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Factors to Consider in Choosing Counsel


Law Books and Gavel

The biggest decision anyone can make at the start of a criminal case is choosing the right attorney to fight for them. Though an attorney is considered to be of a sufficient competency by merely passing the bar exam, the quality of your representation can vary widely based on certain factors.

You need an attorney who specializes in your area of law. Your cousin Vinny who is a tax attorney may be a nice guy who knows the basics of criminal law, but he is certainly not the guy to handle your criminal case. You need an attorney who keeps up to date on changing case law, and has experience with all the nuances of the criminal law system.

You need an experienced attorney. An attorney in his first or second out of lawschool may be intelligent and enthusiastic. However, some lessons about the criminal law system are only learned with time. Any attorney will tell you that the practice of law is one of constant learning. Each new case adds new weapons to that attorney's arsenal, and also shows pitfalls to avoid.

You need an attorney who has experience practicing in your region. It is important that your attorney have a professional relationship with the judges, prosecuting attorneys, and the defense bar in the county you are charged in. Every judge has different tendencies, and knowing these tendencies allow an attorney to present their case in a way that is most effective with that judge. An attorney with a good reputation and working relationship with prosecutors and other attorneys in your area allows for the effective and efficient disposition of your case. Many judges will frown on the "big shot" out of town attorney who bills $700/hr. You don't want an out of region attorney that has to play phone tag with a DA who has never seen his face before.

Most importantly, there is an intangible personal relationship of trust that is important to have with your counsel. You need an attorney that you feel you can trust, and you feel comfortable with representing you. You need an attorney who understands your concerns in your criminal case and can understand where you're coming from. Some attorneys will not mesh well with you and some will. It is important to meet with your attorney to see if they're someone you would trust making decisions that will affect the rest of your life.

Attorney Frank Walker is an experienced Top 100 Criminal Defense Attorney that has years of practice in Allegheny County, Morgantown West Virginia, and the surrounding areas. As an attorney barred in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, Frank Walker has years of experience handling hundreds of cases in these courts and is a professional, personable attorney whom you can trust. Call for a consultation today! Call (412) 315-7441 for our office in Pennsylvania or dial (304) 712-2089 to reach us in West Virginia.