I was shocked recently to see a television ad from a lawyer expressing his "goal" this year to recover twenty five million dollars in personal injury claims this year. The Florida Bar does have restrictions on legal advertising and on the unsubstantiated claims that lawyers can make. Lawyers in Florida are not allowed to brag about how much they got in x case or how much money they got for y client. The theory of the rules includes that it can provide unreasonable expectations on the part of public about what the lawyer can actually do in their own situation. I do not know if the ad was approved by the Florida Bar. The question is whether telling the public that I want to collect 25 million this year creates an unreasonable expectation of results in a particular case. Maybe, maybe not. Regardless of whether the ad is in compliance with the Bar rules, more important is the message it sends.
In reality who (besides the lawyer) cares if he collects 25 million this year. What matters is if each client's case leading up to that sum has been provided with the best possible representation. After all, if one advertises enough one gets more cases. If one advertises so much and gets so many cases then they may not be able to serve the clients as well as others who can devote more time to each case. Now as to this lawyer maybe he can collect 25 million and still serve each client effectively and maximize the recovery for each client. If I were considering hiring the lawyer I would ask for the number of cases his firm handles at one time. I would ask the number of personal injury trials that he has personally handled. Finally, I would ask how often they will personally communicate with me on the case and then ask myself whether I feel my case can be given special attention as one of that number. If not, Google personal injury lawyers in your city and look at the qualifications of a number of firms and call and ask them the same questions. You will be surprised by the results.
If it were my case I would select a lawyer who does not advertise on television but instead select one who is so respected by his peers that they recommend the lawyer to others. Alternatively one can look to see if a lawyer is Board Certified by the Florida Bar in Civil Trial Law. Board Certification is a mark of quality that is earned and recognized by the Florida Bar and cannot be purchased on a TV ad.
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Great post with a lot of very solid information. Those are the questions to ask.
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