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Occasionally someone will ask me if they need an attorney for one thing or another. I inquire a little about their problem and usually respond that, “Yes they should consult with an attorney before signing anything.” Why do I do that?

In my experience, attorneys don’t normally charge for an initial consultation. It is like a store that doesn’t charge for you to go in and try on shoes to see if you like them, or if they fit. Attorneys are the same way. The initial consultation is to see if you need an attorney, if you like the attorney you are consulting with, and if the attorney is willing to undertake your case.

In our practice, we have become very selective in the cases we accept. It doesn’t do us any good to take a case where there is little chance of doing the client any good. In cases where neighbors are fighting over a boundary line, or parents fighting over child visitation or the like, we really can’t do much good for the client.

On the other hand, attorneys usually can be very helpful in the case of an auto accident, a case involving a dangerous drug or product, or a medical malpractice case. In fact, in most of those types of cases, an attorney is absolutely necessary to get the best result.

In choosing an attorney, word of mouth is good. Other factors to consider are board certification, years of experience, and interest in your case. Most attorneys are willing to discuss their experience and qualifications. If they are hesitant to discuss those types of issues, look somewhere else.

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