Is there a way to find an attorney’s win-loss record? A way to find out the percentage of cases won by an attorney?
Yes, but . . .
Yes, but not a perfect way.
Yes, but not a perfectly complete and accurate way, and not for all lawyers (for example, it’s hard to determine whether a divorce lawyer “won” the case when there are so many issues to be tried, so there’s “guilty or not guilty” verdict or money judgment to make it clearer).
So yes, you can get data on attorney win-loss trial records.
Many, many lawyers will tell you it’s impossible to find attorney trial win-loss records because they don’t want to admit that attorney win-loss records can be found.
Read this article to understand 1) how something like win-loss data can be obtained, and 2) the shortcomings of win-loss record data. Some notable excerpts:
“The shortcomings of evaluating lawyers by win rates are many. Not least of them is that so few cases ever make it to a win or loss. In criminal cases, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts says that 90 percent of defendants plead guilty rather than go to trial. Is a guilty plea a win or a loss? The answer, of course, is that it depends. And it depends on factors not readily visible from a docket sheet or data downloaded from a court.
“In civil cases, the same is true. On average across court systems, only about 5 to 10 percent of cases go to trial. Of the cases that do not go to trial, many settle, but the majority are disposed of without even a settlement. Some are withdrawn, some are abandoned, some are merged, and still others are closed for clerical reasons.
“Of equal concern is that, in the nuances of law practice, it is not always obvious what constitutes a win or a loss. If a company enters into a nuisance settlement to avoid protracted litigation and the accompanying legal fees, is that a win or a loss? If a PI lawyer settles a case for $10,000 when the defendant was secretly prepared to offer up to $50,000, which side was the winner?
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