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Each lawyer in this firm has more than 25 years experience practicing criminal defense in Gainesville, Florida and surrounding areas, including Alachua, Levy, Bradford, Union and Gilchrist Counties.

(352) 378-1107

1800 N. Main Street
Gainesville, FL 32609
Fax (352) 378-0103
Visa / MC Acceptedcredit

4 minutes reading time (766 words)

Finding the Right Attorney for You

If you are ever in need of legal advice and representation for a particular legal matter, you should spend some time and effort researching the best attorney for your needs.

Two of the most significant resources available to you when searching for an attorney can be found at www.martindale.com and www.avvo.com.

Martindale-Hubbell

For well over a hundred years, Martindale-Hubbell has been viewed by the legal profession as the authoritative source for information regarding individual lawyers and law firms.

With this service you can locate an attorney who practices in the field of your interest and within the geographical location that suits you best. You’ll be able to obtain objective information for evaluating and comparing lawyers and law firms. This service also provides evaluations and ratings of attorneys utilizing a peer-rating system.

The Martindale-Hubbell peer-rating system is designed to address a lawyer’s legal abilities as well as professional ethics. The ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the bar and judiciary. The highest Martindale-Hubbell peer review rating is an AV/5.0 rating. This certification indicates an attorney with very high to preeminent legal ability and very high ethical standards. Additionally, this rating is limited to attorneys who have been admitted to the bar for 10 years or more.

To begin your search you can simply log on to martindale.com and list the type of legal issue you need assistance for and a geographical location in which you are most interested. Searches can be limited to attorneys that have peer review ratings and a side by side comparison is available through the website.

Avvo

Although avvo.com has not been around as long as Martindale-Hubbell, it currently operates in more than 20 states and provides a rating and profiling service for attorneys within a geographical location. The Florida Bar has approved avvo.com and it’s rating service for use within our state. Avvo’s rating system is based upon a mathematical model that utilizes information and data from many diverse sources. According to Avvo, the disciplinary history of an attorney plays a significant part in determining an attorney’s rating.

You can click on www.avvo.com and search for an attorney handling the kind of legal issue that you need assistance for. You can obtain relevant information regarding the attorney, view any disciplinary history over the last 10 years, and evaluate their rating.

In addition to the resources mentioned above, there are several other relevant inquires you should consider:

1. How long has this attorney been practicing law?

Attorneys with many years of experience handling the type of case you have may be best able to represent you since they have "been there/done that".

2. Does the attorney limit their practice to the type of case you have and have they actually tried such a case?

The days of "general practitioners" are long gone. An attorney who handles specific types of legal cases should be most knowledgeable about how to represent you.

3. What is the attorney’s reputation in the community?

Check with other attorneys, law enforcement personnel, court clerks, and others who routinely work in the court system.

4. Does the attorney have any disciplinary history with the Florida Bar?

If your prospective attorney has been disciplined for unethical behavior you may want to know. Call the Florida Bar at 1-800-342-8060 ext. 5839 and ask for the disciplinary history of the attorney.

5. Will the attorney you are hiring actually handle your case?

Some lawyers delegate cases to less experienced associates and/or paralegals. You should ask who will be handling all aspects of your case. Meet with them and decide if you approve. You should consider applying the same considerations in evaluating the associate as you would the senior partner.

6. Is the attorney actively involved in other aspects of the legal community or other community organizations?

You may want to know whether your attorney is actively engaged in various legal organizations and whether they hold any leadership positions. Also, you may want to know if your prospective attorney is engaged in community affairs which are relevant or important to you.

7. Does the attorney/law firm have the staff necessary to provide you the representation you are seeking?

You may want to know if there are sufficient knowledgeable personnel to address your needs and handle your case. Some attorneys work alone and have no other law partners, paralegals or secretarial assistance; others have a full staff of knowledgeable persons who assist the attorney to meet the needs of the client.

Ultimately, the attorney you choose should provide you trusted advice and counsel and be prepared to effectively represent your interests in court.

 

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