What would happen if you hired the wrong sort of lawyer for your case? What would that mean for your bottom line? How would this affect your ongoing relationship with the other party?
These questions are often overlooked when it comes to seeking litigation services. Whilst you may be in a high state of emotional turmoil against the third party and wish for a resolution as soon as possible, often than not it can be your undoing.
Looking at the process of litigation, rather than the result, can help you confirm the legal service that is best for you. rather than the one who will tell you what you want to hear. With that in mind, here are the nine essential questions to ask legal firms when it comes to picking the right lawyer for your commercial dispute case.
What’s their experience?
How many cases like yours have they handled? And, what was the result? What’s their training like? Where were they educated? These are all reasonable questions to begin with. Finding this out from the get-go is crucial to understanding if they’re the right lawyer for your case. For example, at AV Lawyers, we deal with hundreds of commercial disputes every year and have an established record in handling Directors disputes, defamation, bankrupty bankruptcy, copyright breaches and more.
What kind of clients do they see most often?
A lawyer whose regular clients differ massively from your type of case can be damaging to the outcome. You wouldn’t expect a lawyer with extensive amounts of immigration litigation experience to win a case involving the restraint of trade injunctions. Asking your lawyer what area they specialise in is fundamental to assuring the best possible outcome during the litigation experience.
What is their client communication style?
Everyone prefers being contacted differently. Some prefer personal phone calls that explain in-depth decisions and updates. Others prefer quick-fast emails and texts. It’s a hugely personal decision. Remember, it’s not up to your lawyer to determine this; it’s your preference. Deciding which contact method you would prefer and one that suits your lifestyle is key to a good client-lawyer relationship.
What are the steps involved in solving this problem?
As discussed, most people will only seek an outcome. This is natural as it would serve as a solution to their problem. But outcomes aren’t achieved without a strong process behind them. Understanding which path you wish to go down, to solve your problem, is a discussion between you and your chosen lawyer. Opting for mediation could entail a less expensive option, as opposed to expensive litigation hearing fees. You may even require an arbitration, which may involve a tribunal or individual arbitrator, this is just as binding as litigation but acts as an alternative to court action.
What is their approach towards dispute resolution?
Although you do need to consider which method you wish to use in order to solve the problem, asking your lawyer what their approach would be, could be just as effective. If you agree with their recommendation toward solving your problem, such as mediation in order to preserve the relationship etc, you could be aligning yourself with the lawyer that’s right for you.
What activities do they consider to be important before negotiation?
Is your lawyer fully aware of what you both think the right outcome should be? Have they provided sufficient evidence in past cases to solidify their argument? What fact-checking methods do they use? Entering a legal dispute with a lawyer whose who is not totally prepared before negotiations start, could severely negate the potential of a positive outcome.
How would they work to get the earliest possible settlement?
Time is money in business and in life. Although legal proceedings can massively depend on the third party’s attention to promptness and open communications, it’s important that your lawyer isn’t wasting time. Will they be using a collaborative approach, rather than a combative? The right approach will mean the right outcome, whilst remaining in a sensible amount of time.
What steps will they take if the dispute cannot be resolved amicably?
Obviously, no lawyer wants to lose any case. But, a good commercial lawyer, such as our team at AV Lawyers, will have a contingency plan prepared should the proceedings be unable to be resolved in an amicable manner. Asking this question reassures you that your lawyer has thought of all possible outcomes.
Do you feel comfortable with them?
A legal proceeding is a deeply personal matter and one that can leave you emotionally vulnerable for a sustained amount of time. Trust, integrity, ethical behaviour and approachability are all values you need to see that your lawyer has in order to support you through your case. Aside from experience and client testimonials, feeling comfortable with your lawyer is paramount. Furthermore, knowing your lawyer holds their values high in their professional life is priceless during litigation proceedings.
At AV Lawyers, we strongly encourage clients to ask as many questions as they need before picking one of our esteemed colleagues to represent them, so contact us today to arrange a free consultation.