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Second Opinions

Lawyers litigate challenging cases every day. It's easy, then, for them to lose track of what they're doing. Your case might be just another in the pile for your attorney, but to you, it might be your entire life. You wouldn't accept a terminal diagnosis from a doctor without a second opinion. Nor would you allow your boss to fire you for something you didn't do. So don't accept the word of a single lawyer, particularly if that lawyer tells you you have no case or that your claim is unwinnable. We offer second opinions that you can take back to your original lawyer. If you'd rather choose someone else, we'll happily represent you in your claim.

When Should You Get a Legal Second Opinion?

Every lawyer adopts a slightly different approach to their cases. Many clients are tempted to only seek a second opinion when they don’t like the lawyer’s opinion or believe that he or she has undervalued their case. The truth is that a second opinion can be beneficial any time you get a quote from a lawyer. A lawyer who greatly overvalues your case sets you up for failure and disappointment if he or she is unable to recover the amount promised. So consider a second opinion as form of legal insurance, and seek it before hiring any lawyer.

Why Shouldn’t I Trust the Opinion of a Single Lawyer?

Though the law is supposed to be predictable, it rarely is. One lawyer’s reading of your case might be quite different from another. Moreover, lawyers’ competencies vary greatly, and clients are notoriously bad at assessing their lawyers’ competence. Most research shows that clients like their lawyers when they make big promises, and dislike them when they don’t. But this doesn’t help you determine whether your lawyer’s promises are reliable! Never rely on the word of a single lawyer. The best judge of your lawyer’s work and potential output is another attorney.

The Subjective Nature of the Law

Lawyers have to rely on myriad sources of information when making legal assessments. Statutes—the laws that you can find if you pull up a book of laws—are one source, but court opinions help further interpret these laws. In some cases, government regulatory bodies might also offer insight. Every lawyer must synthesize this information when making an assessment of each and every case. Doing so is not easy, particularly since court opinions are not always consistent. A second opinion helps you evaluate the quality of work your original lawyer did, so you can decide whether to continue pursuing your case.

Contingency Cases and Second Opinions

Most personal injury lawyers take cases on a contingency basis. That’s a good thing for the client, since it gives the lawyer a strong incentive to win; otherwise he or she doesn’t get paid. The problem is when the case is viable, but the value is relatively low. A winning case might not be worth a lawyer’s time if it requires a lot of effort. This is where second opinions matter a lot. Some lawyers don’t correctly value a case, so they opt not to take it—even if it could be a big winner in the hands of another litigator.

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