Wednesday, October 29, 2014

How do I properly Vet / Choose a potential Criminal Defense Lawyer? ~ Best Answer on AVVO ~ Call Michael A. Haber, Esq. @ 1-888-SHARK-8-1

Q:    How to vet a potential criminal defense attorney?  How do I properly vet a potential attorney? Is there a way to find out their track record (how many cases they plead, trial experience, percentage of acquittals, etc.)? What other information should I seek prior to hiring an attorney?

A:    Chosen as "Best Answer" by Asker on AVVO!

Michael Adam Haber


Contributor Level 20


Lawyers agree
Answered Even the "best" lawyer will lose cases, and, similarly, even lousy lawyers (and sadly there are more than a few of these) will win. The point is that apart from the fact that most lawyers do not keep stats, even where they do the same can (and are oftentimes) misleading.

That said, in my opinion, hiring a lawyer is sort of like blind dating. You never really know what you are going to get but you should know, very quickly into your initial meeting, whether or not you are "interested" in going on a "second date". How does the lawyer present? How do they communicate? Do they seem to know what they are talking about? How does what they say jibe with what you have heard from other lawyers that you interview? Proper vetting requires due diligence. Don't be afraid to take notes, to ask questions or to politely walk away. Any lawyer worth hiring will understand that you are in the decision making process and should not pressure you into making an on the spot decision.

Only after you have interviewed a few lawyers will you be in a position to reasonably assess who gives you that "warm, bubbly feeling", a sort of comfort that you are in good, solid hands, and can rest easier knowing that s/he is going to be efforting on your behalf.

Choosing which lawyers to interview is the trickiest part of the equation. I firmly believe that word of mouth (recommendations from trusted people - not people you don't know) is the best starting point. If you do not personally know anyone who has retained and lawyer with whom they were satisfied then there are also sites such as AVVO which permit you to read client reviews. Then there are websites, but again, just as statistics can lie, so too can websites (which are as good or as poor as their webmasters, who, 999 of 1,000 times are not the lawyer her/himself). You can also check various rating sites (someone suggested Martindale-Hubbell, but there are also various local Business Reviews and Legal Guides), just note that these too can be stacked and skewed. "Board certification" is usually a good indicator (as it is earned by testing through the Florida Bar - you can go to for a list of these folks) but that will severely limit your pool of choices, plus there are plenty of non-board certified lawyers who are every bit as competent, if not more so, than their board certified counterparts.

However you get there the best thing that you can do to properly vet is to interview several lawyers and whittle down your choices until you find "the one". Again, just like with dating (or marriage), it may or may not work out in the end, but, a leap of faith is required. My advise is to make that jump based upon talking with several (4-10) lawyers beforehand.

I hope that I have been helpful in answering your question.
First, second and third: No attorney-client relationship exists by virtue of any Q&A with Michael A. Haber, Esq. on Avvo. Fourth: Anything that you post on Avvo (or on similar sites) or on any social media is by its nature public. It is essentially an admission / confession and can be introduced into evidence as a statement against your interest in a subsequent legal proceeding. Once posted you lose any reasonable expectation of privacy, so, as this is an open forum (with no privilege attached), please be extra careful when considering what to post online (forewarned is forearmed.)

At Michael A. Haber, P.A. the goals in representing folks are A) to be honest and realistic about litigation objectives; B) to be fair in regard to fees; C) to be consistently available and responsive to the client (in person, by phone call, text, email, Facebook. Twitter and otherwise); D) to keep the client informed; and E) to secure your positive feedback / client review at the conclusion of each case.

At Michael A. Haber, P.A. "Its all about reasonable doubt"!

Michael A. Haber, Esq. is prepared to speak with you about your case!

Cell: 305-798-2220; Office: 305-381-8686; Toll Free: 1-888-SHARK-8-1


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