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Choosing a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Austin (my two cents)

Posted by Brian Tillman on 29 November 2010

I guess you could put this under the “Philosophy” category of posts.  It’s admittedly a fluff piece but the idea arose from actual events today, so hopefully it’s mildly relevant or entertaining.  Maybe relevant or mildly entertaining.

I had a prospect call about representation on a case, a type of case I enjoy doing, and one where I typically obtain very positive results for my clients.  We talked with each other about 10 or 15 minutes and I answered several questions about how he should think about proceeding.   He thanked me for all the information, and mentioned that he already had appointments with two other attorneys in Austin, Bruce Fox and Jamie Spencer.  We had a chuckle when I told him we were good friends, and I told him I thought honestly he would be in good hands no matter whom he hired.

In the end, I just told him he should meet with them (and me, of course) and go with the lawyer he felt most comfortable with.  I mean, Bruce, Jamie, and I are all engaging and charismatic, but we do have quite different personalities.  If it were me, I’d want to hire someone I can relate to, and who will be better able to represent me because they understand ME in relation to the case.  That’s not to say that you can’t feel good about hiring a criminal lawyer who just fits your mental image of what a defense attorney is supposed to look like, but a personal connection goes a long way.  If you know a criminal attorney, or have a friend or family member who does, it never hurts to meet them.  Most lawyers take personal referrals as high compliments, and will make sure you are on the right track whether you end up hiring them or not.

This brings up a connected topic- make sure you know who will be representing you!  Can you establish a rapport with someone you haven’t met?  Are you hiring the attorney you are interviewing, or someone else?  Are other attorneys going to court?  If so, can you meet them as well? That’s it, two cents.  Take it or leave it.