We know how hard it is to find a good and honest attorney. Most folks have no idea which law firms are good, which law firms are honest and which law firms are sham Internet firms that will end up settling your case for pennies on the dollar. Or worse, steal your money. Just because a law firm is on the first page of Google doesn’t mean that they are not out to rip folks off. It really is a jungle out there.
The Turley & Mara Law Firm is here to help. We realize that many people want our firm to represent them. But we can’t. Under our firm structure, we accept very few cases. So we have developed a referral system in both San Diego and across California. At no cost to you, we will work to match you up with a good and honest lawyer that specializes in the area of law that you need. We have strict criteria for lawyers to be on our “honest lawyer” referral list.
Thus, if we don’t accept your case we will strive to recommend the right lawyer for your case. A lawyer you can trust. We believe it is important for us to provide this public service. And we provide this service at no extra cost to you. We will try and help you even though you may not meet our highly selective case selection criteria. We know it’s the right thing to do. We know how hard it is to find the best attorney and an honest attorney that is right for your case. So, even if you don’t fit our case acceptance criteria, we will match you up with a good and honest lawyer that you can depend on to give you the best chance to prevail in your case.
Types of Cases We Do Accept
Case acceptance Criteria #1:
Savvy trial attorneys know the most important part of any case is the people in the lawsuit. So it’s simple. We only take cases where the clients are good, straightforward folks. Not to suggest that there can’t be issues and problems. Every case and every person has issues and problems that need to be addressed. We know all of that. But it’s about heart.
And it’s simple. We only take cases if the folks involved are good people. People ask all the time, “Bill, why do you have this ‘good people’ requirement?”
First, these are the type of people that juries are going to like and identify with. Let me explain. When you are injured and bring a lawsuit, jurors think both you and your lawyer are lying before you even walk into court. Every time. Because everyone on the jury thinks that you and your lawyer are lying, you had better be honest with the jury. You are asking these people to award you money. Do you suppose these 12 strangers on your jury, who come into the trial thinking you are lying, are going to give you any money if it turns out they were right all along - you really are lying? It’s only human nature. You lie to someone and they are going to burn you. Depend on it.
Second, every time we walk into court we are putting our credibility on the line. You can take this to the bank: we are not going to tell the judge and jury anything we don’t know to be true.
Third, we turn down a lot of cases. We are extremely case selective.
Fourth, we will be spending a lot of time together working on the case. We want to work with people who we enjoy being around. Life is too short. Some people are liars, cheats, thieves, and the like - - we don’t need to be around these people.
All that being said, we recognize every case has its issues and contentions, etc. We know bad things happen to good people. Truth be known, we are a sucker for a sad story. If you can move us, we figure you can move a jury as well.
Case acceptance Criteria #2:
We only accept serious injury cases and wrongful death cases. We do not handle soft tissue cases, sore-neck cases, emotional distress cases, and solely property damage cases. Generally speaking, if you don’t have significant economic damages (damages that you can document - such as medical bills or wage loss); then we probably will not accept the case. There may be exceptions to that rule, such as in a wrongful death case of a child or a homemaker without any earnings history. Remember, jurors start the case thinking your case is bogus. You have to prove otherwise. And it is a lot easier to prove a case is legitimate if there are significant damages / injuries.
Why? The insurance companies have waged war on the hearts and minds of prospective jurors. The insurance companies have tried to convince people that personal injury lawsuits are bad and people don’t deserve money compensation for damages. They try and sell “jack-pot justice.” Serious injuries, understandably, help folks put this nonsense aside.
Also, lawsuits are very expensive. You have to have significant injuries to justify the costs of proving your case in court.
Case acceptance Criteria #3:
We have to be able to prove liability. Some folks think that just because they get seriously hurt, they are going to be able to recover money for their injuries. And, apparently some attorneys hope the same thing. The truth is, you are only going to be able to recover money damages if you are able to prove that someone else is legally responsible for your injuries.
Trials are won with persuasive and admissible evidence. If the evidence is deemed inadmissible, it doesn’t matter how “truthful” it is. And you can expect the court to admit evidence that is far from “truthful.” That is why trials are not about the truth. Because if they were really about the truth, the law wouldn’t allow defendants to parade fraudulent defense after fraudulent defense in front of juries.
That being said, few lawyers know how to prove liability. We have won many cases that other lawyers have turned down. We try and stick to the practice areas in which we specialize. Because of this, we are more attuned to know what facts and evidence will support a finding of legal liability. So, if you meet our case acceptance criteria, don’t think that just because some other lawyer turned down your case that we will automatically do the same as well. We judge each case on our own criteria.
Case acceptance Criteria #4:
There has to be a way to collect money damages at the end of the case. Look folks, lawsuits are really expensive. They take a huge emotional toll on everyone involved. Anybody that tells you different, is not being straight-up with you. The last thing you need or want is to go through the rigors of a lawsuit only to find out at the end of the day that you can’t collect any money. So it’s simple. There has to be a way to collect damages at the end of the case. Usually that means there is insurance, a corporation, or collectable assets.
That being said, we have found insurance and strategies to prevail in cases that other lawyers told the client that there was no way to collect at the end of the case.
Case acceptance Criteria #5:
We don’t accept cases where people have a significant treatment history or recent treatment for the same body part to which they are claiming injuries now. When a person has a significant treatment history, it is oftentimes difficult to prove his or her damages. So we don’t accept these types of cases. Again, there are exceptions.
Who will be handling my case?
There are two very, very important questions you should ask of any law firm that you are considering hiring for your personal injury or death case. First, who will be handling my case? Second, how often can I expect to speak to a lawyer?
The problem with most Internet law firms is that they handle so many cases at one time. Which raises the question - who will be responsible for the day to day handling of your case? You have to ask yourself, “How can a few lawyers handle 300-400 legal cases at the same time?”
There is one very large Internet law firm in Southern California that actually brags about their clients never getting to speak to attorneys. They call it “an efficient way to practice personal injury law.” They have over 20 paralegals. Clients don’t speak to lawyers. Clients speak to paralegals. Paralegals do just about everything but go to court. Frankly, that is not the way I would want my case handled. Is that the way you want your case handled? By a paralegal?
Believe it or not, this same law firm brags about the “service” they provide to the clients. They actually say the client’s “experience” is the most important part of the case. Clients will accept receiving less money for their case if the staff is nice all along the way. Really? Ask yourself, “Why am I filing a lawsuit?” For the “experience?” Or because you are seriously injured with a wife, kids, and mortgage, and you can’t return to work?
So go ahead and hire one of these “First page of Google” Internet law firms. You may have a good “experience.” But you might lose everything you have worked so hard to get. But, it was a “good experience.” I don’t think so. Settling your case for “pennies on the dollar” because a paralegal was running your case instead of a seasoned attorney is not a “good experience.” No matter how sweet and nice the paralegal is to you. Do you want a “good experience” or do you want a good recovery for your injuries?