My wife and I enjoyed watching the TV series Breaking Bad on AMC, and we were sorry to see it end. One of the amusing characters on that show was the character of Saul, a dodgy individual who will do just about anything. His catch phrase on his advertising is “Better Call Saul.”
Although he was a caricature, and his antics were there for humor value, there is an important point to be made here:
In legal work, there are no shortcuts, “magic wands,” or angles.
To get outstanding results for a client, hard work, real world litigation experience, and expansive legal knowledge are necessary.
One of the general questions that I am often asked by people who are not attorneys is this: what should a person look for in an attorney?
Our firm is occasionally hired by clients who have hired a different attorney first, and then because of ongoing issues with that attorney, have decided to replace them and hire our law firm. They usually give us the reason or reasons why they are replacing that attorney. Over time, you start to see patterns.
Here are my thoughts on what I think are three of the most important things to look for in bankruptcy and criminal defense attorneys:
In hiring any professional, probably the first thing you should look for is are they experienced and are they good at what they do. Questions like these are important:
- How much experience do they have?
- Are they dabblers in many different areas of the law, or do they focus their practice on one or two areas of the law?
- Do they have extensive trial or litigation experience?
At Phillips and Thomas LLC, each of our attorneys each has a minimum of 17 years experience in the fields that they practice in, and our attorneys limit themselves to just a couple areas of the law.
When an attorney has the experience in the trenches and knows what he or she is talking about, it is very clear.
By focusing on a few areas, our attorneys are able to keep update on all of the most recent trends.
We have also done numerous jury trials at the federal and state levels. Not many attorneys can say this.
Additionally, I think one of the biggest compliments an attorney can be paid is a referral from another attorney or former client. Most of our business comes from referrals from other attorneys or former clients.
Also, we have currently, and have had in the past many clients who are attorneys themselves. I think it is a great sign when other attorneys respect a peer enough to hire him or her to handle their own legal issues.
Will your attorney actually talk with you or timely call you back when you leave a message? Will he or she answer your questions in a way that is understandable?
Probably the biggest complaint we hear from people is that their former attorney would never timely update them on the progress of their case, or return their phone calls or emails. Unfortunately, this seems to run rampant in our profession.
The biggest excuse seem to be that they are “too busy”, which we think is nonsense. Everyone is “busy” in modern society. It is critical to update clients on their cases and call them back promptly.
We at Phillips and Thomas LLC feel that this is inexcusable. We believe that if you are retaining an attorney to do legal work, you should be able to communicate with that actual attorney in a timely manner. If we are in the office and not with a client, we will talk with you on the phone or answer an email.
Trust is built in a relationship over time. Many of our clients have been with us for a great number of years. We know them well, and we know their challenges. Our clients trust us because they know we fight for them and have a proven track record in courtroom trials.
If we are not available the moment you contact us, we will return that phone call or email immediately, almost always that same day. Additionally, at Phillips and Thomas LLC you will always talk with the actual attorney handling your case regarding a question you may have. You will never be sent to a paralegal or secretary to answer legal questions.
If you live in the Kansas City metro area and you would like to meet with one of our attorneys concerning your debt problems, bankruptcy questions, or criminal defense issues, please call us at 913-385-9900 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free consultation.
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