If a Lawyer Never Tries Cases in a Courtroom, Can He Really be a "Trial Lawyer"?

04/23/2009

Recently, I ran across a very interesting article about two Tennessee lawyers that are feuding. The issue is whether the TV advertising lawyer has the right to call himself a "trial lawyer" since everyone knows he doesn't try cases in the courtroom.  We have the same issue here in Louisville, although there isn't any feud in the newspaper to speak of.  Anyone that watches an hour of daytime television knows exactly what I'm talking about.  You can't go 5 minutes without an ad for a lawyer (or even worse the ASK GARY chiropractor).  Some of these lawyers aren't even from Kentucky, they live and work in Florida.   They all advertise they can handle your car wreck case and get you a big check; however, those of us that practice in Louisville know that isn't necessarily true.  You see, insurance companies know which lawyers try cases and which lawyers merely try to get quick checks.  Who do you think they take more seriously?  The simple fact of the matter is, all other things being equal, lawyers that know how to try cases will get the best results.  Law firms that have 5,000 cases and a war room full of paralegals working on them will likely not get the same results.  Harsh?  You bet.  Reality?  You bet.
My suggestion, if you are thinking about hiring a tv lawyer, ask them when was the last time they tried a case.  When was the last time the were in a courtroom arguing for their client.  Ask them if they are going to farm you case out to another law firm if it doesn't settle pre-suit.  Then make a decision as to whether this lawyer/law firm is going to get you the results they advertise on tv.  


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