What To Look For In Retaining A Personal Injury Attorney

February 2, 2016


There are many factors that go into a client’s search for the right personal injury attorney. It is crucial that you find a good “fit” with your attorney, because even if your attorney has good legal skills, if you have communication problems or you do not interact well with your attorney, it is often difficult (if not impossible) to achieve an ultimately satisfactory result. Even if you do somehow end up with a good monetary recovery, the friction and/or frustration you experience along the way may not be worth it. Surprisingly, although attorneys need excellent communication skills to be successful in front of a judge or jury, I often hear complaints about attorneys not being communicative with their clients! Even though attorneys are extremely busy, if a client has a question or suggestion about a case, the attorney needs to return telephone calls from a client as soon as possible. I believe this is crucial, both to ease the client’s mind and to make sure both the client and attorney are taking the right actions to ensure the best possible outcome in the case.

Sadly, I hear countless stories about attorneys not returning clients’ calls for weeks, or even months (in one case, even years), and clients should rightfully be upset about such uncaring treatment. I take great pride in returning virtually every call within 48-72 hours. I know how frustrated I am when my client does not return my telephone calls, so I put myself in my clients’ shoes and realize the importance of good and prompt communication. I fully realize that prompt and considerate communication is necessary not only for achieving a good result, but it demonstrates my respect for my clients as individuals, and makes the process more enjoyable for all involved.


Talk is cheap, and it is easy for attorneys to tell every potential client that the attorney is going to obtain a huge recovery for them. However, one of the best barometers for judging an attorney is to speak with some of his or her past clients. I can honestly say that virtually all of my clients are extremely pleased with not only how I interacted with them in handling their case, but the final results as well. Despite the common perception of attorneys as selfish and uncaring, I care very deeply about my clients’ cases, and their lives as well. Although I wish I had more time to keep in contact with past clients, many of them remain good acquaintances, if not friends. They often call me after their cases are over to ask me legal questions or for referrals to other types of attorneys. Inevitably, a few clients have unrealistic expectations regarding the value of their case, but by any objective standard, the results I achieved have been superb.

My clients greatly appreciate not only the excellent results I achieve, but also my dedication, honesty, communication and caring attitude in the process of achieving those results. For example, when an insurance company hires a doctor to physically examine a client, many (if not most) plaintiffs’ attorneys do NOT accompany their clients. If I do not have a scheduling conflict, I always accompany my clients to the defense medical exam, both to ensure that the doctor is not too rough physcially with my client, and to make sure there is no improper questioning by the doctor. A friendly, caring attorney is of no consolation if he or she cannot obtain satisfactory results, and an attorney who achieves satisfactory results but completely alienates the client along the way makes the results hardly worth it. I believe that I offer BOTH personable service and excellent results, and invite you to learn for yourself by speaking with my many satisfied past clients.


I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a double major in Philosophy and Political Science in 1982. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison law school (generally ranked in the top 20 law schools in the country) in 1986, and have over 16 years of legal experience in California. I worked for many years for large insurance defense law firms who represented insurance companies and defendants, and I am thus very familiar with how they defend personal injury cases. I opened my own law firm in downtown Berkeley in January, 1994, emphasizing plaintiffs’ personal injury and insurance litigation. This experience on “both sides of the fence” has proven invaluable, in that I am quite familiar with the tricks and strategies of insurance companies in attempting to defeat personal injury claims. Some attorneys try to handle virtually every type of plaintiff’s case under the sun, but I believe that in this age of specialization, it is extremely difficult to be specialized in too many areas. My practice concentrates on personal injury cases and insurance disputes. I have many years of experience in these areas, and do not feel that I have overextended myself by trying to specialize in too many areas of the law. If I do not handle the type of case that you have, I know many excellent attorneys in other areas of law to whom I can refer you.

I keep informed in my areas of emphasis by attending three days of seminars at the Consumer Attorneys of California Annual San Francisco Convention, as well three more days of seminars at the Consumer Attorneys of California Annual Tahoe Convention. I also attend the Alameda/Contra Costa Trial Lawyers Association Annual Year In Review of the most recent breaking cases and changes in the law, along with numerous other continuing legal education seminars. Being a member of the Board of Governors of the Alameda/Contra Costa Trial Lawyers Association is also of immense benefit, enabling me to exchange information and strategies with other accomplished plaintiff’s attorneys. I am a member of both the California and Wisconsin state bars, and had an extensive article on uninsured motorist practice published in Forum, the state legal magazine for plaintiff’s attorneys. I have received calls from attorneys all over the state complimenting me on the article and asking me questions regarding the often confusing area of Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist cases.