We live in a litigation happy society, so anybody can be sued by anyone at any time for one reason or another. Professionals face the greatest risk since each of their clients has the potential of suing them for one reason or another whether or not the suit has merit. That is why professionals are required to have a professional liability insurance cover to protect against these risks. When buying property, starting a business, drafting a legally binding agreement, creating a prenuptial agreement or filing for divorce, you will need the services of a qualified attorney. Finding an attorney in New Jersey is not difficult. In fact, they have made it easy for you to find them by strengthening their online presence. Choosing one firm from the hundreds of results you will get after an online search, however, can be a daunting task.
Factors to Consider When Hiring an Attorney
A lawyer might have gotten their legal education from outside the country or in the U.S., but that does not matter. What matters is whether or not they are registered and licensed by the New Jersey State Bar Association. Only qualified attorneys are licensed by the bar association to practice within the state. Attorneys involved in professional malpractices or unethical behaviors can have their license suspended and their name removed for the register of approved attorneys in the state. To ensure you find the right lawyer, be sure to check their licensing and registration status with the state’s bar association.
Lawyers are usually at the same level when they leave school. What sets them apart years later is their experience. Some lawyers go into private practice working for law firms while others join the state’s legal department and work as assistants. There are also those who join the legal teams of large companies before branching out to private practice in the future. When looking for a New Jersey attorney, it is crucial you consider the amount of experience an attorney has. Experienced attorneys are usually the most competent and offer the best legal representation.
iii) Area of Practice
After leaving law school, attorneys can choose litigation, criminal law, elder law, contract law, estate law, environmental law, constitutional law, or any of a numerous other specific areas as their main areas of practice. If you need legal representation when facing a criminal charge, it is crucial you find a defense attorney with a lot of experience with criminal cases of a similar nature. When you need to sue someone, the ideal attorney should be someone with a lot of experience in litigation. The right attorney should have handled similar cases in the past. This will improve your chances of winning the case.
In the legal profession, reputation is everything. An attorney may have the best credentials, but a bad reputation with peers, media and the general public. This may hurt your case since the jury may side with the other side. The judge may also be stricter with you. For this reason, it is important you hire an attorney who has a great reputation to ensure your case is tried in a fair way, if not in your favor.
v) Legal Fees
Like all other professionals, attorneys bill their services per hour. You will also be required to pay a retainer. Before hiring an attorney, be sure to compare their hourly rate to what similar attorneys are charging. If you are suing for damages, the attorney should be able to work on a contingency basis. Getting recommendations from colleagues, business associates, friends and relatives is also recommended when looking for an attorney.