Interviewer: What should people look for when hiring an attorney? What credentials should a good attorney have?
Dale: It depends on the individual but I know how I judge people whose association I am considering. First of all, I look for genuine concern. Is this attorney concerned about my situation? Second, are they asking the right questions and do they seem knowledgeable?
Additionally, how specific are they? Are they familiar with the court? Are they familiar with the judge? Are they familiar with the prosecutor? I would ask those questions first. Then ask to see the credentials.
Interviewer: Would you also ask the attorney how long have they have been practicing? How many cases do they take a year? How many courts do they visit a year?
Dale: Your decision and your strategy should be formed during your initial consultation. I try to formulate my strategy with the client during this first meeting. If I am retained as the attorney, I develop this strategy into a defense.
Interviewer: During the first meeting?
Dale: Yes. I know where to look for evidence. For example, a dispatch tape will become important because it was an anonymous call.
Interviewer: I see.
Dale: Sometimes, the client maintains that while driving they touched the fog line. This resulted inthe officer pulling them over. They might have been in front of their own home at the time they were pulled over. However, and the officer may have been behind them for four or five miles and didn’t pull them over until they entered their driveway.
That kind of action is a red flag for me. In my opinion, this indicated that this officer was looking for something and didn’t find it, but stopped them just because they had too much time vested in them. This would be something that you look for right away.
By Dale Naticchia