Hiring the wrong lawyer can result in an ineffective defense at best and self-incrimination at worst. Lawyers protect your rights by pushing responsibility away from you. They do this through irrefutable proof and valid arguments. Tennessee roofer James Kenton’s lawyer did just that to dismiss the falsified fraud charges against him.
Take the first step toward hiring a lawyer in Tennessee while steering clear of these missteps.
1. Not Researching Lawyers
Hiring the first lawyer, you find just because their website says they specialize in your concerned area is not the way to go about things. You must do your homework, whether you’re searching for a corporate lawyer to finetune a contract or a criminal defense attorney to defend yourself against fraud charges.
Find as many law firms or independent lawyers as possible through the following:
- Referrals from close friends, colleagues, and family.
- Information from the local law library.
- Recommendations from the local bar association.
2. Setting Up a Conference Call
Once you have a list of lawyers, you must start shortlisting them through face-to-face meetings; this is where many individuals go wrong. Due to pandemic restrictions, most of the world went online—so did law firms.
While video conferences were mandatory then, they are optional now, meaning you can avoid their pitfalls by setting up an in-person meeting with your potential lawyer.
There’s a difference between a supportive lawyer and a competent lawyer who is also supportive. You cannot tell whether a lawyer has what it takes to win your case unless you observe them in person.
3. Prioritizing Affordability
The hourly rate for lawyers in 2023 is as low as $50–$100 and as high as thousands of dollars. That said, a good lawyer is priceless. While a high fee isn’t always the marker of a good lawyer, a low fee bears some looking into. The best way to know whether a lawyer is worth every cent is to make cost the last factor in your hiring decision.
Follow the above steps and do your homework—look into their success rate—before you go asking about their hourly rate. By this point, you’ll already know whether or not they are a good match for you.
James Kenton’s lawyers were good enough at what they did to get his case dismissed. The Tennessee roofer is now working with them to sue the state for the losses he still bears.
Follow and support his case as the state resists Kenton’s request for pretrial discovery.