CHOOSING THE RIGHT LAWYER
Choosing the right attorney can be a difficult process. But it can also be the most important decision you make in determining the outcome of your case or matter. Try to find an attorney in whom you have confidence and with whom you feel comfortable working. Good attorneys will generally possess the following important qualities:
GOOD JUDGMENT You want a lawyer who will zealously advocate for your rights. Many people assume that this means that a lawyer must have a "bulldog" attitutude to get results. Sometimes such an approach to litigation is appropriate; sometimes it is not.. The "bulldog lawyer" can unnecessarily drag out your case, making unnecessary motions, angering the other side, and failing to adopt a realistic view of potential outcomes. A good attorney is capable of adapting his or her litigation style and negotiation techniques to different situations. A little secret among lawyers is that all cases are different; no two are exactly alike. You should beware of the lawyers who tell you that they have handled a thousand cases just like yours. To be sure, experience is important. But it is experience that allows a good attorney to recognize the differences, difficulties, strengths and weaknesses in each individual case and how to exploit them to obtain maximum recovery. Lawyers who handle thousands of cases aren't interested in maximizing the value of your case. Your case becomes part of an "inventory" the moment you've signed the retainer. You should look for an attorney who has the good judgment to develop a strategic plan appropriate to your individual case.
INTEGRITY You should look for an attorney with only the highest ethical standards. The attorney should be capable of earning your trust and have a reputation for honesty and fair dealing among other lawyers and in their communities. There are many reasons why integrity is such an important trait for an attorney to possess. One is that when you give your attorney personal information, your attorney has a duty to maintain the confidentiality of that information and you must be confident that he or she takes that duty seriously. Another is that many defendants will only negotiate with attorneys they know to be acting in good faith. Attorneys with integrity, whose word you can trust and honor, settle disputes faster than those without.
RESPONSIVENESS A client-focused lawyer will return your phone calls, answer all of your questions, and communicate regularly with you. You should look for an attorney who will be personally responsive to your questions and concerns, not one who will have a secretary or legal assistant return your calls.
COMPASSION Many clients have been injured, discriminated against, taken advantage of or victimized. You should look for an attorney who has compassion for your situation. Your attorney should treat you professionally and not as a counselor or therapist, but you shouldn't feel as if you are simply another "file" to your attorney. Some attorneys only represent injured individuals and never represent insurance companies or corporate defendants. Many attorneys limit their practices in this way because of the compassion they feel for injured and victimized persons and their desire to get justice for them. You may want to hire such an attorney that shares your goals and objectives.
EDUCATION Virtually all licensed attorneys have both undergraduate and juris doctor degrees from accredited universities. You may want to check that your attorney prominently discloses the schools he or she has attended and that you recognize those institutions to be of high quality. In addition to formal schooling, good lawyers are always continuing to learn. Though Continuing Legal Education (CLE) is not mandatory in some jurisdictions (including New Jersey), good lawyers know how important it is. The law is always changing; courts, regulatory agencies and lawmakers continually alter the legal landscape. You should look for an attorney who keeps abreast of these developments. One indicator that an attorney does so is membership in relevant professional organizations such as the National Employment Lawyers Association and the New Jersey State Bar Association. This website is intended for information purposes only. Nothing herein should be considered legal advice. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Whether you're janitor, a teacher, a C-level executive, whether you trace your roots back to George Washington or you're a recent immigrant, whether you're devoutly religious, gay, lesbian or transgendered, young in age, or just young at heart - you deserve to be free of employment discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, illegal firing and all other unfair labor practices. Workers have rights on the job! I am an attorney for employees in New Jersey helping whistleblowers (those who report employer fraud and unlawful practices), employees who have been discriminated against, those who have experienced unjust retaliation and many other employees and independent contractors get the justice they deserve. Unfortunately, some employers still discriminate against, harass, unlawfully terminate and subject employees to a hostile work environment based on disability, pregnancy, age, race, national original, religion, sexual orientation, exercising FMLA rights, failure to pay overtime and standing up for what is right. Fortunately, federal and state laws protect people against violations of these civil rights. Contact an employment lawyer to learn more.
Through use of the latest in legal technology, I represent victims of unfair employment practices in all counties in New Jersey, including Burlington County, Essex County, Hudson County, Hunterdon County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Somerset County and Union County. I am a lawyer for employees in the towns and cities of Annandale, Bridgewater, Camden, Clinton, East Windsor, Elizabeth, Flemington, Frenchtown, Irvington, Jersey City, Lawrenceville, Milford, Newark, New Brunswick, Paterson, Princeton, Somerville, Stockton, Trenton and many others.