If you are charged with a crime, facing a divorce, or embroiled in another legal dispute, it is important that you choose the right lawyer. If you are charged with a crime, it is likely that you will be inundated with solicitation letters from lawyers. Some lawyers read the arrest records of persons charged with crimes and send them letters they call “advertisements.” They have to call them advertisements in order to avoid sanctions from the Idaho State Bar’s Disciplinary Committee. These lawyers offer extremely low rates and flat fees. However, you get what you pay for. They rely upon volume and may simply run you through the system, and may treat your case like a number and not a real person.
Other lawyers advertise on the internet, purchasing large ads. Lawyers can receive great legal placement for their advertisements if they pay Google large sums of money each month. The fact that a lawyer advertises on Google, in the Yellow pages, or on radio or television does not make them a good lawyer. If they received sufficient references because of their success, they would not need to advertise as much.
If you want to find a good lawyer, the best person to ask is another lawyer. This work has been done for you by a rating agency called Martindale-Hubbell. Martindale-Hubbell rates lawyers. They conduct confidential interviews with other lawyers and judges. They ask lawyers and judges to rate a particular attorney. That attorney then receives a rating based upon these confidential interviews with other judges and lawyers who are in the best position to know who is good and who is not. A lawyer must have at least a “C” rating and be very ethical in order to be rated by Martindale-Hubbell. A “B” rating means that a lawyer is good. An “AV-Preeminent” rating shows that a lawyer is a preeminent lawyer, in the top 10% of all lawyers in Idaho, and has the highest ethical standards.
I am an AV-Preeminent rated attorney. It is easier to make deals in all areas of law from divorce, personal injury, water disputes, business matters and other litigation matters if the attorney is well respected. The reputation earned through a Martindale-Hubbell rating usually comes because the lawyer is seen as well prepared, thorough, knowledgeable about the law, and is able to present the client’s case in the best possible light.
Other lawyers may charge what they initially promise to be a flat fee, but you will end up paying more money if they have to do any work, such as file a motion or appear at trial. Many have little trial experience.
The next time you are considering hiring a lawyer, please consult with someone who knows lawyers, another lawyer or a judge. Please consult Martindale-Hubbell or Lawyers.com for lawyer/judge ratings of Idaho attorneys.