The first rule is INVESTIGATE, INVESTIGATE, INVESTIGATE!
An attorney should be approachable. He or she should answer your questions and treat you with respect. If the attorney will not get on the phone and talk directly with you; if you feel that the attorney is bothered by your questions, or he or she doe not treat you with respect, then you are probably talking to the wrong attorney.
Here are some questions you should ask when deciding who is the best parole attorney to hire. Remember, you should always be able to talk to the attorney directly.
- How long have you been doing parole work?
- Do you only do parole work or do you also take other types of cases?
- Have you been qualified in Federal Court as an acknowledged expert in parole matters?
- Have you lectured to other attorneys or published articles on parole in law journals?
- Are you AV rated by Martindale-Hubble?
- How do you analyze a case?
- What kind of investigation do you do into the background of the offender and the case?
- Do you personally visit with the offender at their unit?
- Do you present the case to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles in person?
- Do you prepare a written presentation packet on the offender’s behalf?
- Will you provide me and the offender a copy of your work?
- Will you take on the more complex cases such as violent crimes and sexually oriented crimes, or do you take only cases you “know you will win”?
- Do you use the services of other experts such as polygraph examiners, psychologists or risk assessment experts in your work?
- Do you have a written legal services agreement?
- Will you make any promises or guarantees to me regarding the outcome of the case? NOTE: This is highly unethical.
Questions you should ask yourself about the attorney after the interview:
- Did the attorney take the time to ask detailed and insightful questions of you in order to get sufficient information to answer your questions?
- Did the attorney explain the parole process to you?
- Did the attorney articulate to you how he or she approaches parole work, or, did the attorney only throw out meaningless numbers (such as claims that he or she wins 65% or 75% of his or her cases) that are only meant to entice you into hiring him or her?
- AFTER TALKING TO THE ATTORNEY, DID YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH HIM OR HER?
We understand that families are an intimate part of the legal relationship. Their questions and needs must be attended to in a sensitive, respectful and thoughtful manner. We appreciate the fact that you too are in prison (in a manner of speaking). As long as your loved one is locked up, you too are suffering. We are here to work for your loved ones release and to work with you in making this happen.