Hiring a Lawyer

Hiring a Lawyer in Chico, California

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Hiring the right Lawyer to handle your case is arguably the most important decision you will make. Whether you’ve been charged with a Crime, been Injured in an Accident, or you’re going through a Divorce, the right Lawyer can make all the difference in the outcome. Call us today to speak with an experienced Attorney (530) 898-1111. Here are a few guidelines:

Step One: Visit the California State Bar Website

Go to the California State Bar Website and put any California Lawyer’s name into the “Look Up a Lawyer” search box. There you’ll see where the attorney works, how long that person has been a Lawyer, and where he or she went to Law School. In addition, you can see whether they’ve ever been disciplined by the State Bar in any way. For example, by cheating their clients, stealing money, or being convicted of a crime. You should avoid any Lawyer who has negative marks on his or her State Bar profile.

Don’t Rely on Advertising Alone When Hiring a Lawyer

You must meet with and interview the Lawyer you think you want to hire. Don’t rely on websites such as AVVO or YELP that claim to rank Attorneys in some way. Most “Lawyer ranking” websites are just online businesses trying to make money. Although many claim their ranking system is based on experience and reputation, in reality they don’t do any independent investigation to determine whether a Lawyer is competent.

For example, AVVO ranks Lawyers based solely on the amount of money and free content the lawyer provides to AVVO, not on their actual job performance. Similarly, Yellow Pages (YP) and other such websites list Lawyers based solely on the amount of money they spend on advertising. YELP, as many people are finding out, is pretty much worthless.

Ask About the Lawyer’s Level of Experience

There are many Lawyers in business who are either beginners or who will never have the ability to effectively represent their client’s interests. For example, ask the prospective Attorney to describe a recent large case they settled or fought in a Jury trial. Many Lawyers have never been to trial and wouldn’t know what to do if they suddenly had a case that needed to go to trial. Hiring a Lawyer who can’t or won’t go to trial rarely achieves the same results as Lawyers who know how to fight (and win) your case in Trial.

Meet in Person When Hiring a Lawyer

There are too many Lawyers who work out of PO Boxes, their homes, apartments, their car, or out of some back-alley store front. Make sure when you’re hiring a Lawyer that he or she is established in the community, and actually has a Law Office where you can meet and discuss your case. You might also want to see if the Lawyer can put together a complete sentence, whether he or she appears hung-over or disheveled, and whether he or she makes eye contact and acts in a professional manner. You need to determine whether you really want this person representing you.

Determine Whether the Lawyer is Truthful

Many lawyers will promise you really great results without knowing anything about your case other than what you told them. They’ll say just about anything to get your business. Then, usually as soon as you pay their fee in full or sign to have them represent you, they drop the ball your case falls apart. Also beware of Lawyers who claim to have “connections” with the Judges or the District Attorney and that’s how they are going to get you a great deal. Our system rarely works that way.

Make sure the Lawyer will Personally Handle your Case

If you visit a website and can’t figure out who your Lawyer is going to be, find an Attorney who will make themselves available to you. Many Law Firms have a “Supervising Attorney” who does the interview, and then turns your case over to a beginning associate or a local Public Defender. You won’t be working with the Lawyer you thought you hired. Also watch out for Law Firms who do not have an office in the community where your case will be heard. They are usually just referral services who take your money and then turn your case over to a local Attorney, usually the one with the lowest bid.

Hiring a Criminal Defense or DUI Lawyer in Northern California

CAUTION! The vast majority of Criminal and DUI Defense Attorneys in Northern California who claim to be in private practice are in fact Public Defenders who also take private clients. For example, in Butte, Glenn, and Tehama Counties there is no actual Public Defender office; instead, these counties hire local lawyers for Public Defender contracts but allow the lawyers to continue to take private clients. It makes no sense to pay for an attorney the court would appoint to you for free. Most of these attorneys are very busy, they handle hundreds or more Public Defender clients each year, and they’re not going to do more on your case just because you give them money. None of the attorneys at Chico Lawyers has a Public Defender contract in any county. Before you hire any Defense Attorney the first thing you should ask them is whether they have a Public Defender contract. Don’t pay good money just to be yet another client of an already-overwhelmed Public Defender.

Hiring Chico Lawyers

Our Attorneys handle all of their cases personally from start to finish. Call us today and come meet your Attorney for a Free Consultation to discuss your case. We’ll discuss your side of what happened, and the likely options you will face as your case proceeds. Our Attorneys will never make wild promises just to get your business. Additionally, we will always fight to get the best results in your case.

If we can settle your case for a reasonable offer we will do so after we fully explain the offer to you, the consequences of accepting the offer, and your other options. We also know how to fight your case in a Trial and we have experienced investigators and experts ready to prepare your case and testify on your behalf if necessary. If you, a friend, or a family member is considering hiring a Lawyer call us at (530) 898-1111 and schedule a free consultation.

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