Recently the Florida Supreme Court issued a new Opinion limiting the type of information lawyers can include on their websites. Beginning in June 2010 law firm websites may no longer include testimonials, laudatory statements, and information about past results. While some changes to the current rules were necessary, with the proliferation of advertising it will now be more difficult for prospective clients to determine whether the lawyer they intend to hire has the experience necessary to handle their case.
There are however many additional ways to obtain that information. The first and most obvious way it to simply ask the lawyer, over the phone or at the initial meeting, to tell you what qualifies them to represent you. Any lawyer worth hiring will welcome this question though, surprisingly, it is one that few clients choose to ask. Ask the attorney how many cases similar to yours they have handled in the past. Ask if they will litigate your case to conclusion if necessary and find out how many jury trials they have personally handled. Ask if they intend to associate with other lawyers or refer your case out if the matter is not able to be resolved before a lawsuit is filed.You should also search the internet to see if you can find additional information about the lawyer you intend to hire. Websites such as http://www.avvo.com and http://www.martindale.com are excellent resources as they provide useful information to help you decide which lawyer to retain. The bottom line is, the more educated you are about the lawyer you choose, the more likely you are to be happy with your choice.