May 13, 2020

From The Lawyer’s Perspective – Factors To Consider In Hiring Outside Counsel

There are many attorneys out there vying for good clients. So, with a wide world of choice, what factors should inform your decision with hiring outside counsel? Consider the following:

Expertise. You will undoubtedly receive referrals from colleagues and related professionals. But also seek to identify leaders within the desired field of expertise: those who are writing and speaking on relevant topics, who lead the specialty bar associations and sections, and who have established reputations among their peers, associated professionals, and the courts.

Timeliness and organization. It is important to know how the lawyer will organize the project. What approach will the lawyer use to identify issues, gather information, and make decisions? Will enough time be build into the schedule to ensure timely turnaround and avoid last minute emergencies? Does the lawyer have the resources to properly and efficiently staff the project at reasonable rates? Will you have multiple points of contact should issues arise when the lead attorney is unavailable?

Communication. Communication is key to every successful relationship and you will want to know how the lawyer proposes to keep you informed. Is the lawyer accessible? Will the lawyer initiate regular updates? Does the lawyer have a good sense of when you need to be involved in decision-making and when you can be spared the minutiae? Is the lawyer capable of synthesizing the legal analysis and speaking (and writing) in plain English?

Read the full article in the March/April issue of Corp! Magazine on page 7. 

About the authors:

Headshot of Joanne Swanson of Kerr RussellJoanne Geha Swanson has more than 30 years of experience as a litigator and appellate attorney. She provides strong, rigorous advocacy to clients who must either enforce or defend their rights through litigation. In addition, she counsels clients on how to avoid litigation and resolve disputes without turning to the courts in the first place. Her civil litigation practice primarily involves complex commercial disputes, antitrust, class actions, business torts, legal malpractice and other related matters.


Jacquelyn Klima focuses on commercial litigation and appeals. She is experienced in the analysis of claims against performance bonds, payment bonds, and other commercial bond forms; pursuit of exoneration and indemnification from bond principals and indemnitors; recovery of contract balances; and all aspects of litigation from the receipt of a claim through the appeals process. Jacquelyn also handles general contract disputes, construction litigation, professional liability defense, and defense of title insurance carriers. She is fluent in Spanish.


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