Interviewer:: Besides the experience and besides focusing on DWI, what other credentials should people look for when they’re interviewing different attorneys, and what warning signs should tell them they shouldn’t talk to this person?
Eric: Well, we find that somebody who has actually been practicing criminal law for a longer time than not, would be to your advantage. And then, of course, like I said, focusing on DWI. But there a lot of lawyers who don’t necessarily focus on DWI cases, but you want to find somebody who goes into the courtroom, somebody who knows the court system, knows the county in which the case is pending, all of that will come in handy.
Not whether or not they know the judges or the prosecutors, because nobody’s going to give anybody favors. But certainly you want to know where the courthouse is, you want to know how to tell the client where to go, and what to expect, because you want to make the client feel at ease. The client should feel at ease after talking to the lawyer. They should feel better; they should feel that they have now been educated about what is going to happen. So when a potential client, when somebody calls a lawyer, the client should be interviewing the lawyer as well, and they should get the feeling that this person knows what they’re talking about, and has answered the client’s questions. That’s what we do.
Eric: When somebody talks to us, whether it’s on the telephone or here in person, we spend as much time as the client wants and the client needs to answer all of their questions, to educate them about what their case is – what to expect, and how it’s going to proceed. This makes people feel much more at ease about the case that they’ve actually contacted the right attorney.
Interviewer:: Are there any warning signs that will tell someone that they might not be talking to the best person for them?
Eric: Yeah, somebody who doesn’t understand about the collateral consequences. Somebody who, the client, whose hung up the phone or is talking to a lawyer and says, “I just don’t feel confidence in that person.” Somebody who says, “I have a general practice. I do a little of this and a little of that.” Somebody who says, “I don’t handle a lot of DWI cases,” and if they say they handle a lot of DWI cases then the potential client should ask them questions about how does the case start, what’s the next step and along the lines in just about in which we speak about: license issues, Department of Motor Vehicles issues, the collateral issues, possible fines, possible sanctions to the person. So if the lawyer doesn’t know the answers to these things, then the person should say this is not really the person who should be representing me on these cases.
By Eric Sachs