You might have been blown away by John Travolta's performance as Jan Schlichtmann as the slick and tenacious class action lawyer in A Civil Action and wanted to hire him as your class action lawyer. Great idea. Except for the fact that he's not real. Don't worry though, there are plenty of lawyers out there just as capable, and probably even more so, than the fictional character portrayed by Travolta. And we're going to help you with how to choose a class action suit lawyer and tell you what you should be looking for. And no, fancy California business cards aren't a high priority.
Alright, after weighing all the pros and cons, you've finally decided that a class action lawsuit is the way to go but you need help in choosing the right class action suit lawyer. And that's where we come in by guiding you in the right direction. One of the basic things to look for when starting your search is to make sure you find someone that is experienced, especially related to the field of your lawsuit. If you're planning on being part of a suit against commercial mortgage brokers, you wouldn't be looking for a lawyer who's expertise is in dealing with personal injuries, would you? You need someone who knows the ins and outs in the area of your suit.
You might also want to find a lawyer that has a good track record when it comes to the cases they've been involved in. Of course lawyers can't win every case but if you find a lawyer that has lost more cases then they've won, it might be best to look in a different direction. Just because he might seem busy and has multiple cell phones kept in genuine Motorola leather pouches, it doesn't make him the right lawyer for you. It would be best to find out what percentage of class action suits any attorney you are researching has successfully resolved as it will give you a good understanding of their caliber. Researching a lawyer's settlement awards history can also be useful to see what level of suits a lawyer has been involved. They might sport an impressive record of 20-0 but if the amounts were not very high, it can show that maybe they haven't been a part of too many big time class action suits. And it wouldn't hurt to also see what the settlement amounts were. Finding out that a lawyer received millions in payment for themselves but not much for the class is a sign that they may not have your best interests at heart.
Another thing to look for is a lawyer that has the adequate resources needed to launch a successful class action lawsuit. You wouldn't go nursery supply shopping at a place that didn't carry fertilizer and you wouldn't hire a lawyer who didn't staff a competent group of researchers. Knowing that the potential firm you are looking at is financially stable and can afford hiring expertise witnesses such as forensic experts or doctors that can help win your case is very important. If a firm doesn't have enough financial resources to keep their own company afloat, then they might not be of much use to you. And sometimes-successful firms may have too many resources and are using them to handle other class action suits, which can lead them to overextending themselves and not putting enough effort in your case.
You always want to make sure that a potential lawyer has the right credentials to handle your suit. You can do this by simply asking lawyers what their education level is and what type of experiences they had in dealing with class action suits. You can ask for names of past clients and see what they have to say. You can go to your local provincial bar association or the Canadian Bar Association and research lawyers in their directory. Simple internet searches can also be helpful as there is a variety of information out there. But, as you know, you should be wary of all information you find on the interest as not all of it can be reliable. Searching for Scarborough condos online isn't the same as searching for class action suit lawyers. Hopefully the information you've read on this website will lead you in the right direction.