How should one go about hiring a lawyer -- What traits and experience should one look for?
San Francisco business litigation attorney, Bahram Seyedin-Noor, talks about what one should look for when hiring a lawyer.
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In hiring a lawyer, you want to look at experience, alignment of interest and the relationship or the trust. One of the most important things I think you should ask your lawyer is what experience do they have litigating the exact kind of matter that you’re taking to them. Have they done and SEC investigation? Have they defended a class action? Do they know what a derivative lawsuit is and have they been involved in one from inception until conclusion?
Very few lawyers have actually taken a case through a jury trial successfully and relatively few lawyers have actually had the opportunity to go to trial against the SEC most of those cases settle. And for some clients it’s important to have a lawyer whose actually won trials both bench trials and jury trials and state trials as well as maybe federal trials or trials in the Delaware Court of Chancery where we litigate a substantial number of disputes.
The second element I think is alignment of interests. And one of the first things to talk about in aligning interest is the fee arrangement with the client. Is the fee arrangement one that reflects the advice that the lawyer is giving. If they’re advising you to pursue a litigation, are they advising an arrangement that aligns the incentives maybe with a success fee?
And lastly, I think you want to look for the element of trust, which is built from the very beginning in the way that the lawyer interacts with you in being transparent with the litigation budget, being transparent with what the obstacles might be and what the problems might be with the case that you’re discussing. So I think if you review with your lawyer experience, if you align incentives, and if you really establish trust through transparency then you’re on the path to hiring the right lawyer for yourself.