How to Hire a Trial Lawyer


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Lawsuits have become quite commonplace these days, so there is a reasonable chance that at some point you may need to hire an attorney. While the majority of lawsuits are settled prior to trial, some do make it to the courtroom. If your case does end up being decided by trial, you don’t want to be without an experienced trial attorney to litigate your case.

You may not know how to proceed when you realize you need representation, but there are some simple steps that you can follow to make sure that you find and hire the right trial lawyer for your case.

Finding a Trial Lawyer

The first thing you need to do is find a few trial lawyers for consideration. Consider these steps to help you do this:

  • Determine the type of trial lawyer you need. Not all trial lawyers specialize in the same thing, so your search can be narrowed down by which type you need. For example, if your case involves an injury sustained in a car accident, look for a personal injury trial lawyer who handles car accident cases.
  • Use attorney referral services. You can find these types of services online, and they often let you search for attorneys who specialize in specific areas. You can use The American Bar Association, Martindale-Hubbard (, and your state and county bar associations to start.
  • Ask friends and family for referrals. It’s fairly likely that someone you know has had to hire a trial lawyer in the past. Ask around for recommendations. If you have used an attorney previously, but they don’t specialize in the area you currently need, ask them for a referral of a good trial attorney who does. They will probably be able to point you in the right direction.

Checking Qualifications

Once you have your list of trial lawyers to consider, you’ll want to check their qualifications. You can easily do this online by:

  • Looking at attorney rating websites. You can find these sites through an online search, enter the attorneys’ names, and see how they are rated. These rating sites often use anonymous ratings from clients, other lawyers, and judges (or some combination thereof).
  • Checking for disciplinary action. Someone may be a talented trial lawyer, but has ethical deficiencies. In such cases, you may want to cross him or her off your list. You can usually find disciplinary action for ethics violations listed on your state’s bar association website. 
  • Looking at the trial lawyer’s website. Typically, there is a lot of information that you can glean from an attorney’s website, including: education, years in practice, specialty areas, information on successful cases, etc.

Interviewing a Trial Lawyer

Once you’ve done your homework, it’s time to meet your potential trial attorneys. When you talk with someone in person, you are more likely to get a feel for whether or not you will be able to work well together, so try not to conduct this meeting on the phone or via email. Request an appointment to meet with the lawyer face-to-face and have some questions ready.

You’ll want to find out about the trial attorney’s experience with cases like yours, what the outcomes were, and if they are experienced in cases that are brought to trial. You also should ask questions specific to your case: What are its strengths and weaknesses? What would the attorney’s case strategy be? What are the possible outcomes?

Lastly, you will want to know about the policies of the firm. Who else will be working on your case? How will they update you? With whom will you address your questions and concerns? What will you be charged?

Hiring a Trial Lawyer

By this point, you have most likely narrowed down your search and know who you want to hire to be your trial attorney. All that is left is hammering out a fee agreement. It’s a good idea to get it in writing so that you know exactly what your responsibilities are before any work starts. Some states require this, but even if your state doesn’t, it’s in your best interest to request it as it will help prevent any potential disagreements down the road. Once the fee agreement is settled, your new trial lawyer can begin working on your case.

We Can Help with Your Case

You can see the importance of researching and talking to trial lawyers before making a decision to hire. At Ross Feller Casey, we are happy to answer all of your questions, address any concerns you have, and meet with you to review your case. Our trial lawyers are highly experienced and specialize in many different areas. If you are looking for an excellent litigator with a proven track record, you will find that at Ross Feller Casey. Please contact us today for your free case evaluation.

Disclaimer: Ross Feller Casey, LLP provides legal advice only after an attorney-client relationship is formed. Our website is an introduction to the firm and does not create a relationship between our attorneys and clients. An attorney-client relationship is formed only after a written agreement is signed by the client and the firm. Because every case is unique, the description of awards and summary of cases successfully handled are not intended to imply or guarantee that same success in other cases. Ross Feller Casey, LLP represents catastrophically injured persons and their families in injury and wrongful death cases, providing legal representation in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.