Comparing appellate lawyers can be difficult. There are, however, some ways you can narrow your list in an attempt to choose the best attorney. For starters, you may look for a lawyer who is experienced in handling appeals and has handled many cases. You may also look for an attorney with excellent peer review ratings and an above-average track record for success. Additionally, you may compare appellate lawyers based on whether or not they contract with other businesses for legal research and brief writing.
While any lawyer may offer to handle your appeals case, many legal experts advise against choosing just any lawyer for this job. This advice is based on the idea that a lawyer who focuses on general types of cases may not have the experience and knowledge of appeals necessary to handle your case well. In general, it is considered best to choose a lawyer who focuses a significant percentage of his practice on appeals cases.
When you are comparing appellate lawyers, you may also do well to consider the track record of the lawyers you are considering. You may ask the lawyers you are considering how many appellate cases they have handled. However, it is usually important to find out not only how many appellate cases a lawyer has handled, but also how many cases he’s handled as the primary or lead attorney. A lawyer who has served as the main attorney on many cases is more likely to have significant experience preparing appellate case briefs and arguing cases in court.
An attorney’s success record is also critical when you are comparing appellate lawyers. It is important to keep in mind, however, that no lawyer will win all, or even most, of his cases. As such, a good way to choose may involve learning what an average record is for winning appellate cases in your jurisdiction. Then, you may focus your search on only those appellate lawyers who have better-than-average track records for success.
You may also consider peer reviews when you are attempting to compare appellate lawyers and choose the best one. A peer review rating system can give you an idea of how the attorneys you are considering are viewed in the legal community. A lawyer with a good rating can usually be depended upon to act in an ethical, competent manner.
Before you make your final decision, you may also compare appellate attorneys based on whether or not they will handle their own briefs. Likewise, you may question whether or not a lawyer on your list will have his own associates helping him or outsource legal research and brief writing to other companies. This sort of arrangement may not always be in your best interest.