People are always asking about how to choose when hiring a lawyer. Orange County divorce attorney Gerald Maggio offers some tips for choosing wisely.
You’ve made the decision to divorce. You hoped that it would work out, but now your spouse is more of an intimate stranger. Should you start wading through the print ads in the Yellow Pages or log on to Google “Divorce Lawyers” by proximity? “Wait,” says Orange County divorce attorney Gerald Maggio. “Do some research first.” You don’t want to hire the wrong lawyer and end up exacerbating your situation.
“Your first move should be consult friends and family for personal references,” Maggio says. “That’s a good first step toward finding out not only the names of a few good divorce lawyers, but it also may indicate who you should stay away from.”
The legal process of divorce is “like a minefield,” says Maggio, “You don’t want to hire an attorney who blows up in your face.” Besides minimal standards of expertise like passing the State Bar Exam, you should ask your potential lawyer questions that gauge legal expertise – especially in the area of divorce – and experience.
“If I was looking to hire an attorney, I’d have a list of questions at the ready,” Maggio says. “How long have you been practicing in California? How many divorce cases have you handled in the past five years? How many in the past year? What’s your success rate? What do you define as success? Specifics about child support, distribution of assets, the statutes in California pertaining to divorce, should all come into play during your initial consultation.”
While meeting with the prospective divorce lawyer, you should be engaging your gut instincts. How is the attorney with eye contact? Does he listen? Is she courteous? Did the prospective attorney answer your questions in a truly informative manner? “You will need to maintain a rapport with this person for at least several months, and perhaps a lot longer, while your divorce is in process,” Maggio says. “Why hire somebody you don’t like?”
Although something like your “gut instinct” might seem unscientific, it might be an excellent indicator of whether your client-attorney relationship will be successful. “Rapport is one of the things that can be paramount,” Maggio says. “The other is expertise – a comprehensive grasp of your specific circumstances and how to strategize so that a desirable outcome is at least a strong possibility.”
To learn more about the Maggio Law Firm visit http://www.maggiolawfirm.com/.