Happy “Love Litigating Lawyers Day.” Yes. No matter how unpopular lawyers are, everyone wants to have ‘their’ day.
The origin of LLLD is unknown, but LLLD was created to honor the contributions of lawyers in America.
The best way to celebrate the day is to realize the importance of attorneys in their role of upholding society.
To celebrate, it may be a good time to reflect on things you’ll never hear a litigating lawyer say — out loud.
Win The Lawsuit And Wind Up With Nothing
Attorneys don’t like to talk about it, but federal taxes easily can wipe out much of the money won in civil lawsuits. Bodily injury suits are an exception, but you’ll still have to pay federal taxes on the part that goes to your lawyer. The three exceptions are Alabama, Michigan, and Texas where the federal appeals court has sided with taxpayers.
A sales manager in a midwestern state settled a discrimination case against her employer for $150,000 in January 2017. The woman will take home $14,000 after attorney fees, expenses and taxes.
I Don’t Know Much About The Law
Ask a lawyer anything outside their specialty and chances are they won’t know. Marie Karim, a teacher in New York City, developed an infection in 1999 during exploratory surgery. Karim, 27, retained Sheri Paige as Karim’s mom had once consulted the Norwalk, Connecticut attorney about collecting a debt. Over a year later Karim learned that Paige had no experience in dealing with healthcare and the statute of limitations had run out. Karim received nothing in her lawsuit but was awarded just over $300,000 from Paige’s insurance company.
I’ve Made Mistakes. Now, Good Luck Finding Them
The American Bar Association maintains a database of ethics violations and the information can be obtained by calling 312-988-5321. The challenge is the database relies on voluntary reports from state bar lawyers. Many states will just say the attorney-in-question is in “good standing” even if the lawyer has had lots of complaints.
I Never Win
Any attorney can claim to have experience in their field. What many don’t tell you is if they are a winner or loser. Take the time, even in pressured situations, and conduct some due diligence to find out if your potential lawyer’s experience has been in the winning or losing column.
I Won’t Take Your Penny-Ante Case
Just because you have a strong case doesn’t mean you’ll find an attorney to accept it. If it’s bad for his bottom line, such as claims involving securities arbitration, you’ll have an orphan of a case on your hands. The number of this type case has risen over 55% since 1993 according to NASD Dispute Resolution.
I Charge As Much As You Let Me
Most attorneys charge a flat fee, an hourly rate or a percentage of the award. If your case is easy, a flat fee agreement is best. With a strong civil suit, an hourly rate to begin and switch to a percentage later may be the best.
You’re Better Off Without Me
Many of the activities a lawyer does can be done by yourself — if you have to time and motivation to learn. You can compose your own will for example. For other issues too complicated to be managed without legal assistance, try a paralegal. Depending on the state, paralegal’s can handle routine things like living trusts, house closings, and uncontested divorce for a few hundred dollars.