The success or failure of the legal services offered by law firms on criminal cases depends on the process used to hire outside counsel. This is because the individual seeking a criminal defense lawyer has a greater ability to mold the legal services provided. Besides, he or she is in a better bargaining position when hiring outside counsel than any other time during the engagement. The individual may specify the particular lawyers within a given law firm who will work on the case during the selection process. Moreover, the individual will also specify the billing method and the billing rates. He or she can determine other vital components that relate to legal representation.
It is also important for an individual seeking criminal defense representation to define the requirements of each legal engagement by applying a logical and goal-oriented process. Moreover, the individual should also use an extra process to identify the type of lawyer that will best work on the matter. Finally, the individual should use an objective process to determine the right law firm to handle the criminal case.
What are the Differences in the Current Approaches to Hiring Outside Counsel?
There are different approaches that an individual charged with a crime can use when hiring outside counsel. The first approach involves the client establishing a strong relationship with many law firms. This is done by giving legal work to different firms. This ensures that you will be working with law firms that have substantial knowledge of your situation and leads to efficient and high-quality work.
The other approach involves emphasizing the expertise and experience of the attorney and law firm. This means that the client will not only consider the duration that he or she has worked with the law firm or the attorney.
The third approach is choosing a firm because it charges the lowest total cost or bears some risk in handling your matter. In some cases, this approach may lead to the use of alternative billing methods like capped fees, flat fees, or contingent fees. Moreover, the client may prefer to use hourly billing rates in other cases. This means that he or she will select a firm that charges the lowest hourly billing rate.
However, it is good to understand that one has to choose a combination of these and other factors that are suitable for hiring outside counsel for a given engagement. None of the above approaches is appropriate for all clients or engagements. Besides, hiring lawyers with specific experience and expertise will be more beneficial to you, especially if the subject matter of your case is more complex, unusual, or specialized. Therefore, it is crucial for the client hiring outside counsel in Chicago to consider the nature of the legal matter and the type of legal skills the attorney possesses.
Different Types of Hiring Methods for Outside Counsel in Chicago Criminal Cases
The following are different methods that a client can use in selecting outside counsel in Chicago criminal cases:
- Inquiry: Individuals seeking outside counsel in Chicago can follow various inquiries that will enable them to make informed decisions. The inside counsel may interview the candidates and ask for a list of similar transactions or cases that they have handled. They may also check how the matters were handled as well as seek more information on performance and qualifications of the law firms.
- Request for Proposals: This is the ideal method when the client is seeking to hire counsel to handle a large number of legal matters. The process usually requires the law firms to write responses to a written request sent by the client looking for a criminal lawyer. Moreover, it is also followed by an oral presentation by some or all of the candidates.
- Presentations: This method offers invaluable opportunities for the person looking for outside counsel to ask questions to determine the qualifications of the law firm. Moreover, presentations can also help individuals to evaluate the willingness and ability of the outside counsel to work with the client and the inside counsel.
An Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Chicago can Help
There are several rules that you should follow to ensure that you hire the best outside counsel for criminal cases in Chicago. Not all criminal defense lawyers within a given law firm have equal ability in handling cases even though the firm has a great overall reputation. Besides, the experience and expertise of the lawyer in one field may not be enough to prepare him or her to handle a different matter in a different field. For more advice or to talk to top criminal lawyers in Chicago, contact David Freidberg Attorney at Law at (312) 560-7100.
(image courtesy of Chris Liverani)