Law Offices of Jeffrey W. Jensen 111 E. Wisconsin Ave., Suite 1925 Milwaukee, WI 53202-4825
Jeffrey W. Jensen is a criminal defense lawyer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is also a criminal appeals lawyer in Wisconsin.
Five Things You Need to Know About Hiring a Lawyer
No one really wants to have to hire a lawyer for help in a criminal or a family law case. When the time comes it is frightening enough to face without having to guess about your legal representation. Follow these five tips in hiring a lawyer and you will have gone a long way toward finding quality legal representation:
1. Meet with the lawyer in person. You should never hire a lawyer based only upon a telephone conversation. You and your lawyer are going to have to work very closely on one of the most important situations you will face in your lifetime. Go meet the person you are planning to work with. Do you feel comfortable with the lawyer? Does the lawyer seem to know how to handle your case? Does the lawyer listen to what you have to say?
2. Don't hire a lawyer who makes you promises about the outcome of your case. Sometimes clients will meet with an attorney and then ask the attorney, "Do you think you can win this case?" You should be immediately suspicious of a lawyer who says things like, "Don't worry, we'll take care of it for you" or "I've never lost a case like this." The truthful answer is that no lawyer can know the merits of a case after meeting with the client for a few minutes. There is a lot of behind-the-scenes work that must be done including: (1) Investigating the facts of the case; (2) Learning of your opponent's arguments and evidence; and, (3) Researching the details of the law. An honest lawyer will say something like, "I've handled many cases like yours and we will expertly guide you through this situation."
3. Find out what other lawyers charge as fees for similar cases and then choose a lawyer with a "reasonable" fee. When it comes to legal services it is almost always a bad idea to hire the lawyer who quotes either the highest fee or the lowest fee. There is only so much a lawyer can do for a client (see number two above); therefore, it does not follow that the most expensive lawyer will get you a better result than the others. On the other hand, a lawyer who charges a fee much lower than his colleagues should make you nervous- there is usually a reason why the lawyer is discounting his fees so drastically. Don't just price shop over the telephone (see number one above). Meet with the lawyer and find out how the fees will be charged (i.e. "flat fee" or "hourly fee") and what it covered by the fee. Then choose a lawyer who quotes you a "reasonable fee" for the services provided.
4. Talk to your friends who have been in a similar situation. For many years it was not ethical for lawyers to advertise. A number of years ago the Supreme Court changed the rules and allowed lawyers to advertise in a limited way. Consequently, the Yellow Pages are chock full of such advertisements. Bear in mind, a lawyer need not have reached any level of expertise in order to buy a full-page ad in the Yellow Pages. He need only agree to pay for it. There is no agency that checks to see whether a lawyer who advertises in the Yellow Pages really is an "aggressive trial lawyer". Therefore, when choosing a lawyer talk to your friends and ask them for a recommendation. If you know a judge or someone who works in the court system, ask them who are the well-respected lawyers.
5. DO NOT RUSH THE PROCESS. In this age of nearly instant communication many people hire the first lawyer who calls them back. For the four reasons set forth above, this is a terrible idea because you cannot possibly make an intelligent decision about a lawyer under those circumstaces. Yes, it is a frightening situation when a loved one is arrested and is being held in jail; however, in reality, lawyers cannot go to the jail any time of day or night and "walk the client out" like they do on television. If your loved one is arrested and is in jail you will do the person far more good in the long run to find him or her experienced and competent legal represenation than you will to find them a lawyer "fast".
__________________________________ Schiro & Zarzynski Personal Injury Attorneys Milwaukee, WI 53203 414.224.0825
"The bully lawyer" _____________________________
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Milwaukee criminal defense attorney Jeffrey W. Jensen, of the Law Offices of Jeffrey W. Jensen, a Milwaukee law firm with offices located at 111 E. Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 1925, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has represented persons throughout the State of Wisconsin. If you will face felony charges in either state court or in federal court you should call 414.671.9484. Attorney Jensen regularly appears in Milwaukee County (Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer), Waukesha County (Waukesha criminal defense lawyer, Brookfield criminal defense lawyer), Washington County (West Bend and Germantown criminal defense lawyer), Racine County (Racine criminal defense lawyer), Kenosha County (Kenosha criminal defense lawyer), Brown County (Green Bay criminal defense lawyer), Fond du Lac County (Fond du Lac criminal defense lawyer), and Winnebago County (Oshkosh criminal defense lawyer)
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