Consumer fraud is a serious issue that can have a far-reaching impact on your life. This type of crime may include everything from auto fraud to credit repair fraud, investor fraud, pyramid schemes and more. If someone benefited from unfair or deceptive actions at your expense, you may be a victim of consumer fraud. Legal protections are in place, and you can pursue justice through the court system if you believe that you have been a victim of consumer fraud.
The first step to take is to hire a skilled consumer fraud attorney to represent you. Your attorney’s efforts will play a significant role in the outcome of your case as well as your experience throughout the case. While there are many lawyers who are happy to take on a consumer fraud case, everything from their experience to their caseload and other factors will play a role in your case. With this in mind, what should you look for when interviewing lawyers that deal with fraud cases?
What Is Your Experience with This Specialization?
You understandably need to reach the best outcome available under the law. Consumer fraud is a broad area of the law that can cover a wide range of case types. Each unique area of consumer fraud may have specialized strategies that have worked well in the past. While you may feel more comfortable hiring an attorney who has specific experience generating positive outcomes for cases similar to yours, be aware that a skilled attorney with deep knowledge of case law may yield excellent results for you as well.
Do You Have Special Training or Certifications Related to Consumer Fraud?
After a lawyer passes the bar exam, there are many specialized educational opportunities that he or she can pursue. Beyond formal education, some attorneys may work with special organizations or groups that are related to consumer fraud. Additional training and specialized experience beyond casework can help to solidify a lawyer’s base of relevant knowledge, and these combined factors could play a role in strengthening your case. While you can read about some experiences and certifications on a lawyer’s online bio, consider making a verbal inquiry during a consultation. This gives the attorney the opportunity to tell you more about how those experiences and certifications are relevant to your specific case.
What Is Your Caseload?
Your lawyer should give your case the full attention that it deserves, and his or her caseload will directly affect this. Be aware that some cases require more of an attorney’s attention than others. Because of this, you should dig deeper. Rather than accept a flat numerical answer, ask how his or her caseload today compares to what is typical for the attorney. In addition, inquire about which other staff members will be working on your case. Who will be doing the majority of the work, and what are his or her credentials? If there is another key individual who will play a role in your case, ask to meet with that person as well.
How Strong Is My Case?
During an initial consultation, the attorney should ask questions to gain a solid understanding of the case. Toward the end of the consultation, ask the lawyer about the strengths and weaknesses of the case. The response will give you a good indication of how well he or she understands the case. It may also tell you about steps that could be taken to strengthen the case before proceeding and about the strategies that the attorney may use to produce a positive outcome.
Are There Other Options?
A lawsuit is not always the only solution. Some lawyers may be eager to get a new client rather than to actually serve that client’s best interests. There may not be other options for pursuing justice in all situations. However, when you ask this question to several different lawyers upfront, you can get a solid understanding of which lawyers may be focused on producing the best overall outcome for you.
What Are Your Fees?
There are many legal fee structures in place. For example, some lawyers will work on a contingency basis, so your legal fees will be paid out of the damages collected. Some may collect a retainer, and others may bill you on a monthly basis or when a predetermined threshold is met. In addition to differences in pay structure, there are differences in hourly rates and in billing time increments.
Schedule a Consultation Today
Because there are many lawyers that deal with fraud cases, the importance of an initial consultation cannot be underestimated. The consultation is your time to dig deeper and to learn more about the lawyer’s strengths as they apply to your case. Consider consulting with several attorneys so that you can more clearly identify the lawyer who is the best fit for your needs.