Reported appellate decisions can be an excellent source for determining which attorneys to contact. The decisions always contain the names of the lawyers who tried a particular case. If, in reviewing the advance sheets or conducting legal research, you find a recent case involving issues similar to yours, consider contacting the attorneys who tried the case; usually they will gladly identify the experts they used and offer recommendations and opinions regarding those experts. In any event, when consulting with colleagues, don’t limit yourself to attorneys who represented interests similar to yours. Counsel who represented the other side of the issue will usually disclose the experts they confronted in similar cases, and these experts may be the most persuasive.

Accepting employment or continuing representation without sufficient learning and skill is forbidden unless the attorney takes one of the following step: Associates another lawyer reasonably believed to be competent; or professionally consults with another lawyer reasonably believed to be competent (this is limited to cases in which consultation can “fill the gap” in the attorney’s learning or skill); or acquires sufficient learning and skill before performance is required. Moreover, even when hired for a limited purpose, counsel’s duty of competent representation includes an obligation to alert the client to all reasonably apparent legal problems, alternatives and remedies though beyond the scope of retention. “Not only should an attorney furnish advice when requested, but he or she should also volunteer opinions when necessary to further the client’s objectives.” [Nichols v. Keller (1993) 15 CA4th 1672,1684–1687, 19 CR2d 601, 608–610].  It would be best to seek personal assistance from a lawyer to guide you with your personal injury case.

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