Should you get an expensive, “big name” attorney?

I really don’t understand some of these “big name” attorneys.  You see a lot of them on TV.  They don’t really accomplish much but they pay a lot of money to a PR firm to convince everyone that they are these amazing attorneys.  As a result, they also charge a ton of money.

Don’t me wrong, I have no problem with an attorney charging what the market will bear.  However, I do have a problem with people paying money for just a slick name with no substance.  In my opinion, that is just a rip-off.

I had a couple come into my office today to discuss their three sons who are in jail for the same offense.  They hired a big name attorney to one son and the other two  had public defenders.  They were charged with assault but the parents claim that they were all innocent.  Apparently, the attorney had a lot of problems with the judge and prosecutor even though both men are great people who have never given me any problems.

This attorney charged them 6 to 8 times what I would have charged them and I am not even close to a cheap attorney.  They were actually rather happy with the attorney and mostly blamed the system for the situation.  However, when I asked about what was done on the case, it didn’t seem like much was done for all of this money.  There were no motions filed when it seemed like at least 5 should have been filed. 

There was also no sentencing brief filed which is just crazy.  When they left my office, they said what many clients in their position say, “I wish I would have hired you”.  Of course, now they have no money for me to put some of the toothpaste back in the tube.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, when you hire an attorney, make sure that he or she has some type of plan.  In addition, hire the attorney based your  trust with him or her and confidence in their track record and experience.  Don’t be fooled by TV appearances and other slick marketing tricks.  Some of the best attorneys I know are not flashing their face all over TV and magazines every day.

Posted on June 17, 2009, in My Practice and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Should you get an expensive, “big name” attorney?.

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