An attorney-client partnership is an important one. There are going to be ups and downs in your relationship. You want and need to be comfortable at the outset so you can be comfortable when your case comes to a conclusion. If you can’t like and respect your attorney, the relationship will fall apart.
When choosing an attorney, it is important to consider carefully the attributes a good lawyer should have. You need to look for an attorney who is committed, concerned, motivated, available, and knowledgeable about the judges, the prosecutors, and the system in general. Because each case is different, he or she should have a “game plan” for your particular case.
An effective attorney must also be an effective communicator who is willing to initiate and maintain open communication with you. You have to feel confident that your attorney is able to talk with you in lay terms, explaining what you can expect out of the process and what will be done to get the charges dropped, to negotiate a disposition, or to take it to trial. Your attorney should not just be able to present arguments in court. He or she should have the skills to research, draft and file appropriate pleadings to educate the court and the prosecutor about legal and factual issues relevant to your case.
It is important that you avoid choosing a lawyer who tries to predict the future by assuring you of a certain outcome. Run, don’t walk, from an attorney who “promises” a result he or she knows you want to hear or claims to have a “special” relationship with the prosecutor or judge which will influence the outcome of your case. Instead, look for an attorney who can explain to you how he or she will approach your case, the potential defenses available to you and what the attorney will do to achieve the necessary result.