On many occasions I receive telephone calls from potential clients that are seeking competent legal counsel to assist them in their very difficult time of their lives. After speaking with them and listening to how their life would be turned upside down if they were convicted of a crime (ie. loss of job, loss of income, loss of driver's license) or if they have anything on their criminal record, I sensed that they would do anything and everything to hire the best attorney to fight their uphill battle.
After spending much time with the client during our free consultation, I quote them a reasonable fee given the complexity of the case. They tell me that they have been doing their due diligence and have met with several attorneys. They then ask if we can match the other attorney's quotes. What the client doesn't realize is that they are not comparing apples to apples. Not all attorneys are created equal. What sets us apart from the other attorneys is that 1) we are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week 2) we have extensive litigation experience 3) we are former state prosecutors 4) we know the players (judges/prosecutors) in the game and 5) we are empathetic to our client's situation and are top rated attorneys in the legal community.
The potential clients who have clearly done their due diligence in the hiring process, will hire Hager & Schwartz, PA to competently and aggressively navigate them through the criminal justice system in this most difficult time of their life. The other potential clients, "the bargain hunters", who are looking for a bargain usually hire 1) the attorneys that are typically fresh out of law school and have little to no experience 2) incompetent attorneys who will lie to them and give them false hope just so that they can pay their bills and 3) "bottom feeders", attorneys that will take in a high volume of cases and quote very minimal fees and then fail to show up in court on their client's behalf because their client is just a number to them and not a person with a real life problem.
The "bargain hunters" truly think that they are getting a great deal because they found an attorney to handle their case for such a cheap price. What the "bargain hunters" don't know is that they will have to hire another attorney
- to remove a warrant that was issued against them because their attorney failed to appear in court on their behalf
- to assist them in vacating a plea that never should have been accepted
- because their previous attorney never did a minute worth of work on their case
The "bargain hunters" then end up spending a lot more money to correct their mishandled case because a lot more work needs to be done to right the wrong by their previous attorney.
So, when hiring an attorney, one question that you should ask yourself is, do you really get the benefit of a bargain?