How do I Choose the Best Small Claims Attorney?

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Choosing the right small claims attorney may boost your confidence in your ability to win your small claims case. One of the first things you may do when you have a small claims case is determine whether the small claims court allows attorney representation; some do not. Next, you may compare attorneys based on their experience with small claims matters and your type of case in particular. Finally, you may also compare attorneys based on the rapport you have with them and how much they charge for representation and advice.

Businessman with a briefcase
Businessman with a briefcase

One of the most important steps in choosing the best small claims attorney is determining whether you will be able to have an attorney represent you in court. In some jurisdictions, court systems do not allow attorneys to appear in court on small claims matters. If this is the case in your jurisdiction, you may seek an attorney’s advice, but you'll have to represent yourself in court. If your jurisdiction does not allow attorney representation, you may still do well to choose one just in case you need to appeal your case.

When you need to choose a small claims attorney, you may do well to select one who has significant experience dealing with small claims cases. If you secure the services of a general practice lawyer, he may have less experience with small claims matters, procedures, and law. You may also prefer to hire a lawyer who has vast experience with your type of small claims case. If your case is a landlord-tenant matter, for example, you may want a lawyer experienced with landlord-tenant law rather than laws related to the use of contractors.

You may also compare lawyers based on the rapport you have with them. Many lawyers offer consultation appointments through which you can explain your case and ask questions. You may use such an appointment not only to determine whether you have a strong case, but also to determine whether you feel comfortable enough with the attorney to work with him on your case.

Legal fees may be an important consideration when you are trying to choose a small claims attorney as well. Since small claims cases usually involve lower amounts of money, you may prefer to hire a small claims attorney who offers more affordable fees. You may even look for an organization that offers free or low-cost legal assistance based on your income level.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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