Illinois Lawyer Referrals and Legal Guidance
Hiring the Right Illinois Legal Malpractice Law Firm
Findgreatlawyers.com has helped thousands of people find the right Illinois legal malpractice lawyer for their case. We are lawyers who will speak with you for free, answer questions, tell you if we think you have a case and if possible, we will recommend an independent attorney for you. If you want our help please call us at (312) 346-5320. We are based in Chicago, but help everywhere in Illinois.
There is no such thing as the "best" legal malpractice law firm in Illinois. The right attorney for one person may not be the right one for a completely different case. While nothing can guarantee you a result, here are ten questions to ask your potential legal malpractice lawyer.
- Do you know the attorney I want to sue? If your potential legal malpractice attorney represents someone at the same firm as your former lawyer, that would be a conflict of interest. The legal community is relatively small and lawyers are constantly interacting with each other. So, you want to ensure that there is no potential for a conflict of interest of any sort. FYI, if you ask if they know that attorney and they say yes, don’t say anything else. Even if you hang up the phone, that call should be confidential between you and the attorney.
- How much of your practice is legal malpractice cases? Based on the nature of legal malpractice cases (the potential for conflicts of interest, the heavy burden of proof, etc), it is more than likely that your potential legal malpractice attorney does not handle solely legal malpractice cases. However, you should ensure that your attorney handles enough of them in his practice to be able to more than adequately represent you. Make sure he has at least ten years of experience in the area of legal malpractice.
- Have you handled cases similar to mine? Your attorney may not handle solely legal malpractice cases, but he should have handled enough to have a track record. Ask about his track record and cases similar to yours. In other words, if you are suing because your lawyer missed the statute of limitations to file your case, the attorney you hire should have done a similar case many times before.
- How often will we communicate? Your attorney works for you. Part of being a good lawyer means communicating with your client, returning phone calls in a timely manner, answering questions in plain English. Ask about setting up a plan for communication – monthly, by phone, etc – so that you are kept abreast of the status of your case.
- Can we come up with a strategy? State your goals. Make sure your attorney agrees with them and if he does not, make sure you understand why and why you should adjust your goals. If you feel that you are compromising too much, find another attorney. To be adequately represented, you and your attorney have to agree on what you want to get out of the case and set a plan to try to get you there.
- What are your fees? Do not pay a legal malpractice attorney anything at the start. Your legal malpractice attorney should take your case on a contingency basis. This means he gets paid – typically one-third to 40% of the recovery amount – only if you win. If you do not win, he gets nothing.
- What about costs? There will be costs incurred with your case such as court filing fees. You should not be asked to advance any of them. Make sure your attorney is able to and will advance the costs associated with your case.
- What is the timeline? How quickly will they sue? How long do you have to file a lawsuit? Once a suit is filed, what is going to happen? Any attorney should be able to answer this.
- Can you explain the burden of proof in legal malpractice cases and how it will apply in my case? There is a heavy burden of proof in legal malpractice cases because you have to show that the attorney didn’t just make a mistake but that, if not for the mistake, you would have had a positive result. Ask how he sees this playing out in your case. Does it sound right to you? You don’t want an attorney who will take on just any case. You want to make sure you have a legitimate case.
- Is there anything else I should know or haven’t thought of? Bringing any lawsuit can be time-consuming and emotionally and mentally taxing. Your lawyer should try to prepare you for this and manage your expectations.
Choosing a legal malpractice attorney is a careful process as you have obviously been burned once before. The above should assist you in ensuring that you select someone who you feel comfortable with and who should represent you well this time. If you would like our help in finding the right Illinois attorney negligence law firm, please contact us at any time. All inquiries are free and confidential.