Does Your Attorney Give Bad Advice?

Wed, Dec 26, 2012

General Legal Issues

524782536_9920554fbb_bHow would you know? Sometimes it is a gut feeling and sometimes you know after comparing it advice others are receiving. However, how do you know your attorney is wrong?

One would hope that all attorneys try to give the best advice they can. One also hopes it is legal and sound. SmithLaw strives to provide the best counsel we can. That is why we are not concerned when clients want a second opinion. In addition, we often provide second opinions for the clients of other attorneys. This is common in the legal profession, as it is in the medical profession.

Nevertheless, sometimes clients are afraid to get a second opinion in fear of upsetting their attorney or potentially damaging their case. While there might sometimes be reason for concern here, overall a second opinion can often clarify matters. Therefore, whether your attorney gives bad advice or not, do not be afraid to seek the legal counsel you desire.

So, back to the original question, does your attorney give bad advice?  Maybe they do. How will you know? Well, you could do an Internet search—everyone’s favorite way to find out stuff. Maybe you will find some attorney websites and blogs that offer different advice than your attorney. And maybe you will not. Then you might do some research on concrete legal opinions on cases. Then you might ask your friend Joe what he thinks. And these might all be different from your attorney’s opinion, at least partially. What is the big difference here? Your attorney should know all about the specifics of your case. They should also know what your state’s laws are. And they hopefully should have some prior experience with judges and other legal professionals in your area. And that is a big difference.

So, your attorney might still be giving you bad advice, but it also might just be tailor-made for your specific situation and differs from the norm. This is especially true in certain types of cases, especially divorces. Everyone will have an opinion about your divorce—many of those emotionally charged. And that area of law is so nuanced that opinions can vary widely. In something like a tax case or a Florida bankruptcy—there is probably less room for difference, but there are still many variables that could be affecting your case.

What should you do if you just aren’t sure you should follow your attorney’s advice? Definitely get a second opinion. Make sure you find an attorney experienced in the appropriate area of law and then discuss the case with them. It might take more than an hour or two for them to fully form an opinion on your case but they should be able to advise you on their thoughts about the case. Then you can compare the two opinions. Ultimately, some of the decision is going to be a judgment call by you of who to go with.

The best way to avoid hiring an attorney you do not trust is by checking out him or her before hiring them. Check with trusted friends, other professionals, and through attorney websites that provide information about attorneys. Internet research can be helpful for finding out about past cases and for reviews of the attorney. We have written two blog posts about this in the past: My attorney is ignoring me. How do I fix this issue (or help avoid it to begin with)? and Customer Service Skills—Does Your Attorney Have Them? Do not be afraid to get a second opinion and/or ask your attorney to clarify their opinions.

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