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How Do I Choose A Lawyer Online?

Posted on: April 5, 2013

Choosing a lawyer online is a bit like being in a flea market. Advertising comes at you from all angles and it’s difficult to know what you are getting without doing some research. When people look for lawyers online, they tend to type in meaningless queries such as, “Who is the best personal injury lawyer in Maryland?” Or, “Who is the Top Accident Attorney in Virginia?”

I think this a very foolish way to search for a lawyer. You wouldn’t search for a car this way. “Who sells the TOP CAR in Maryland?” Where can I find the “BEST cheeseburger in Virginia?” Everyone knows these are subjective terms based on other people’s opinions. Different people prefer different cars and you absolutely cannot verify objectively who has the best cheeseburger any more than you verify who the best lawyers are.

(Woodmont Grill in Bethesda has the best cheeseburger if you ask me!)

Yes, it’s true; there are peer review services like Maryland Super Lawyers or Best Lawyers in America. These services rate lawyers and such ratings may be useful to you. Then again, they may not. When you search for a lawyer, you will have to decide which criteria are important to you when deciding whom to hire. What works for someone else, may not work for you. For example, some lawyers may charge more for certain services because the services are very difficult or require a higher degree of skill. Maybe you want to pay a little extra to have that skill working for you. Maybe you don’t. It’s really up to you to decide what’s important to you and then shop around. As another example, past case results can be useful to figure out a lawyer’s track record. It’s also important to keep in mind that every case is unique and a lawyers past results are not indicative of what you might hope to achieve in the future. Every case has unique circumstances.

What questions should you ask then? I offer here a sample of possible questions you might ask before deciding to hire a lawyer. This list is by no means exhaustive or guaranteed to get the results you want. It’s just here to give you some ideas of what I would ask, if I were hiring a lawyer for myself.

  • – Is the prospective lawyer willing to take cases to trial?
  • – Is the lawyer a member of the million dollar advocate’s forum?
  • – Does the lawyer have a track record litigating against insurance carriers?
  • – Is the lawyer peer-rated?
  • – Will the lawyer come to me, if I can’t make it to his office?
  • – What do the lawyers previous clients have to say?
  • – Does the lawyer have client testimonials I can see online?
  • – What will the lawyer charge me?
  • – What percentage of my case is the lawyer’s contingency fee?
  • – Does that fee percentage change if the case needs to go to trial?
  • – Does the fee percentage the lawyer gets change if a lawsuit needs to be filed?
  • – What are some of the lawyers past verdicts?
  • – Has the lawyer been in business a long time?
  • – How many years of experience does the lawyer have?
  • – Does the lawyer client relationship feel right? (i.e. are we a good fit?)
  • – Is the lawyer rated by various peer review services like Super lawyers, Martindale Hubbel?
  • – Does the lawyer have an online profile on AVVO?

And so on and so on.

In summary, if you are shopping around online for an attorney, be leery of lawyers who categorize themselves as the TOP Maryland Lawyer or Best Lawyer, etc. Instead, look to online reviews of the attorney, client testimonials that attorney has, review case results, and any other information you can find that might be useful to your particular circumstance. The bottom line is, don’t just hire the first lawyer that comes along and tells you he’s “THE BEST.”

Bob Katz is Chair of the Personal Injury Group at Gordon Feinblatt, LLC
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Read Some of Our Recent Client Reviews!

