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What To Look For In A Lawyer in a High Value Case: 8 Questions To Ask

What you should look out for in a lawyer

You (or a loved one) have been seriously wronged or injured or a family member has died in an accident or because of a dangerous product, road, or conduct. You know (or should know) that you need a specialized lawyer who is considered the best of the best to get the greatest possible result (whether by settlement or through a jury trial).

You would not ask your general practice doctor to perform specialized open-heart surgery that only a handful of specialized doctors can perform. So, with nearly 192,000 licensed lawyers in California and no real guidance, it is hard to choose the right one for your case. Just like hiring an unqualified doctor can be fatal, hiring the wrong lawyer can be catastrophic resulting in losing an otherwise winnable case or can cost you millions of dollars in a lower settlement or trial result.

99% of the lawyers out there probably are not the right lawyer for a high value matter simply because they do not have the experience, skill and/or reputation to get you the best result. Here are 8 essential questions to ask to make sure you hire the right lawyer for your matter.

  1. What is Their Actual Trial Experience?

How many trials have they done successfully and what are their results as compared to others? Think about it. Would you hire a surgeon who has never performed surgery? Never. Would you hire a surgeon who has only done a handful of surgeries? Probably not if other surgeons have performed many more. Make sure your lawyer has tried and won cases obtaining larger than the rest results.

97% of cases settle or resolve before trial. Only a small percentage go to trial. But it is a fact that insurance companies and defendants can pay substantially more to resolve cases when handled by a successful trial lawyer. Why? Because insurance companies and defendants value settlement based on risk or exposure in terms of a potential jury verdict.

So, why would they pay top dollar to you if your lawyer has not obtained many large jury verdicts? They will not. What is their risk if they know your lawyer either will not take the case to trial or if they know your lawyer does get large or outlier jury verdicts? There is none.

Also, what are the lawyer’s trial results as compared to others? Do they lose often? While everyone can lose, most of the best trial lawyers do not lose often. Do they get outlier results, or do they get lower or average results? The top trial lawyers are at the top because they get outlier results that other trial lawyers do not.

  1. What are their Real Results?

Sadly, to get cases, some law firms have fake results and fake “paid for” vanity awards on their websites saying they are a Top 10 Trial Lawyer when they have never tried a case. It is ok to ask the lawyer for proof of their settlements or verdicts. If you have a wrongful death matter, ask what the lawyers’ real results are (verdicts and/or settlements) in that area of law.

  1. What is their Reputation?

Ask other lawyers who they would hire if they had to hire a lawyer for their own matter. Ask around or determine what is the reputation of the lawyer you are considering? Are they considered the best of the best by other lawyers? Are they known by judges, insurance companies, defendants, and defense lawyers as the real deal? Do other attorneys and judges watch the lawyer in action? While an unknown can shine sometimes, a top-notch trial lawyer with outstanding results will invariably recover more in a settlement than other lawyers.

Is the lawyer considered an authority or someone who other lawyers contact when they have questions about that area (e.g., dangerous condition cases)? Has the lawyer published any articles in the area? Have they lectured on the topic? Do they routinely speak at live events or seminars on topics relating to the law? Have they successfully handled appeals, and do they have Court of Appeal opinions in that area?

  1. Are they Fearless?

Is this a lawyer who will commit the money (sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars and sometimes over a million dollars in costs) and time (sometimes thousands of hours) to get you the best result? Will he or she wither or thrive when confronted with a powerful defendant with an army of lawyers?

Most top lawyers give life to the David v. Goliath story and live to fight the good fight against the most formidable of foes. If it is the right decision for the client, will the lawyer say “no” to an unreasonable but high offer (even if over a million dollars) knowing they can recover substantially more at or as the matter gets closer to trial. Will the lawyer work extra hard doing whatever it takes to position your matter for a win?

The best lawyers commit their entire firm’s resources with multiple lawyers and staff working on a matter. They will take and defend as many depositions as is necessary (sometimes over 50.) They will search the world for evidence that can win a case. They will retain the best experts (no matter the cost.) The best of the best lawyers do not go for a quick or easy settlement if that is not in the client’s best interests.

  1. Are they an Outlier?

Why hire an ordinary or even good lawyer when there are lawyers’ lawyers who everyone knows gets outlier results, settlements, and verdicts. Lawyers who do not give up and who can appeal an adverse ruling not just for the good of your matter but for other parties and society. Does your lawyer routinely fight for and help other lawyers and consumers by making new law?

  1. Who are they Outside the Courtroom?

Is your lawyer a genuinely good, kind, and giving human inside and outside of the courtroom? The old paradigm of an aggressive bull-dog obnoxious lawyer has given way to the new self-aware, evolved, emotionally intelligent lawyer who connects powerfully as a human rather than just as a lawyer. Does the lawyer help others, whether giving time or money? Do they give back?

  1. What Legitimate Awards do they Have?

Have they received legitimate awards? Awards based on peer review, evaluating courtroom successes, work outside the courtroom that helps others, or grading performance using an objective point system.

  1. Do they Make a Difference?

Does the lawyer make a difference in the practice of law or in helping consumers fighting to address unfair laws or unsafe behavior? Does the lawyer help other lawyers be the best they can be?

The Homampour Law Firm is considered one of the premier law firms in California. Under the leadership of Arash Homampour, the 5th ranked lawyer in Southern California by Super Lawyers, the firm is considered one of the top trial law firms in the State with record setting verdicts (twelve 8 figure and fifteen 7 figure verdicts) and outlier settlements. The firm has a stellar reputation as the best of the best and one other lawyers seek out to handle their clients most serious matters.

The Homampour Law Firm is a 9-attorney boutique law firm that exclusively handles large value matters (catastrophic injury/wrongful death, insurance bad faith and employment matters.) They will take on anyone and have successfully handled matters (including through trials and appeal) against many large corporations and municipalities (Daimler, Allstate, Sunbeam, State of California, etc).

Arash Homampour has also successfully argued before the California Supreme Court. He also speaks, teaches, and writes articles about everything law related. He has received many awards including multiple trial lawyer of the year awards and he was the recipient of CAALA’s 2018 Ted Horn Memorial Award, presented to a lawyer who has provided outstanding service to the Association and the legal community.

Arash Homampour gives back daily by teaching and helping other lawyers to be the best lawyer they can be. He also started a non-profit, There is a Light Foundation, that will give financial assistance and grants to individuals so they can get to the next level in their life.

If you’re looking for the best of the best trial lawyers, contact The Homampour Law Firm today and visit www.homampour.com.

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Written by Max Reynolds

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