There really isn’t a reliable way for your to know what other lawyers think of the attorney you are considering hiring other than to ask around. Even then, it’s not as if most firms will give an honest opinion because they are worried about it biting them in the butt.
We are happy to tell you what we think of any attorney or firm, even the ones that are not in our state wide network. There are plenty of great firms we don’t work with on cases, but that doesn’t mean they are great. There are also those lawyers who take on too many cases and treat their clients like garbage which leads to those clients calling us to look for a new firm.
Some lawyers only have bad reputations when it comes to other lawyers. In other words, it’s possible their clients like them, but they’ve made a lot of enemies. Other attorneys make you wonder how they stay in business.
Recently I was sent an e-mail chain that was sent to some Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys who were asking about the reputation of another lawyer with the possibility of offering him a job. The responses were blunt. Here were the best ones:
He’s a LIAR.
He once hid in the bathroom to avoid talking to me on a case.
He had his associate lie about where he was saying he was in court. I then discovered he was in the office.
Never shows up to court before 10 a.m. (note that Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission court starts at 9 a.m.).
Sells out his clients.
That’s just a sampling, but you get the idea. He was not getting a job offer and certainly isn’t the type of attorney that you want in your corner because they aren’t actually in your corner.
You often don’t know that you might the wrong decision in hiring until it’s too late, but if you notice that your attorney isn’t being honest, doesn’t return calls, yells at you, doesn’t follow through, is often gone, etc. then those red flags should tell you to get a new firm before it’s too late. It’s not what you should want to happen, but it also doesn’t cost anything to switch.
Most people have good common sense. You don’t have to hire a lawyer you want to hang out with, but you should hire someone that inspires confidence. There are hundreds of work comp attorneys in Illinois. Some good, some not so much. Keep looking until you have a good one.