Choosing an attorney is never a pleasant endeavor. This is especially true when your residential or commercial real estate, which may represent the most significant asset you or your business owns, is involved. When it comes to choosing an Arizona real estate lawyer, keep the following considerations in mind and you’ll have a much better chance being pleased with your ultimate choice.
First, you should understand that the practice of law is something like practicing medicine. There are general practice attorneys (somewhat like your primary care physician) who may perform a wide variety of simple legal services. There are also attorneys who focus on narrow legal issues, such as real estate law.
When you have a serious problem involving a specific area of law, you will probably want to find an Arizona attorney who focuses on and has significant experience in that area of law. This is particularly true when you are facing a real estate-related dispute that is headed for, or already embroiled in, litigation.
If you already have an Arizona attorney who doesn’t practice real estate law, they can be an excellent source of referrals. You may also want to contact the Maricopa County Bar Association, which runs an excellent referral service. Of course, an internet search may also help you to find the Arizona real estate lawyer you are looking for.
I recommend that you identify and meet with at least three attorneys before making your decision. Don’t feel pressured to hire the first lawyer you speak with. You’re facing a serious choice and you are certainly entitled to obtain a “second opinion.” The lawyer you do choose should have experience handling the type of case you’re facing, and should be willing to provide an honest evaluation of the claims and defenses you’re facing.
After meeting with a few attorneys you should carefully consider things such as cost, experience, location and other quantifiable factors. You also, however, should make sure that you are comfortable on a personal level with the Arizona real estate attorney you select, because your ability to communicate with each other will be vital to your case.
Of course, no lawyer can guarantee success, because Courts and juries can be fickle things. The right Arizona real estate attorney, however, can ensure that your claims and defenses are articulated to the Court in manner that will maximize your chance of success.
Kevin R. Harper is an Arizona real estate and business litigation attorney, representing individuals and small businesses throughout the state of Arizona from his centrally-located office at 1 N. Central Ave., Suite 1130, in downtown Phoenix.