented as if it were "the gospel truth?"

In the 31 plus years that I have been a trial lawyer, I have found that the secret of success in being an effective trial lawyer is the ability of the trial lawyer to build a connection between the lawyer and the jury sufficient to develop trust between them. It isn’t just about conveying facts and through testimony and evidence. It’s not just an understanding of anti-jury bias or beliefs that juries have regarding certain types of plaintiffs and/or witnesses. It’s about the trial lawyer’s ability to develop a connection or tie with the jury similar to the lawyer’s ability to develop a network of people. It starts with the lawyer being successful in developing a relationship with his or her client. The client has to know the client and the client’s case inside and out, and then be able to tell the story in a concise well planned presentation that builds credibility for both the client and attorney alike.

The "footprint" that a lawyer leaves in social media today demonstrates whether the lawyer has both the attitude and the aptitude to help you resolve your issue and win your case. Does the lawyer have both the passion for and the ability to help others? Does the trial lawyer have the requisite skills necessary to communicate and "relate" to a jury. Does the trial lawyer understand the five jury biases that adversely affect every case, and the ten principles or belief systems necessary to over come them at trial?

Having raised 5 children to adulthood, and now having participated in the raising of 7 grandchildren, I have learned that being an effective parent and grandparent has helped me become a more effective lawyer. I have also learned that being an effective trial lawyer has helped me become a more effective parent and grandparent as well! Isn’t that a paradox? The art of lawyering is similar to that of being a parent. It begins as it ends with caring about others and then allocating both the time and skill necessary to competently address the needs and concerns of the client and then committing to do whatever is necessary to meet those needs and wants.

Some lawyers and clients are simply a bad fit. Some lawyers, I have found simply do not have the time nor the desire to deal with clients and their concerns directly. They set up walls between them and their clients to keep clients away from them and hire others to deal with the day to day communications with clients. I can see why that is tempting for some lawyers. After all, lawyers are busy creatures dealing with lots and lots of phone calls, emails and other correspondence each day. They have to spend time in and out of court addressing their caseloads, take and defend depositions and prepare for and attend jury trials. They may have to visit locations where injuries occur; interview witnesses, talk with private investigators and spend time working on legal research and preparing legal briefs, motions, affidavits and other documents to effectively develop and present a case.

However, an effective trial lawyer must develop the attitude that they are working for and on behalf of the client. In the corporate world, if a worker is contacted the worker’s boss, no worker would refuse to take the boss’ phone call or ignore a boss’ email. Does your lawyer feel that way about you? Does your lawyer make you feel like you and your problem are now his or her problem to resolve? Is the lawyer competent in being able to manage his or her time and caseload sufficient to address you and your concerns? Does the lawyer spend the time to get to know you and your case? Does he take or return your calls and answer your emails in a timely manner?

Successful lawyers manage time not the other way around. Being productive with the use of time is of paramount importance for an effective trial lawyer. But in the end, it’s about the relationships that trial lawyers develop that result in their ability to "move mountains" on behalf of their clients.

Being an effective lawyer is about being able to help others resolve their legal issues that are predicated upon the facts as well as the law. I have seen a number of attorneys over the years who are competent in the law but terrible with working with other people. I have seen a number of lawyers that were exceptionally friendly with others and had good client skills but were terrible in being able to research the law and had a little or no knowledge of anti-jury bias and hence were not successful in being able to successfully build their case in such a way as to overcome the adverse jury bias prevalent in their case.



As you interview your perspective lawyer, focus on how the lawyer treats you. Is the perspective lawyer a great communicator? Does the lawyer listen to you with an understanding heart? Does the lawyer have a number of testimonials of clients who attest that he lawyer has a track record of providing outstanding service to others?

Is the trial lawyer willing to meet with your family and you outside of his office? Is the trial lawyers willing to meet with you at your home, workplace, hospital or any other convenient location to help better understand you and your case?

If you or a loved one have been injured or find yourself in need of a lawyer, you should consult with an experienced trial attorney. Boise Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Trial Lawyer Alan Morton has over 31 years of experience in helping individuals and their families resolve a myriad of legal issues regarding personal injury and wrongful death. Mr. Morton can be reached at 208.344.5555 or toll free at 888.716.8021 or by completing an online contact form. He is available to meet with you at his office or at your home, workplace, hospital or any other convenient location to discuss your case and to help you better understand your legal rights and remedies. Mr. Morton is concerned about helping your family and you attain justice in your case.

Category: General

Alan Morton
Advocate for Justice/Trial Lawyer

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