Before proceeding to verdicts and settlements please read this introduction. The following is written for the people seeking an attorney. If you looking for general information regarding verdicts and settlements in Florida and wish to to proceed to the verdicts and settlement page click here . If you are looking for an attorney please read the following before you continue.
Although large verdicts are impressive, each case is unique and the amount of a verdict does not necessarily reflect the the skill required to obtain the result. There is an old joke told by trial lawyers to illustrate the significance of an isolated verdict or settlement. It is said that " the best way to win a million dollar case is to get a three million dollar case and not mess it up too bad."
A lesson lurks in that old joke; the big verdict may not be due the lawyer's skill, but result from the nature of the case, a favorable jury panel, an adorable plaintiff or other factors. Jury verdicts cannot be predicted with a high degree of certainty. If the same case is tried the same way ten times, ten different results can be expected. Also, verdicts tend to be associated with the geographical area where a case is tried - venue is an important factor in trial results.
As you visit websites, look through the phone book or view TV ads, you may see listings of organizational memberships. Group membership alone provides little helpful information. For example, you may be informed that an attorney is member elite group of "million dollar lawyers." However, the significance of membership in any organization must be determined by examining any qualifications required by the group. Some organizations are open to attorneys that simply pay dues; others may allow a lawyer to join simply because he or she has settled a case for a certain amount without regard to nature or difficulty of the case.
Many State Bar associations provide for designation of legal specialties. The Florida bar has established certification programs for lawyers in nineteen different legal specialties. Cases involving injury or death are classified civil cases and typically require the services of a civil trial lawyer. To become a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer in Florida, the lawyer must have substantial jury trial experience, maintain continuing legal education requirements, pass a specialized exam and undergo a peer review process. According to the Florida Bar:
Certification is the highest level of recognition by The Florida Bar of the competency and experience of attorneys in the areas of law approved for certification by the Supreme Court of Florida.
For specifics on civil trial certification, including a list of practice areas and certified attorneys you can search the Florida Bar website. To open the Florida Bar website in a new window, click here.
Never select an attorney with an expectation that past results can be duplicated, however, make no mistake - the commitment of an attorney to develop and maintain trial skills is an important factor that you should consider in your selection process. Over time, attorneys develop a reputation in their community. Insurance companies and their attorneys are often the ones most familiar with an attorney's reputation and know whether an attorney is willing take a difficult case to trial. Therefore, the experience of your attorney may affect settlement value and trial results.
An attorney should not be selected upon solely upon the basis of an isolated verdict, upon advertising or because of a catchy slogan. Sound bite slogans such as "in good hands" and "like a good neighbor" are often used by insurance companies to attract new customers. However, these slogans rarely reflect how claims are handled. You should not select an insurance company or a lawyer based on a slogan. Instead, you should determine whether the attorney that you select has the experience and qualifications necessary for your particular case.
Feel free to ask us about our trial experience and our efforts to maintain our trial skills. We believe our track record will demonstrate that we work hard for the people we represent.