How long will my case take to resolve?
There are too many factors involved to even give you a wild guess, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic caused immeasurable delays in the court system. Some cases settle before a lawsuit is even filed, especially when liability is clear and the only point of dispute is how much the defendant is going to pay. Other cases take years. It just depends. Either way, my goal is to get you through the process as quickly and painlessly as possible.
How much will it cost me?
My law firm doesn’t charge you an hourly rate or retainer fee. Instead, we sign a contingency fee agreement by which the firm is paid only by winning your case, which is a pre-set portion of the settlement amount or judgment, not out of your pocket. Note: Fees paid to a lawyer under a contingency fee agreement are not the same as costs. Costs are expenses involved in processing and handling the case such as postage, court filings, and court reporters. In most instances, the law firm will advance those costs on the client’s behalf and deduct the costs (reimburse the law firm) from any settlement or judgment at the end of the case. However, if there is no recovery, the client is still obligated to pay any costs incurred.
I need a “pit bull” for my case. Is that you?
It’s important to distinguish between marketing and reality. If you hire a pit bull, it almost always backfires on you for several reasons.
First, the most important person in this case is you, the client. Tied for second are the judge and members of the jury. Judges and juries *hate* rude, unreasonable, unprofessional lawyers, and they will often punish litigants indirectly out of a desire to punish distasteful lawyers. You don’t want that.
Second, we’ve all heard the old saying, “Whoever yells first in an argument loses.” If you hire an arrogant hothead who goes around shouting at people and makes personal attacks or unreasonable arguments, he or she will be perceived as being all bark and no bite. Juries pick up on that and see it as a sign that the lawyer is insecure about the strength of his case. Otherwise, he would just present the facts and let the jury decide, not try to manipulate them by appealing to their emotions, bending the truth, or exaggerating. That’s the worst thing an attorney can do because at trial you have only one thing to sell: credibility. If you don’t have credibility with the jury, they are less likely to enter a verdict in your favor. Moreover, the opposing lawyer will see the lack of professionalism and bluster as a sign of weakness and will be emboldened to make the case more difficult on you than it needs to be.
Bottom line: You want a zealous advocate who is beyond reproach, both in terms of ethics and professionalism, not a bull in a china shop. You’re more likely to get a better outcome if your attorney is respected by the judge, jury, and opposing lawyers.