My good friend and Iowa lawyer Steve Lombardi had a very interesting blog where he looked at How do I pick the right lawyer?. There are a number of great questions that any potential client should look at. There a couple that I think are worth going a little deeper into.
He spent some time on the issue of what it means to hate to lose, arguing that a person can't both hate to lose and love to win. The main distinction being:
Either you hate to lose or you love to win. And since your case may follow the one he just won, you'd better pick a lawyer who hates to lose. The lawyer who hates to lose, wins one case and gets right back to his desk to work on the next case. Why? Because he hates to lose. The guy who likes to win is in the hallway looking for affection and to get his back slapped. "Hey great job! Wow what a win!" While the guy in his office doesn't need others to tell him he's done it right, he knows it, but more importantly, even when he wins he's evaluating what he could have done better. He doesn't care about others saying this was a good win because he knows he can do better next time.
I look at it a little different in that I can remember every loss and often retry them in my head many times over, while the wins seem to disappear in a very short time. Sure, I can tell you the basics, but the losses I can tell you about almost everything. The losses have taught me a lot more.
The 37 things he then offers as proof of a good trial lawyer have a solid basis in most of them. I do suggest that a couple of them such as:
2. Good trial lawyers are grouchy.
10. Good personal injury lawyers have a website.
32. Good personal injury lawyers have other businesses.
These are more particular to Steve or really depend on the lawyer.
However, there are a number of them that are deadeye right on:
3. Good personal injury lawyers aren’t afraid to try a case.
5. Good personal injury lawyers have previous clients who refer them business.
9. Good personal injury lawyers have the money to advance all litigation costs.
14. Good personal injury lawyers have cases pending on the court’s docket.
24. Good personal injury lawyers won’t immediately value your case.
35. Good personal injury lawyers have lost cases and can explain why they believe they were lost.
The main point is that it really does matter who you chose for a lawyer and all lawyers , no matter what the ads say, aren't the same. The idea of "well whoever I hire will know what to do" is nowhere near the truth. So take the time and ask the important questions. An experienced Trial Lawyer will make a difference.
And for the record, I have recommended a number of people with cases in Iowa to Steve. He has what it takes and lives the list.
A founding partner with Bradshaw & Bryant, Mike Bryant has always fought to find justice for his clients—knowing that legal troubles, both personal injury and criminal, can be devastating for a family. Voted a Top 40 Personal Injury "Super Lawyer" multiple years, Mr. Bryant has also been voted one of the Top 100 Minnesota "Super Lawyers" four times.