When your business has a complex lawsuit that you want filed or defended, how do you find a trial attorney who is the best for the kind of case you have and who is experienced and affordable? There are many areas of the law where not all of the lawyers with subject matter expertise (e.g., contract, torts, etc.) also have the ability to actually prepare and take a difficult case to trial in a competent and professional manner. Preparing and trying a case to verdict demands an attorney with the strategic and persuasive ability to convince a jury of the righteousness of your case. These abilities are independent of the branch or area of law that is involved. They come from many years of experience in successfully trying or favorably settling various types of cases. Before you select your attorney, here are some things you can do that will help ensure that you choose the right one: 1. Ask the attorney how many cases he or she has tried. Attorneys who successfully try many cases usually have the respect of other lawyers and can negotiate a more favorable case settlement. 2. Find out what types of fee arrangements can be made. Attorneys who typically defend cases normally charge on an hourly basis. One unfavorable aspect of this type of fee arrangement is that the attorney gets paid whether you win or lose. A distinct advantage to you, therefore, is a fee arrangement, such as a contingent (percentage) fee, where the lawyer only gets paid if you win. Yet another fee arrangement is the lump sum fee. Again, the lawyer gets paid, win or lose. There are also combinations of a lump sum fee with a contingency for success. 3. Ask the attorney for a professional resume that sets forth the attorney’s legal education, memberships in professional (just pay the dues) and honorary (by invitation only) organizations, awards, experience, publications, etc. 4. Ask around. Business associates who have hired lawyers are sometimes good sources. Other lawyers in the community usually know who the best trial lawyers are. Check out the lawyer in a legal directory, such as the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory©. This publication can usually be found at your local library. It contains a lawyer’s legal ability and ethics ratings, using input from lawyers in the local community who know the lawyer. 5. A face-to-face meeting with the lawyer is a good idea. You can learn a lot about the lawyer’s personality, demeanor and, if you ask a few questions, about his ethics and standards. You should feel comfortable and at ease with your lawyer. 6. Make sure to ask the lawyer if he or she will personally be involved in all major aspects of preparing and trying the case.