Choosing a lawyer may be one of the most important decisions you make. Whether you’re seeking counsel for a criminal matter or a personal injury, the local law firm you choose can make all the difference in your case and experience. It’s okay that you don’t know all the ins and outs of the local legal system; that’s what we’re here for. But here are some of the reasons you want to hire a local Gainesville attorney.
Whether that’s a car accident, a criminal defense, or family law, you want a lawyer that knows the local rules. For instance, here in Alachua County, when you are involved in litigation for a car accident case, certain local rules may not exist in other parts of the state. If you hire lawyers from South Florida or Central Florida, they may not be familiar with how the judges around here expect things to be done.
For example, suppose you’re involved in civil litigation here in Gainesville and cannot resolve an issue with the opposing Council. In that case, there are local rules that your lawyer must know. For instance, one local rule says that you must conference with that other attorney and talk about the issue before you go to the judge and ask them to help solve the problem. That conference can’t be simply just an email back and forth where you both disagree by email. It has to be a meaningful telephone conference. That’s not the rule in many other places, so sometimes we get involved in cases with attorneys not from around here, and we share the rule and lead the process.
You also want an attorney who knows the tendencies of the local prosecutor. In Alachua County and surrounding areas up to Lake City and even Marion County, we have a general idea of the prosecutor for each case. We can either look up which prosecutor on our local Clerk’s computer or know where it falls on the court dockets. That’s important because if you’ve worked with those prosecutors in the past, you know if they want information early or not and if they will make decisions based on information that doesn’t come from the defense lawyer but comes from the police or the alleged victim.
Knowing the tendencies of a prosecutor and how they’ve handled cases in the past gives you some insight into how they might handle cases in the future. Every case is different, and so are individual reactions, so there are always variables, but it’s still essential to the process.
Choosing a Local Law Firm
So how do you choose a local lawyer for your civil or criminal case? Recently, we shared this advice for finding a personal injury lawyer, but asking questions for criminal attorneys is just as critical. Here are five questions we recommend asking:
- How long have you been practicing law, and what is your experience defending clients with similar cases?
- What is your availability, and how quickly can I expect to hear from you when I have questions or concerns?
- What is your success rate in defending clients, and how often do your cases go to trial?
- Do you have any references or testimonials from previous clients that you can share with me?
- Do you have experience working with the prosecutors or judges in the court where my case will be heard, and how will you use this knowledge to my advantage?
Call Glassman and Zissimopulos and our team of dedicated attorneys today. (352) 505-4515 or Toll-Free at (844) 787-2543. When you call, you will be able to speak with a lawyer. This is our commitment to you.