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How Do I Select An Attorney?

The selection of the right attorney to represent you is an important decision. Among the important factors are the experience and reputation of a firm and a particular attorney, the areas of expertise or specialization offered by the firm and attorney and the manner in which a firm and attorney practices law. Every case and every client is unique. In selecting a law firm and an attorney, you should interview the attorney or attorneys you are considering to determine whether they have the experience, skills and track record to effectively and efficiently handle your case. Ask for examples of prior cases or legal matters which have been handled and their results. Our website, for instance, provides a list of representative cases in our aviation practice, and representative cases in other areas are available upon request. Evaluate the attorneys temperament and style to see if it is consistent with your own and your goals for your case. While no attorney can guarantee positive results, successful prior results in an area of specialization coupled with specific expertise can maximize your chances of success.

If you would like to interview us regarding the handling of a matter or case for you, please contact us either by email or telephone to set up a meeting.

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How Important Is An Attorney's Reputation?

An attorney should act in a way that upholds the highest standards of professionalism in representing a client's interests, while maintaining the administration of justice. Standards of conduct for lawyers are determined both ethically and legally. Standards seek to ensure prompt, adequate and lawful assistance to clients. Various codes have been established to govern attorney conduct including those put forth by the American Bar Association and those adopted by most states. An attorney's reputation in the legal community reflects both adherence to those rules and the respect of their peers and greatly assist in the successful prosecution of a legal matter or case.

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Are Law Firms And Attorneys Rated?

Law firms and individual attorneys are rated through a national rating service. The rating is determined based on opinions expressed by the professional peers in the general community. Different ratings are provided based on legal ability, experience and ethical conduct. These ratings are published in an attorney research directory such as the Martindale-Hubble, and include information such as the years of the firm's existence, the educational background of the attorneys, the areas of law practiced by both the firm and individual attorneys and the ratings that have been given the attorneys. AV is the highest rating and our firm and each of our attorneys have received this rating. For more information on how attorneys and law firms are rated, consult an attorney or Martindale-Hubble on line.

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How Are Legal Fees Determined?

The compensation paid to an attorney is determined by agreement between you and the attorney or law firm. Many lawyers bill on an hourly basis and their rates depend on the location of their practice, the areas of their specialty and the level of their experience. Real Estate, Corporate, Estate Planning and many other practices typically are compensated for on an hourly basis. Generally, attorneys representing a plaintiff in an Aviation or Personal Injury case will consider taking the case on a contingency basis. A contingency agreement between an attorney and client means that although the client will be responsible for paying out of pocket costs involved in the lawsuit, the attorney will only be paid a fee for his or her work on that case based on an agreed percentage of the money awarded to the client at the conclusion of the case. If no money is awarded or there is no fee. The contingency fee allows people who would not otherwise be able to afford a lawyer to obtain proper legal representation. Contingency fee cases are risky for attorneys to accept because they may not get reimbursed for their time and effort if the client does not recover. The agreed upon percentage often reflects the risk involved in a particular case. If you elect to retain our firm and we agree to take your case, we will agree at the outset regarding the type and amount for the fees to be charged. All contingent fee agreements are in writing and you will know how the fee will be calculated and for what costs you will be responsible.

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Do Many Cases Settle Before Trial?

The majority of lawsuits are actually settled before going to trial. This may occur shortly after a lawsuit is filed or literally on the steps of the courthouse just before trial. Your attorney has a duty to inform you of any offers to settle made by the other side, even though he or she may not recommend accepting the offer. Because of the inherent uncertainty of trial results, there is often a benefit in settling a case before it goes to trial. Settlement of a case is often the result of mediation. Mediation is a voluntary process where the parties involved with a lawsuit meet with a neutral mediator who is trained to develop common ground between the parties in an effort to reach a mutually agreed settlement. Our firm and its attorneys participate in and strongly support the mediation process. Although experienced attorneys can advise you about the overall strength of your claim, and your chances of recovery at trial, juries are generally unpredictable and may or may not decide in your favor or agree upon the extent of your damages.

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Are There Time Limitations Governing The Filing Of A Lawsuit or Claim?

YES. Federal, state and sometimes local laws provide certain periods of time within which legal action can be taken. Such periods of time are known as Statutes of Limitation. Statutes of limitation vary depending upon the particular cause of action and the law of the jurisdiction in which the lawsuit is to be pursued. Causes of action can generally be preserved by filing a complaint with the proper court before the applicable statute of limitations expires. The named defendants are then served with a summons and copy of the complaint. In many instances, preliminary investigation is needed in order to obtain enough information to file a lawsuit. Records need to be secured or obtained, witnesses located and interviewed and in many cases one or more expert witnesses located and retained to express opinions on the issues involved in the case. Only after proper due diligence has been done to establish the basis for a lawsuit, can a complaint be filed with the court. While in some instances a claim can be made directly to an insurance company by letter or with a government entity and it is sometimes possible to exchange information directly with the insurance company or government entity to reach an agreement on a settlement without the necessity of filing a lawsuit, this needs to be done well before the expiration of any statute of limitation. In all cases, it is very important to seek the professional advice of an attorney early enough to preserve your claims.

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What If A Case Involves A Claim In Another State or Country?

Our attorneys are licensed to practice law in the State of Washington. In our Aviation practice, however, cases often arise in other states or other countries. If needed, we retain local counsel in the appropriate jurisdiction to assist in the handling of the case. Normally out of state counsel are compensated by us as part of our fee resulting in no additional legal expenses for our clients. Our firm is also a member of Lawyers Associated Worldwide, an affiliation of high quality law firms in 45 countries around the world as well as 50 cities in the United States and Canada. As a result of our membership in this affiliation we can offer personal referrals to qualified attorneys in these jurisdictions at any time your case or business dealings may require.

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Copyright © 2003-2011 Krutch Lindell Bingham Jones, P. S.. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to view, store, print, reproduce, and distribute any pages within this site provided that none of the pages are modified and that this notice is included with any distribution.