I want to share a secret with you.
There is no way to objectively determine who is the “Best trial lawyer” anywhere.
I could name ten excellent trial lawyers, colleagues of mine, in New York who have been able to achieve remarkable verdicts, settlements and results in the state of New York. However, any one of those lawyers may not be the best lawyer for you. That may seem kind of odd coming from me, an experienced medical malpractice trial lawyer who has spent his career helping injured victims obtain compensation for their injuries. However, the reality is that not every lawyer is right for every injured client.
Let me give you an example. You could take five injured victims who went to five different lawyers. Each one of them could tell you that they achieved great results on their case. If you asked any of the five if they would recommend their lawyer to you, I am sure that each would say that you should go to their lawyer because he or she is the “Best lawyer in New York.”
When an attorney markets themselves and promotes their professional practice, we are not permitted to say that we are the "best" at anything. The word 'best' is an adjective that subjectively describes something.
The reason is that nobody can objectively determine whether they are in fact “The best.” There is no standard or guideline or test an attorney can take which will rank an attorney according to an objective scale, say a scale of 1-100 with 'the best' lawyer getting a score of 100 and the worst, a score of 1.
Having said that, there are still different criteria you should use to evaluate whether one attorney is better for you than another.
Obviously, you want someone who is experienced in handling your particular type of matter. You also want to know what type of results they have achieved based upon prior cases they have handled.
This is an interesting point. Why?
Because no lawyer can ever guarantee an outcome or a result. No matter how good a result an attorney is able to obtain for a former client or injured victim, you can never assume that they can get the same type of results for you.
However, a lawyer who has been in practice for many years and handles difficult and complex medical malpractice matters and has a long-standing history of achieving great results, has a different likelihood of knowing how to handle your case compared to a lawyer who may not have as much experience and understanding in how to handle your particular type of case.
In addition, you may decide you prefer to go to a solo practitioner where everyone knows your name.
You may decide that you want only one lawyer to handle your case from start to finish. For you, that may be the best lawyer. Others may decide that they want go to a large law firm where many people are working on their case at the same time. They may feel comfortable knowing that the same lawyer they initially meet with, will not be the same one who handles their case on a day-to-day basis. They may feel entirely comfortable that the attorney who represents them at their question and answer session, known as a deposition, will not be the same lawyer who represents them at trial. That's okay as long as they recognize the differences about which lawyer or law firm is right for them.
That is why in New York, you will not see attorneys advertise themselves by saying they are the “Best lawyer in New York.
QUESTION YOU SHOULD ASK EVERY ATTORNEY YOU SPEAK TO
Although an attorney may be able to achieve remarkable verdicts, I always suggest you ask the attorney how much did the client actually receive following the verdict.
The reason I suggest asking that question is because although a jury may have returned an extremely large award, rarely does an injured victim receive the full amount of that award. There are requests to reduce the award as well as appeals that follow such a noteworthy verdict. Many times a settlement will follow such a large award and the client will receive a fraction of what the jury originally determined they were entitled to.
WHO IS THE BEST LAWYER FOR YOU?
Who is the right lawyer for you?
Obviously, when you're searching for someone to help solve your legal problem you want an attorney you believe is the best at what they do. You want someone who is competent, experienced, knowledgeable and more important than anything else, you want them to make you feel special about your particular matter.
Only you can decide your comfort level with each lawyer or law firm you speak to. That's how you determine who is the best lawyer in New York for you.