02:32 04 Aug 18
The lawyer who was initially handling my case parted ways with the company and I was assigned a new lawyer. This new lawyer was amazing! Christina Franetovich made me feel secure by double checking all the facts and notes in my case so that I was not worried during this transition. I was on disability from an a different accident while she was finalizing my case, and I had called and hounded her about the time frame of my settlement very frequently to the point that I felt guilty for calling so much. Christina was very sympathetic to my situation and assured me that she would do everything in her power to make sure the situation would be resolved quickly. She actually finalized my case before the time frame she had given me, was always very courteous and knowledgable on the phone, and I feel extremely lucky that she ended up handling my case because the previous lawyer was not as amazing with customer service as Christina. She also has a way of making you feel comfortable and builds incredible rapport quickly. I am going to highly recommend her to my friends and family. Thank you Christina!!!
Andrea Barajas
Andrea Barajas
15:13 16 May 18
My husband and I were in a car accident in August 2017. We contacted Bob Katz team for legal representation in our case. Kristen A. Turner was our paralegal and she was excellent. It took 9 months for us to receive our settlement and Kristen kept us updated throughout this entire process. She was very kind and patient as I happened to have several questions. She always answered my questions promptly and thoroughly. I would highly recommend this firm and Kristen if you are in need of legal assistance.
Richard Hose
Richard Hose
02:26 27 Jun 18
On Feb 23, 2017 I was in a bad accident on the JFX. I had been rear end by another driver. Almost immediately I felt pressured by the other drivers insurance. Everything from wanting a recorded statement; to failing to acknowledge responsibility. No one would answer my questions, nor would anyone take responsibility. I was frustrated and overwhelmed with everyone from the towing company, to the repair shop, to the insurance company nightmare I just entered. I reached out to Attorney Robert Katz and I was assured they were here to help. He provided with some much needed information, and told me not to worry, Sarah his Paralegal would be in touch to help get things moving. Sarah reached out as expected and explained their process and walked me through what my expectations would be. She as well assured me they were here to help me navigate the obstacles. What Sarah really did was so much more than help. She took the stress and burden off my shoulders and assumed ownership for handling everything on my behalf. I knew what to expect, and I received regular updates throughout the entire process. Honestly, I received so much more than I anticipated. Some of the most frustrating items to chase after are medical records and hospital charges. While I was trying to recall events and timelines, she had already obtained my records and information. She made this process so painless. I truly cannot say enough about the exceptional service she provided. Many thanks for all your help. Sincerely, Richard Hose
Claudette Pope
Claudette Pope
13:18 30 Aug 18
I was referred to Gordon & feindblatt in 2014 when my family was in an accident, Mr. Katz personally consulted with me by phone and he was very polite and professional, Mr. Carpuso, one of the litigation attorneys even came out to our home and went over our case with us, he made sure all of our needs was addressed and before he left our home that day I felt like we were old friends. that case was settled and I was very pleased, I have used this law firm twice since then and the results are always the same, I have nothing but great experiences with Gordon & Feindblatt the staff are courteous and professional and they get the job done but the one in particular that really stood out for me is Rebecca Slattery, she is truly a gem, she is so compassionate, she walked me through the entire process, she even checked up on me from time to time just to see how I was feeling and I really appreciated her kindness. I will use this law firm again and again for any future legal issue that may arise and I would highly recommend Gordon & Fiendblatt to friends, family and co-workers.
15:24 09 Feb 18
My experience here was great. My lawyer Rebecca was so professional and I love her personality. She handled my case well and kept me updated and made the process easy and always made me feel comfortable to call whenever I needed to know anything.
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Location: Tysons

Chris Shin
Chris Shin
18:23 20 Jun 18
They were very polite, professional. and informed current status of the case time to time. Great Job !!!
Jonathan Roane
Jonathan Roane
22:51 17 Nov 17
If you ever need any assistance with an accident or injury-related claim this is the firm you need hands down. These are the most professional and caring people I have ever met in my life. Two people you should contact are Rebecca Slattery who was actually my paralegal and also Allan Serrano. You will be in good hands.
Israel Thompson
Israel Thompson
00:52 06 Dec 17
Attorney MR Bob Katz outstanding Human being, went beyond and above to help me during my accident, he showed me tremendous kindness and support.Thank you so much will highly recommend him to anyone who needs help with their auto accident
Marta Kritselis
Marta Kritselis
16:19 01 Sep 17
Rebecca Slattery the paralegal She took care my case and she was very helpful throughout the whole process. I highly recommend to my family and friend the services of Attorney Bob Kats and there team .
Myong Kim
Myong Kim
22:04 31 Mar 17
I am grateful to Bob and Justin Katz and their team for working hard to get me the most money. They were very professional and easy to work with in Korean. I will recommend them to friends and family any chance I have.
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