How to Pick a Lawyer or Law Firm in a Criminal Case

With the Tennessee legislature restricting the rights of citizens to pursue their rights for injuries on the job or in accidents, more lawyers have entered the field of criminal law, irrespective of their lack of training or experience. Unfortunately the need to obtain clients has resulted in some questionable, if not illegal, practices under the present rules regulating lawyer advertising.

Approximately 15-20 law firms or individuals obtain the daily arrest reports from the criminal clerk's office and write letters to defendants who have been arrested soliciting their business.

Jail trustees, jailers, bail bondsmen, and others historically have financial or business relationships with certain law firms that are recommended by these groups to defendants. Those individuals have also used the tactics of making negative statements about other attorneys who the defendant may have been considering to hire.

"He/she is not liked by the judge," "he/she is too expensive," "attorney _________ can get you some help with the district attorney/judge" are just a few of the false representations made by these runners in their efforts to steer a defendant towards a particular lawyer or law firm.

For a case that affects nothing less than the very freedom of the accused, the best way to select an attorney to represent an accused is to interview more than one attorney. Then, for each attorney, check on their experience, legal standing in the community, ascertain their rating with legitimate groups such as Martindale-Hubbell, and try to obtain as much information about each lawyer as you can.