So you’ve found yourself in a legal predicament and you’ve decided to hire a civilian military attorney. You have several options and you need to decide quickly on who you’d like to hire to represent you. Be sure to ask the right questions so that you can rest comfortably with your decision. Here are five things to look for when hiring a civilian military attorney.
Make sure this is not the attorney’s first rodeo. Choose an attorney who has defended many other people in situations similar to yours. In fact, it’s also a great idea to hire an attorney who has served a good number of years active duty as a JAG officer. This way, you can be sure the attorney is well-versed and knowledgeable about both sides of the military justice system. This also ensures that the attorney has an understanding and respect for your career as a service member.
The majority of courts-martial are resolved by plea agreements. Make sure that your attorney has actually litigated military cases rather than just negotiated a plea or administrative separation agreement.
It’s a no-brainer to choose an experienced civilian military attorney. However, just because they have done it before doesn’t necessarily mean they have done it well. Look into whether or not the attorney has been successful in cases that closely resemble yours. Are previous clients satisfied with their representation?
It’s important to choose a civilian military attorney who has not only been in the game for a good while, but also someone who has been successful recently. Your attorney should be working on a regular basis and up-to-date with current practices. Choose someone who works with cases like yours on a day-to-day basis.
You’ll feel most comfortable and work best with an attorney that you consider reliable. From the very first contact, does this attorney return your emails? Is he or she consistent in returning calls and answering questions? Does he or she make time to meet with you? If something happened concerning your case and you needed to reach your attorney as soon as possible, are you confident that your attorney would make it a priority to speak with you at their earliest convenience?
You should also feel comfortable speaking with your attorney about any personal details that might concern your case. If your attorney discusses other clients’ personal information freely or doesn’t explicitly inform you that your information will be confidential, they probably are not the most trustworthy attorney. You need to be confident that anything you share with your attorney will not go to anyone else without your permission.
And of course, choose an attorney who is not going to completely break your bank. You should be able to move past this legal bump in the road without your family having to sacrifice because the attorney charged so much money for representation. Do your research and be sure that your attorney is charging a fair amount for the work they are doing.
It’s also good to be sure you are not paying too little. A competent civilian military attorney will be confident enough in their work to charge a competent fee.
If you’re ready to begin the search for a good military civilian lawyer, we are confident you won’t need to look further than Military Trial Defenders. We are experienced, successful, reliable, trustworthy, and affordable. Contact us today to touch base with an attorney.