We know how personal, business, and property damage can disrupt your world. You suddenly have to handle the physical, emotional, mental, and financial stressors resulting from the incident. And, if you were wronged or harmed by another party, there may be legal ramifications to sort through.
Finding an attorney to be in your corner is valuable, as long as they are the right advocate for you. If you don’t know where or how to begin, follow our 10 steps below. We at Huber Thomas Law want to help simplify this overwhelming process for you.
1. Determine if it’s the right time to hire an attorney.
If you have recently been harmed by the negligence or carelessness of another, it may be time to seek the support of an attorney. It’s important to begin the process of hiring an attorney as soon as possible, giving your legal team ample time to protect your best interests.
When the following events occur, be sure to get your search started immediately.
- Physical injury due to negligence, including vehicle accidents or slip and fall
- Wrongful actions against your business
- Injury due to a product’s design, manufacturing, or label defect
- Property damage following a natural disaster
2. Decide what type of attorney you need.
Many attorneys specialize in a specific type of law, whether through a certification or a long history in a specific practice area. Deep knowledge and experience set clients up for better case success. There are many attorney specialties, including estate planning, intellectual property, and personal injury, to name a few. Below are a few specific cases and the type of attorney needed for each.
Physical Injury Due to Negligence
If you were injured in an automobile, rideshare, trucking, motorcycle, bicycle, pedestrian, or boating accident, you need a personal injury attorney. You will also need to seek a personal injury attorney if you’ve experienced a slip and fall on someone else’s property.
Wrongful Actions Against Your Business
If you and your business have been financially harmed through the negligent or fraudulent acts of an individual or another business, you must hire an attorney who deals with business torts. These actions could include contract interference, restraint of trade, theft of trade secrets, misrepresentation, trade libel, or defamation.
Injury Due to a Product’s Design, Manufacturing, or Label Defect
When a product has caused you harm, you must hire a product liability attorney quickly. Injury caused by a product could be due to a design, manufacturing, or label defect. A product liability attorney will help you navigate the complexities of these cases and hold companies accountable for any damage.
Property Damage Following a Natural Disaster
In the Gulf South, we are all too familiar with the profound losses natural disasters can cause. There are ways to recover if you have a property damage attorney in your corner. A property damage attorney can help you navigate insurance claims after the flood, hurricane, fire, and tornado damage. Hiring a property damage attorney can also be advantageous in the event of willful damage, including graffiti and arson.
3. Research attorneys in New Orleans.
Once you understand what type of attorney you need, it’s time to do your due diligence before hiring one. By searching “personal injury attorneys near me” or “property damage attorney New Orleans” online via Google, you’ll find listings and websites that match your search. Take a glimpse at the websites of the firms and attorneys listed to get an idea of whether they match the type of assistance you need.
4. Evaluate attorney experience.
Many attorneys and firms include their “resumé” of experience on their websites. However, experience is about more than where the attorneys went to law school. Review each firm's history and success stories to get an idea of their level of experience in your specific area of need.
5. Read attorney reviews and ask around.
A firm’s reputation is an important factor to consider when choosing an attorney to hire. By asking personal connections, such as family and friends, and reading online reviews, you can get a good idea of their trustworthiness, integrity, and success rate. Community reviews can be found in places like Facebook business pages and Google listings.
6. Schedule more than one attorney consultation.
To be your best advocate, and find the best advocate for you, scheduling more than one consultation with a list of attorneys is key. This is a time when you can ask your potential attorney all of your most pressing questions before hiring them. Many firms provide free consultations for this reason, allowing potential clients to fully evaluate their firm’s approach, fee structure, and compatibility.
7. Prepare a list of questions to ask each attorney.
Before your consultations, prepare a list of questions that you would like to ask each attorney. Asking each firm the same set of questions will give you an idea of their comfortability with your type of case, compatibility with you as a client, and communication style in educating you about your case. Common questions include:
- What is your experience with my type of case?
- How many cases have you handled in [insert type of law]?
- What have been some of your case outcomes?
- What is your typical approach or process?
- Do you have trial experience?
- Can you send me references from past clients?
- What is your current assessment of my case?
- How will you keep me updated on my case?
- What outcome do you expect for my case?
- When do you expect this case to be resolved?
- What is your fee structure?
- Are there any additional costs I should be mindful of?
No question is off the table when it comes to finding the right attorney for you. A trustworthy attorney will want to make sure you are equipped with knowledge regarding your case.
8. Compare attorney fee structures and affordability.
Financial affordability should be considered before hiring an attorney. Fee structures differ depending on the attorney or firm. Some may charge a flat fee or by the hour, and some will charge a fee based on a percentage of the winnings in your case.
Payment By the Hour
Some attorneys charge their clients based on the number of hours worked. These hours accumulate through client meetings, case research, document drafting and reviewing, and time spent in court. The hours spent on these activities will then be multiplied by the attorney’s hourly rate and billed to you on a predetermined schedule. Some attorneys may even charge a retainer fee that can be withdrawn as they bill you for services.
