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Tips on Hiring the Right Illinois Class Action Lawyer
There is no such thing as the “best” Illinois class action law firm. Rather, you should seek the best lawyer for your unique situation. Here are some things to look for that will hopefully help you make the right decision.
- Choose an attorney who primarily handles major class action lawsuits. Look for at least ten years of experience in handling these types of cases. Ask what percentage of their practice involves class action lawsuits.
- Reputation is important. Choose a firm with a solid reputation in the legal community for handling class action lawsuits. Google them to see what you find.
- Your attorney should have a proven track record in the specific area of law related to your class action lawsuit. For example, if your class action lawsuit involves a defective product that caused injury or illness, we strongly recommend you obtain a lawyer who has successfully handled similar product liability cases. If you are suing for overtime benefits, you don’t want your case to be the first overtime claim they’ve ever brought.
- Illinois class action rules and regulations can be complex and certain federal rules might even place the case in federal court and not state court (such as the Class Action Fairness Act). Your attorney should be thoroughly familiar with Illinois class action rules and regulations as well as applicable federal law and be able to navigate the intricacies of both.
- Look for an attorney at a financially stable firm that is able to cover the costs and expenses that will be incurred and will not seek money from its clients during the litigation. Ask this before you sign a retainer agreement.
- Your attorney should be honest with you about the potential for success in the lawsuit. Don’t be afraid to ask what they think and why they think it.
- Although class action suits may involve a large number of plaintiff clients, your attorney should still keep his or her clients informed and up to speed on all significant developments in the case. At a bare minimum they should establish a website that provides updates to all class members and if you brought the case to their attention, they should deal personally with you.
- Your attorney should discuss with you your options if you choose to pursue the case on an individual basis instead of a class action.
- You are the customer. Your attorney should treat you with respect, promptly returning all phone calls and e-mails and taking the time to answer questions.
- Attorneys in class action lawsuits are paid on a contingency basis. This means that they are only paid if the suit is successful and they are paid out of whatever amount is recovered from the defendant. The judge determines what percentage of the recovery amount the attorney will receive and it is based on a number of factors, including the work involved and the amount recovered. Don’t hire a law firm that asks for any money up front.
Nothing can guarantee you a result in a class action lawsuit, but we are big believers in predictors of success like the items mentioned above. If you would like our help in determining if you might have a case or in receiving a referral, please contact us at (312) 346-5320. We help throughout Illinois and all inquiries are free and confidential.