As I have already discussed, many attorneys try to focus on one or two areas of law. I am considered a general practitioner, but do focus on agriculture, and try not to do family law. I have also written about getting the most for a person’s money. Anyone that knows me would probably say that I am thrifty. In that same vein of thinking, when selecting an attorney that works for you, you should look to the other skills that they offer, or what I refer to as “tools in the toolbelt.”
Many counties are requiring cases under $50,000.00 to go to Mandatory Arbitration, or MAR. So if you know your case value (excluding attorney’s fees) is $50,000.00 or under, it might be a good idea to find an attorney that focuses on arbitration and mediation. Maybe taken some continued learning education classes or someone that acts as a mediator or arbitrator as well as an attorney. Those individuals know what mediators or arbitrators look for to move the case forward to resolution.
In looking for a bankruptcy attorney, selecting someone that knows how to value property may be helpful if there are issues as to exempt property. In real estate cases, someone that understands real estate law, and has the connections with real estate appraisers and real estate agents already to move the case along.
The bottom line is that an attorney has to have more than just a law degree, they need to have tools in their toolbelt. Most attorneys are aware that they need these tools, and work towards adding tools when needed.
My toolbelt to help a client has continued to grow. Added to my law degree, I am also a certified personal property appraiser, have mediation credits and have worked numerous mediation and arbitration cases, and have a vast network of real property experts, to name a few. The key to moving any case forward is having a great team of people to work with and knowing who to call as an expert. When looking for an attorney to represent you, make sure you find out all you can in regards to what other assets that attorney brings to the table. Tools in the toolbelt are needed to really work a case and get the most out of every situation.