I live in Massachusetts and recently was injured in a way that I think was negligent. There are so many lawyers out there. Any tips on picking a good one? (Posted on the Forum by Needhelp.)
If I were looking for a personal injury attorney, I would meet a few and ask some questions. It does not matter how you find her (phone book, side of a bus, or even if you use our Attorney Directory to find a lawyer), you need to know how long they have done PI work, how many cases they have actually taken to trial (as opposed to settling with the insurance companies), and what their policy is on returning client calls and updating the client on developments.
This is not a foolproof method of selecting an attorney, clearly, but the process itself can be helpful. When you are talking to the attorney, how does he/she make you feel? Does he address your questions with honesty and patience? Remember, he will be on his best behavior during this first meeting, so if he does not impress, move on.
I would also ask the attorney for a couple of client references. While it is true he is likely to give you the names of clients that he feels will support him, with a bit of hard questioning you may be able to get valuable information from these former clients, especially on such important issue as whether the attorney returns call promptly and keeps clients up to date.
Finally, I would go to web site for the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers (www.mass.gov/obcbbo) and make sure the attorney has not been disciplined or sanctioned. Click on "Look up Lawyers Address and Status."