Tough Questions to Ask a Lawyer
- What percentage of your practice is devoted to DUI and criminal defense issues? This is probably the most important question to ask. Many lawyers only dabble in DUI defense. They may handle divorce cases or other civil matters primarily and only accept DUI cases here and there. With the complexity of DUI laws and its rapid changes, it is virtually impossible to keep up with all the changes unless you are in court everyday fighting for the DUI accused. In my opinion, it is essential to choose a lawyer whose primary practice is DUI defense. Think about this: you don’t go to DUI attorney for a tax problem. You would go to a tax attorney. Both are lawyers, but one knows how defend DUI cases and the other specializes in tax issues. Currently, over 95% of my practice is devoted to DUI defense and the remainder is still concentrated in criminal defense issues. With my exclusive focus, I am able to provide premier legal services in all DUI and criminal matters.
- How long have you been practicing DUI defense? Lawyers obviously get better with experience. The more trips to court, the more familiar the subject matter becomes. To be safe, choose an attorney who has real life experiences in defending DUI cases. I have been practicing DUI defense for over 17 years and I have devoted my entire practice to these types of cases. There is nothing I have not seen or experienced in a DUI case. There is not a learning curve. That was learned years ago.
- How many DUI cases have you defended? This is an obvious question that must be asked. The best results usually come from an attorney who handles DUI cases on a daily bases. Like I said earlier, I have been a DUI attorney for over 17 years and I have defended in excess of 1500 DUI cases in that time. My experiences are second to none.
- What is your return phone calls policy? Failure to return phone calls is the most common problem lawyer’s face. Clear communication channels are essential for success in DUI matters. So this reason alone, I give my clients direct access via my cell phone number.
- Do you offer your cell phone number? It is important to find an attorney who will answer your questions when it is convenient to you. That is why I offer my clients my direct cell phone number. Give it a try…call now…615-812-1441. I have had this number for over 10 years. I strongly believe in client access and communication. I will not take your money and hide like some lawyers.
- How do you structure your retainer agreement? I do not accept hourly rate cases. I charge a flat fee for representation. Usually, I will schedule an initial consultation and review the facts of the case. Based upon that interview, I will establish the appropriate fee or retainer. This will cover representation in court, phone calls, legal research, and other necessary duties. This makes the entire process easier for both parties. We both know what is expected.
- How does the Judge affect my case? Your attorney should have a clear answer to this question and should not stumble over it without a clear answer. If a clear answer is not given, then the lawyer probably does not have the necessary experiences to defend your DUI charge. Over time, an experienced DUI attorney will know how to predict a Judge’s decisions.
- Who will appear in court? I do not employ any younger associates to handle your defense. If you hire me, you will get me in court. This is only fair. It is important to establish the ground rules for representation at the very beginning. In my opinion, the attorney you hired should be the only person who appears in court. Again, it is only fair.
- Do your have access to expert witnesses and have you used them in the past? Experienced DUI attorneys regularly use expert witnesses in court. If a lawyer stumbles through this question, they most likely have not gone to trial in many contested DUI cases. As a follow up question, ask if they have ever defended (not merely prosecuted) a DUI case in front of a jury.
- Can we meet again after the initial consultation? Absolutely. I want all of my clients to be comfortable with the decisions they have to make in their cases. Sometimes, a face to face office meeting is essential. An experienced attorney will want you to be comfortable with your decisions and treat you with the respect that you deserve. I make my clients a priority. I never want them to rush to make a decision.
Lee Martin is a DUI and criminal defense attorney who is located in Nashville, Tennessee. His practice is devoted exclusively to DUI and criminal defense. Recently, he was named to the National Trial Lawyers top 100 list in the areas of DUI and criminal defense.
I help good people restore their lives
-Lee Martin is a Nashville criminal defense lawyer who has gained national recognition as a DUI and criminal defense attorney. With over a decade of experience, he knows how to get results in DUI cases. If you are seeking an experienced DUI defense attorney, use his experiences to your advantage. If you need help with a pending DUI charge, give him a call at 615-345-1988.
National Trial Lawyers Top 100 in the areas of DUI and criminal defense.