From the moment you walk in the door.
You're under the microscope.
You've made an appointment to see an attorney.
You believe your doctor was careless.
You believe your injuries are permanent.
You're now looking for legal help and advice.
You think you're going to evaluate this attorney.
You think you're going to decide if this attorney is right for YOU.
What you don't know is that the attorney you're meeting with is trying to decide what type of witness you'll make at trial.
He needs to decide whether you are believable.
He needs to see, from the very first moment he meets you, what a jury will think of you, years from now at trial.
When listening to your story, he needs to know where's the liability.
He needs to know if a jury will 'buy' your story.
Will a jury understand your story?
Can your story be told in one or two sentences?
Is your story too complex?
Can it be broken down into simple concepts?
While you're telling this lawyer whom you've just met what happened to you, he's thinking about closing arguments.
What arguments can he make to persuade a jury that your doctor was careless?
What proof can he offer the jury to show that you are more likely right than wrong that what you are claiming is true?
Which medical experts will he need to hire and bring into court to testify that the injuries you have are because of your doctor's carelessness?
How many different treating medical doctors will he need to support your claims that your injuries are permanent?
This is what's going on in your attorney's mind as he meets with you the very first time.
This is what happens before he reviews any records.
Before he even agrees to take you on as a client.
"What will a jury think?"
"Will a jury like you?"
"Will a jury believe you?"
"Does your story convey a sense of wrongdoing that demands justice?"
"Are the issues obvious to everyone who hears them?"
By evaluating the end at the very beginning, an attorney can get a good sense of whether your case is a worthwhile investment.
An investment of his time.
An investment of his resources.
Since a medical malpractice attorney in New York does not get paid on an hourly basis, he has to make a wise investment.
He has to decide if there is a potential for you to win your case at trial.
Attorneys who handle these cases take your case on contingency ONLY if they believe you have a valid case and ONLY if a medical expert has confirmed you have a valid case.
That's a huge investment to make without knowing the ultimate and uncertain outcome.
That's why really good trial lawyers ALWAYS look ahead to the end when they meet with you for the very first time.
They want to SEE what a jury will likely do.
They want to SEE what a jury will feel.
Obviously an attorney cannot know for certain.
Obviously, there's no way to predict or guarantee the outcome.
Obviously, there's no saying these first impressions will remain after a detailed investigation.
Nor is there any way to say whether these first impressions will last during the litigation.
But the best lawyers do everything they can to analyze your story to SEE what is likely to happen.