How To Avoiding Bad Attorneys
1) Do not hire an attorney who has solicited you. It is against the Legal Rules of Professional Conduct for an attorney to contact you if you have not already expressed interest in his/her services or given him/her permission to contact you.
2) Make sure the attorney gives you time to make a decision. Attorneys are forbidden to pressure you into any fee arrangement or other agreement. They should give you time to consider any arrangement you make. If you feel like you’re being pressured, find another attorney.
3) Ask for the attorney’s background and credentials. These should be given without hesitation. If the attorney seems unwilling or hesitant to give you this information, look elsewhere.
?? Verify your lawyer’s background and credentials with the local or state bar association. The American Bar Association has a directory of state and local bar associations. You can call to verify the information your attorney has given you; in some cases it may even be available online.
?? You can also check whether s/he has any ethics violations or disciplinary actions on his or her record. If the attorney has been disciplined multiple times or has been suspended, you should hire someone else.
4) Avoid hiring an attorney who suggests anything unethical. Attorneys are bound by very strict codes of ethics and professional conduct. Never hire an attorney who encourages you to do anything illegal or unethical. For example, an attorney who suggests that you lie about your income in a child custody case should be rejected. Never hire attorneys who make unethical offers.
?? You should avoid attorneys who make specific promises about the results of your case. A “guaranteed result” is impossible, and it’s unethical for an attorney to promise you that s/he will get you “the result you want” if you hire him or her.
?? Attorneys are required to fully and competently represent you if they accept you as a client. They cannot shape the quality of their representation depending on how much you pay, and they cannot promise different results if you pay more. For example, if a divorce attorney tells you that your case will have a greater chance of success if you pay for his/her “platinum” package vs the “basic” package, do not hire that attorney. This behavior is unethical.
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