If this is your first time hiring an attorney, most likely you are unsure of what to ask the attorney before hiring the attorney. The following is a handy checklist of basic questions to ask before you hire an attorney
- How long have you been practicing in this field or area of law?
- Have you ever handled matters like mine before?
- Do you have any special credentials in this practice area? Are you certified as a legal specialist in this practice area?
- I would like a reference from a former client.
Managing the Case
- What are the possible outcomes of my case?
- What are my alternatives in resolving the matter?
- Approximately how long will it take to resolve?
- How will you let me know about what’s happening in my case?
- What kind of approach will you take – aggressive and unyielding, or will you work to reach a reasonable settlement?
Legal Fees & Costs
- Do you have a written agreement for representation that I can read beforehand
- What are your rates and how often will you bill me?
- Do you charge by the hour, a flat fee for a particular service, or a contingent fee?
- If you charge an hourly fee, will I be billed for telephone calls and emails?
- Is an advance payment or a deposit required at the time that we agree that you will represent me? If so, will the money be held in a trust account? When will the money be paid to you for your services?
- If I terminate the representation before the matter is resolved, what will happen to any money that I advanced that has not been spent on legal services?
- Will I be charged for expenses or overhead and, if so, what expenses should I expect and how will you charge me for overhead?
- If you charge a contingent fee, what services does the percentage fee cover?
- What is a ballpark figure for the total bill, including fees and expenses?
Who Will Do the Work?
- Who else in your office will work on my case?
- Can paralegals in the office handle some of legal work at a lower rate than what you charge
- What is the best way to communicate with you (letter, phone or email)?
- How will you inform me of developments in my case?
- If I call you (or email) for information, when can I expect a return phone call (or email)? Will you or a paralegal call me back?
If you would like to speak with attorneys Roger Laguna or Laura Reyes Maloney about the particulars of your case, we invite you to contact our firm and schedule a free initial consultation. We provide a free initial consultation. Contact our office by e-mail or call us at 717-233-5292 for an appointment.