Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Price Shopping for Attorneys

There is an old time tested adage that is as true today as it was when it was first uttered years ago... you get what you pay for.  The costs for legal services is a concern for most folks.  The fact that it is the primary concern for many is disconcerting.  Beware of the attorney that says he will take your case for $2,000.00.  He either doesn't have the requisite experience to properly defend your OUI case or he will not be able to afford to spend the time necessary in defending you against the OUI charge.  Attorneys that charge too little generally do very little.  It is a simple cost-benefit analysis.  If the attorney only charges enough to perform 10 hours of work, he will be loath to put additional time into the case or take it to trial when necessary.  Why?  Because that cuts into his bottom line and his hourly billing rate begins to go down.

The outcome of your case will affect the rest of your life.  If you save a few hundred or a few thousand dollars but lose the case, did you really save anything?  How much is a NOT GUILTY or dismissal of the charges worth to you?  That's the question you need to answer for yourself.  Another question you must answer is how will an OUI conviction affect the rest of your life?  It may certainly affect your ability to maintain your current employment if you need to drive to work.  It will cause your insurance rates to skyrocket.  It will bar you from traveling to certain countries such as Canada for business or pleasure.  It may even affect your ability to secure a promotion or new position in the future.

Shopping for an attorney is not like shopping for a new plasma TV or a new dishwasher.  There is no warranty on the attorney.  In most cases it may be too late to return the attorney once he starts the case; the damage may already be done.  The most important consideration when shopping for an attorney is the quality of the legal services he or she will provide.  Price should be the last piece of the puzzle you should be seeking a fit for when shopping for an attorney.  The bottom line is you are paying for results and in order to get the best results in your case, you need to hire the best attorney.