10 Questions for Screening an Attorney

Being in legal trouble is a stressful situation. When it regards sentencing over something related to your addiction, you will want to make sure that someone is on your side who is understanding and sensitive to the procedures that surround addiction cases. It is a priority to find the right attorney for you. Many offer free or low-cost consultations, so you will want to take advantage of this when deciding. If you do not know what to ask or expect during these consultations, here are ten questions that aim to help get you started and give you a thorough understanding of what the potential attorney represents.

Do Not Hold Back

Do not be afraid or hold back from asking questions for fear of being insulting, too demanding, or pesky for an attorney. It is your life, and you want the best defense, and sometimes that takes asking many questions. Likewise, this is also about your addiction. It could be an excellent opportunity to seek an attorney that will raise awareness and encourage the legal system to break down the stigmas and taboos surrounding addiction.

  1. How Many Years Practicing Law?

    First, ask the attorney how long they have practiced law. You will want to know if they are new or have been in law for a while–knowing this will help you understand how well of a fit they will be for handling your case. It is not always as obvious to assume that the veteran is the best choice. Since mental health and addiction have been linked more recently, a newer attorney might offer a refreshing and updated view of addiction.

  2. What Kind of Cases Do They Handle?

    You will want an attorney who is sensitive, understanding, and devoted to the seriousness of mental health and addiction disorders. Just as there are attorneys that specialize in family law, knowing how your attorney is motivated will help you to make a better decision.

  3. Who Is the Typical Client?

    Is it you? Those that suffer from addiction sometimes have a hard time being heard and therefore need an advocate in their corner. If they focus on representing corporations and are only motivated to take on big money cases, they are likely not a good fit for you.

  4. Other Training (Outside of Law)

    Legal practice does not just end with knowing the law. Do they have any other specialized training? For example, DUI cases often require specialized training and knowledge. For the best representation, make sure your case falls within their area of expertise.

  5. Cost and Billing

    One of the most defeating elements of choosing an attorney can be their cost. It is frustrating to find a great attorney only to discover that they cost too much or have a payment plan that will not suit you. If this is the situation, ask if paralegals or legal assistants can handle your case and if there is any reduction in cost. Explore your options for billing and payment plans and see if they can compromise on a suitable solution.

  6. Philosophy for Winning a Case

    A lawyer’s approach to a case is essential because you will want somebody who is confident, assertive, and well-versed in your area of need. Sometimes lawyers boast about “going for the kill” or are too aggressive; these approaches, while perhaps useful in some situations, might not be the best representation for you. You want someone motivated by the context of the case. Your attorney will be able to challenge and push the envelope (if needed) without being overly aggressive or losing sight of your needs. You want them to be your voice.

  7. Alternative Ways to Solve the Case

    When seeking help from a lawyer, you might also benefit from exploring alternatives that might resolve your legal problem. Alternative ways to settle a case could help save you time and money. Your attorney should inform you of this, but if it’s not addressed, then you should ask.

  8. Communication

    A strong relationship with your attorney should be established at the onset, so it is important to ask questions upfront. Your life, reputation, and future might be on the line, so developing trust between you and your lawyer is vital. This opens up dialogue and communication. Maintaining open lines of communication will help you stay informed about your case and how it is coming along. You might want to ask from the start how often the attorney relays information to their client.

  9. Likely Outcome

    A good attorney who is well-versed and sensitive to your case should approach it with respect and care. They should consider all of the outcomes and prepare to defend against the challenges that will arise. When a good attorney considers your case with care, they will likely have an idea of the outcome. Knowing what you’re up against can help you better prepare yourself in the courtroom.

  10.  A Voice

    Even today, addiction and mental disorders encounter a lot of prejudice and ignorance. Depending on your situation, it could be a seemingly impossible idea to think you have a voice in the matter. Finding the right attorney to voice the pain and prejudice of those affected with such disorders is important. You want them to know how you feel, not assume how you feel. The goal of the legal procedure should be to seek the best treatment, not punishment.

If you face a legal battle that could bring about unjust ramifications, you will need a dependable attorney. Someone who will offer more than just legal representation, but an advocate for change. Court Services at True Recovery offer just that. True Recovery has established court services founded by professionals that have dealt with addiction in life and law. They understand your needs and specialize in ways in which to assist you throughout the legal process. With 24/7 availability, there is never a wrong time to call for help at True Recovery.

To learn more, call us today at (866) 399-6528.