When working with an attorney who has an hourly fee, be sure to review the itemized bill carefully for any discrepancies. This bill will contain a total of the hours spent, a description of the work done, and the hourly rate charge.
Payment Through Flat Fee
For uncomplicated matters, some attorneys charge a flat fee. This flat fee will cover the service and the specific activities it requires, no matter how long the case takes. You’ll receive an agreement with all service and flat fee details and be expected to pay this flat fee upfront. You will not be charged additional fees unless you request additional services, the scope of work shifts, or unexpected issues arise. In the event of these circumstances, your attorney will revise the agreement and require your approval before pursuing additional services.
Payment Through Contingency
Of all fee structures, contingency is the most cost-effective for the client. The attorney will not charge you an hourly or flat fee, but they will charge you based on the case outcome. This means your attorney will only get paid if they are successful in recovering money for you. If the case is not successful, you are not responsible for paying your attorney.
Typical contingency fees are 33.33-40% of recovered compensation and will be agreed upon before the work begins. Your contract will outline all of the contingency terms, including how the attorney fee is calculated and any additional expenses that may be deducted. These additional expenses may include fees for depositions, witnesses, or filing. Please note that a contingency fee is not permissible in every type of case.
9. Choose the attorney that is the most compatible.
If you’ve found attorneys who have the right specialty, experience, reputation, and fee structure, but still can’t decide whom to choose, go with your gut. Ask yourself if the attorney made you feel seen, heard, and reassured. Their resumé and reputation mean nothing if they cannot treat you with the dignity and respect you deserve. An attorney who is truly in your corner will be a fierce advocate who listens to your needs.
10. Understand your Representation Agreement.
When you’ve made your choice, be sure to fully understand the agreement between you and your attorney. All of the terms of your relationship will be documented in an easy-to-understand, one-page contract, your Representation Agreement, that will outline all of these topics.
Scope of Work
Your engagement letter will detail the services your attorney will provide and stipulate any services or activities that may be deemed “out of scope.”
Whether hourly, flat, or based on contingency, your attorney’s fee structure, including hourly rates and/or contingency percentages, will be outlined in the engagement letter. The payment schedule will also be outlined and agreed upon.
Your engagement letter will also express what is expected of you in working toward a successful case. You will be required to cooperate fully, including supplying documents and information that will support your case.
Your attorney should reassure you that your case will be kept confidential. However, there may be cases in which information must be disclosed. The parameters regarding case confidentiality will be detailed in the engagement letter.
Termination of Contract
If either party needs to end the case, a termination clause will outline guidance for doing so. This clause will specify how the contract may be terminated and the fees associated with termination.
Add Huber Thomas to Your Attorney Search
The process of finding an experienced attorney you can trust can be overwhelming. At Huber Thomas Law, we want potential and current clients to be equipped with knowledge and confidence. This sense of trust is how we’ve recovered millions of dollars for our clients within our practice specialties:
- Personal Injury
- Business Torts
- Products Liability
- Property Damage
We take the stress off of you through clear communication, informed guidance, swift action, and personal attention. Contact Huber Thomas Law when you’re ready to work with a tireless advocate for your case.
Litigation is defined as the process of taking legal action. From individuals to companies, the issues that lead to litigation are usually solved through mediation, formal arguments in a court hearing, or trial.
When it comes to business litigation, the issues at hand involve business entities, such as companies and their employees. Likewise, the parties involved may also be sole proprietors or even business partners.
These lawsuits require extensive evidence in the form of documentation, as well as research and witnesses. What’s more, it can take years to reach a settlement, especially when large sums of money are at stake. The good news is, that a business litigation attorney can assist when these issues arise.
Types Of Business Litigation
From workplace discrimination to a breach of contract allegations, business litigation encompasses a wide range of different issues. Some may involve a large company with hundreds of employees. Others may be an issue between a single employee and a small family-owned business. Here are some of the most common examples of issues that lead to a need for business litigation services.
We spend much of our lives doing our jobs, so perhaps it’s no surprise that employment issues are common. Most of these issues require us to navigate both federal and state law. Examples of employment disputes include, but are not limited to:
- Issues over wages, hours, and breaks
- Workplace harassment
- Wrongful termination or retaliation
- Breach of non-compete or nondisclosure agreements
- FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) violations
Don’t see your particular employment issue listed here? Please note, that this is not an exhaustive list. At Huber Thomas, we understand that every industry and workplace is unique. Contact us to learn more about how we may represent you in a business litigation case.
In some cases, the issue isn’t between an employer and employee, but between business partners. Issues may arise over misappropriated funds, wrongful activity, or simple disagreements regarding how to run the company. These claims often involve one partner breaching a fiduciary duty to another partner.
While the perfect scenario would be internal problem solving, some disagreements become full-blown feuds. This type of case requires a business litigation attorney to represent the interests of each party.
Breach of contract
Contracts are a part of everyday life, especially in the world of business. Terms of employment and transactions for services are just a few aspects of companies that are contractual in nature.
