Don’t Hire Me! When Not to Hire a Real Estate Lawyer

While I take a lot of pride in helping property owners, landlords, and tenants with their real estate legal problems, I take equal pride in the cases I don’t accept. In many cases, it doesn’t make sense to hire a real estate lawyer, and I am upfront about such matters when meeting with prospective clients.

Here, I’ll discuss three common scenarios when you shouldn’t hire a real estate lawyer. I’m writing this based on my own experience in the areas of law I practice, but this is relevant to many other legal matters as well.

An important caveat: this is advice is geared for those involved in a real estate dispute, not a real estate transaction. If you are buying or selling property, you should absolutely hire a closing attorney (feel free to contact me for a referral).

When It is Not Cost-Effective to Hire Me for Your Case

Legal expenses can add up quickly. For many cases, particularly those concerning small amounts of money, it simply does not make sense to pay for a lawyer.

Under what is known as the “American Rule”, a party pays their own attorney fees in a legal matter (unless there is a law that says otherwise, commonly known as fee-shifting). For these reasons, the estimated cost for hiring an attorney should always be considered at the onset of a case. If the total legal fees will exceed whatever may be recovered in court, it is rarely worth hiring an attorney for the matter.

In such scenarios, I may offer limited assistance representation as an option, or recommend they take it to small claims court on their own.

When I Can’t Get You a Realistic Outcome For Your Case

When a potential client is looking to hire a real estate lawyer, I always make sure I understand what, exactly, they are looking to accomplish. While I am proud of my past accomplishments for clients, not every goal can be achieved through the legal process.

When I’m Not the Best Lawyer for Your Case

No lawyer is an expert on everything . . . especially me. Sometimes, even for matters that I would otherwise handle, I’m not the best lawyer for the case.

For such matters, I’ll recommend that the potential client speak with someone else. More often than not, I am able to give a referral to a colleague who I know will do a great job for them.

Final Thoughts

The points above are all important topics to discuss with any lawyer you are considering hiring for your case. A good lawyer, in my opinion, turns down more cases than they accept, for the reasons discussed in this blog post. Be wary of any lawyer who promises an unrealistic outcome for your legal matter.

If you need assistance with a legal matter, contact me for a consultation.