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Articles Tagged with hiring a lawyer

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Lately, I am seeing more and more advertisements, on T.V., on Youtube, on Court TV, on Instagram, on Tik Tok, essentially on every Internet Platform you can think of, of lawyers who tout their legal acumen and ability to get an injured person a lot of money with very little effort. Some of these advertisements have fake clients in them who look perfectly normal, healthy and uninjured, claiming their attorney got them a check for $350,000.00 or some high dollar amount “just like that” with “one call.” Some of these advertisements brag about their lawyers being “trial lawyers” when they actually haven’t even tried very many cases, if any.  Some of these advertising lawyers claim to be “elite” (they actually use that word) and yet haven’t even tried 10 cases. Some of these advertisements actually mislead the injured consumer with false statements about what the law and ethical rules allow.  Some of these advertisements brag that their lawyers have secured more money in verdicts than any other firm in the “universe” or the “metaverse,” and yet aren’t even licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia.   Some of these advertising lawyers brag about obtaining a verdict but upon closer inspection, it was a bench trial, decided by a judge, with no opposition. Things that make you go hmmm…. As a Georgia trial lawyer with over 34 years of experience, I am really just plain sick of it.

I want to help the person who has been injured as a result of someone else’s or some entity’s negligence who is looking for a bona fide Georgia Trial Lawyer to represent them with their case, all the way through trial and appeal if necessary.  These are things you should know when hiring a trial lawyer.

  1.  Is the attorney actually licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia? Any member of the public can find this out very easily, thanks to the State Bar of Georgia. Simply go to the State Bar’s website, gabar.org, and on the right side you will see a “Member Directory” where you can search for the person’s name. It will tell you if that person is a member of the State Bar of Georgia, where the person went to law school, and when the person first started practicing law in Georgia. This member search on gabar.org will also tell you whether the lawyer has been subject to any public discipline.  This tells the consumer how much experience the lawyer has with the law of Georgia.  Do you really want to entrust your case to someone who has been a lawyer for only two years? If you are looking at a  law firm’s website, you should search every member of the firm here. If only one out of the entire firm is actually licensed to practice law in Georgia, that should tell you how little experience that one Georgia lawyer, in all likelihood, actually has in Georgia law and especially Georgia trial law.  Stay away.

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Having spent several days at home for the Holidays, I was struck (and not in a good way) about how many commercials there are on TV for personal injury lawyers. It is NON-stop. And the same goes for social media, where plaintiff’s lawyer after plaintiff’s lawyer is shown in a video bragging about themselves. It’s sickening, and I don’t think these commercial appearances enhance our reputation at all.  Just the opposite. So I thought I would take a moment to list a few things that a person like you who has recently been injured due to someone else’s negligence should consider before hiring one.

  1. How many cases has the lawyer actually tried for a plaintiff in front of a jury?  I have seen some young lawyers bragging online about their one awesome verdict, which begs the question: How many cases have they actually tried?  Have they tried only one case and it came out well for the plaintiff?  Potential clients should ask this question. In 32 years of practicing law, I have tried over 75 jury trials to verdict, some lasting 2-3 weeks. This is critical information. Hopefully, as a plaintiff, this is the only case you will ever have in your life. If it were surgery, would you want a doctor who had performed only one surgery before yours?  Or would you want one who had done  100 of them?
  2. Is the lawyer on TV even licensed to practice law in Georgia? I am constantly amazed by the fact that some of the TV advertising lawyers are not even licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia. This means they haven’t studied and worked with the laws of our state and they certainly haven’t tried a case in a state court of Georgia. You have a right to know this and you can easily find this out by going to the website of the State Bar of Georgia at https://www.gabar.org/.  On the home page there is a search box titled “Member Directory.”  This is a resource available to the public and you can put a lawyer’s name in it and see whether they have a Georgia law license. You can also see where the lawyer went to law school and see what year he or she graduated from law school, which tells you how much real world experience the lawyer has. It also tells you whether there is any “discipline” on record for that particular lawyer, which means whether that lawyer was ever found to have violated the ethical or professional rules of conduct. This is crucial information everyone should have before hiring a plaintiff’s personal injury lawyer.
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