As you’re finding a lawyer, you may come across law firms with multiple partners shown in their advertisements. After reviewing credentials on their website, you find that Bob Smith of the Smith, Jones, and John Law Firm is the right attorney for the job. You’re confident in his case history with motorcycle accidents like yours, and you think he’s your best choice for legal representation.
So far, you’re off to a great start, you’ve done your homework and you haven’t given in to any of the lawyer advertising pitfalls I’ve cautioned against. Before you leave the consultation, you better make sure you’re hiring an attorney and not a paralegal. Paralegals are not the same as attorneys, and according to the American Bar Association, they cannot:
- form an attorney-client relationship;
- give legal advice;
- appear in court on behalf of a client;
- take or defend depositions; or
- sign pleadings or other papers to be filed in court.
If a paralegal does any of these things in your case, he or she is violating an ethics rule, which is why you need to make sure that the person you’re hiring is the actual lawyer you expect and that the lawyer will handle your case.
Don’t Let a Law Firm Misrepresent Who Handles Your Case
To learn more about some of the deceptive matters of lawyer advertisements and how to go about finding a lawyer without the perils of bad ads, order a free copy of my book, The Truth About Lawyer Advertising. To set up a consultation about your case at my office, call 1-703-584-7277.