The success of your business depends on everyone fulfilling the obligations they are contracted for. Unfortunately, breaches of contract are common, and they can have a serious impact on all parties.
This is another area of business law that can vary greatly from state to state. For this reason, it’s important to have an experienced business litigation attorney in your corner. This person can properly navigate the issues at hand and build a case for companies and/or individual parties.
Businesses and independent contractors depend on the right to own intellectual property. This is often the reputation an entire career is built upon. It’s also the source of continued revenue and financial stability. Examples include:
- Trade secrets – Confidential business information that gives you an edge against other companies in your industry
- Trademarks – Words, symbols, or colors that distinctly differentiate your brand from other competitors
- Copyrights – Rights to distribute your intellectual property, such as software, graphic arts, books, etc.
- Patents – Utility or design rights to an invention that prevents others from stealing your ideas
Class actions or product liability
For businesses providing products or services, there is a lot of pressure and responsibility. Even with the best processes in place, issues may arise. When many customers, clients, or even employees have been affected, the result can be a class-action lawsuit.
- Injuries or illness due to a product
- Data breaches
- Employment practices
These types of lawsuits can be devastating for a business as they drain finances and consume a lot of time. A business litigation attorney can help you protect and defend your business by building a strong case. If settlements are necessary, you will have someone to advise you and help negotiate a fair sum.
Why Hire A Business Litigation Lawyer?
Lawsuits take time and money. Unfortunately, it’s common for legal battles to drag on for years. This is both costly and exhausting. Don’t let this complicated process distract from your career and disrupt your personal life.
A business litigation lawyer will handle the delicate process of navigating a lawsuit. From filing papers with the court system to communicating with the other party, your attorney will bear the burden for you.
In most cases, you can expect your attorney to:
- Research the facts, circumstances, and documentation
- Determine what type of experts or witnesses will be necessary
- Identify case law and any prior lawsuits that have set a precedent
- Communicate with the other party and/or their legal counsel
- Schedule and coordinate court dates in addition to preparing briefs for submission
When you have legal representation, you can focus on keeping your business or career on track. A business litigation lawyer is one of the best investments you can make when you’re facing a lawsuit. This advice stands for both plaintiffs and defendants.
What is the difference between business litigation and corporate law?
The legal industry is incredibly diverse. In addition to various areas of practice, lawyers also separate when it comes to litigation and corporate law. What is the difference? In theory, one spends more time in the courtroom than the other.
Business litigation attorneys spend the vast majority of time tied up in legal battles. Whether they’re in the courtroom or in mediation, they’re actively dealing with lawsuits. If you are planning to sue, or you’re being sued, you want a litigator in your corner. These attorneys have the experience necessary to help companies and individuals win cases.
On the other hand, corporate law is a term that encompasses advising and preparing a business. They will draft contracts, provide advice on business structuring, and help business owners understand their legal obligations. This is an important practice that usually calls for an ongoing relationship between a business owner and a legal team or adviser.
Huber Thomas Law: Your Business Litigation Team
Business litigation is no easy feat, regardless of how big or small the issues are. When you’re facing this type of lawsuit, you need a team of experts you can trust.
At Huber Thomas Law, we have extensive knowledge and experience on our side. In addition to working tirelessly for our clients, we make it our mission to clearly explain the legal process. Business litigation often involves confusing jargon and lengthy contracts. Our attorneys will take the time to clearly explain everything you need to know.
What Sets Us Apart
When you partner with Huber Thomas Law, you benefit from a collaborative approach that yields victorious results. Our entire team of highly-experienced business litigation attorneys will work together, bringing individual unique knowledge to the table. This diversity allows us to see a case from several different angles.
In reality, most cases settle outside of court. Lawsuits are expensive and time-consuming, even for the largest corporations. This is why mediation and negotiating are the first choice for most individuals and companies. That said, we still prepare for every case as if it is going before a jury or judge. This means thorough research and expert witnesses help us build your case, resulting in better chances of securing the compensation you deserve.
Our Case Victories
We take great pride in our case victories because they demonstrate tireless efforts that produce serious results. We’ve helped our clients secure millions of dollars in a range of different business litigation cases, including:
- Over $50 million in assets for a business owner who was defrauded by business partners and employees
- A $7 million jury award for a business owner who was unjustly written out of a business deal by his partners
- $3 million for a client who suffered extensive damages from a failed joint business venture
- $42 million for victims harmed by home health companies and physicians committing Medicare fraud
To learn more about how we can assist in your case, we encourage you to read about our previous success stories.
Schedule A Consultation
It’s normal to feel anxious when legal troubles are on the horizon. At Huber Thomas, our goal is to take that burden on for you. With our team of business litigation attorneys, you won’t have to worry about the outcome of your case. Are you living outside of Louisiana? Members of our team are licensed to practice in Mississippi, Texas, and Washington D.C. If you’d like to discuss the details of your case, please contact us for a free and confidential consultation. This is the best way to determine the next steps that will help you reach a conclusion.