Is it more important for an attorney to have the money or the talent to litigate and win a case (example in the situation of your choosing)?
There are many factors that bear on whether an attorney will be as successful as possible in handling your case. You asked about money and talent, so I will address those factors.
An attorney obviously needs the talent and skill to handle the case successfully or he/she won’t (can’t) handle the case successfully.
The attorney needs to be solvent and have enough money to keep his/doors open or the attorney can’t handle the case successfully.
Finally, the attorney needs to be paid well enough to do the job well enough.
There are many people in every trade and profession (not just lawyers) whose guiding principle is “get the customer to pay me as much as possible.” Those kinds of people (and lawyers) are to be avoided. Not only because they don’t provide value for the money but because if they have that kind of predatory, self-interested attitude toward you and your needs, they likely don’t have enough intellectual and emotional bandwidth to give your case the attention and work it truly deserves. Which means that kind of lawyer does not have what it takes to handle the case successfully because your success isn’t really that kind of attorney’s goal.
I’m an attorney. I have also been a client. What do I look for when seeking a good attorney for me?:
Honesty and good character. Yes, there are some honest attorneys of good character out there. Yes, they are hard to find, but worth finding, given that being honest is, in my book, the most important trait a lawyer must have.
Skill. A very close second to honesty and good character is skill. No, that’s not quite right. A successful attorney must be as skilled as he/she is honest and of good character. An honest but incompetent attorney isn’t going to do you any good, and an incompetent attorney can often make your situation worse than had you never hired the incompetent attorney.
Diligence/scrappiness. A successful attorney has to be willing to do the work needed. He/she needs to be willing to do the hard things and stay vigilant. This does not mean your attorney is your slave or that your attorney must sacrifice his/her mental and physical health for you, but it does mean your attorney can’t be lazy.
Resourceful and creative, able to improvise when necessary. Litigation and your will throw you curve balls. Your attorney must be able not merely to roll with the punches, but to anticipate as many of them as possible and have the smarts and tools to react to them nimbly and as productively as possible.
One who provides an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. In other words, an attorney who delivers value for the money. It’s not always obvious whether your attorney delivers value. Keep your eyes open. Your attorney is not a wizard who can take a sow’s ear of a case and turn it into a silk purse, so don’t expect such a thing. Value is not synonymous with “miracles.” And don’t expect more from your good attorney than value for the money. Pay the attorney what the attorney is worth. No more, no less. If you try to cheat a good attorney, he/she is too wise to allow that, and your attorney will quit.
Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277