Another question I hear all the time is “How many cases have you won?” When I ask further about what the potential client really wants to know, the potential client usually is interested in knowing how many “not guilty” verdicts have I won in cases like his or hers.
In my opinion, this is not the right question to ask. If a client of mine has to go to trial, that means that all forms of negotiation have broken down; the client has committed to a higher fee to try the case; and the client has decided to “roll the dice” before a jury. Placing my client’s liberty at stake in a trial is the last resort to a successful outcome of a case. Trials can be time-consuming, stress-producing and expen$ive.
Instead, I think that a potential client would be more interested in knowing how many and what kinds of results I have received for my clients? What are typical results? What would the lawyer consider to be a good result based on the many variable factors (some are known and some may be unknown)? Has the lawyer ever received the desired result for a previous client? How realistic is the desired result?
Positive results can range from reduced charges or sentences to full dismissal. All cases are different.
Again, choosing a lawyer is a very important matter and can affect the rest of your life. Be sure to find someone who is knowledgeable, thorough and and can communicate well with the client – as the client you deserve to know what to expect.
I am frequently asked “have you handled this kind of case before?” when speaking to a new potential client. In truth, the cases that come up in the context of criminal law are varied and as complex as any of the television crime dramas we watch on the screen. They can also be repetitive and somewhat routine.
What’s important is that you find an attorney who is experienced, knows the arena into which he or she is battling for his or her client, and is someone who the client can feel comfortable with.
My practice has mainly been before the federal court for the past 24 years, representing people accused of immigration crimes (reentry after deportation, human smuggling), major and minor drug offenses (RICO conspiracies to border busts), and other federal offenses. But my experience is not limited to only federal cases. I have represented clients in state DUI and drug cases, misdemeanors and felonies.
The most important thing is to find a lawyer who is accessible to you and who answers your questions in a way that is easy to understand.