Attorney Eye » AttorneyEye » Attorney Jobs » How do I find out a lawyers success rate in the courtroom?

  #1 (permalink)
: I want to shop for a good lawyer. How do I find out how many trials a lawyer has won versus their losses?

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  #2 (permalink)
: They are not the NFL. No such records are maintained.
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  #3 (permalink)
: You can't, no such records exist to tell you that.

Additionally, even if you could see their "win/loss record", it wouldn't tell you jack squat about how good a lawyer they are. Lawyers cannot change facts or the law, they work with what they have available to them. Just because a lawyer has won a bunch of cases doesn't make him a good lawyer, or vice versa. Most of the best lawyers actually have losing records because they tend to be hired on very difficult cases because they are the best.
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  #4 (permalink)
: You can go to each court where they have handled cases, then search all court cases to identify which ones they handled & make a tally of "wins" and "losses." After spending weeks or months doing so, you can then come to the conclusion that a civil attorney's "win/loss" trial record has little bearing on the quality of lawyer he/she is. A truly good attorney avoids going to trial whenever possible.
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  #5 (permalink)
: A lawyer's courtroom record is not so easy to analyze as wins and losses. For instance, there are a number of times in a civil litigator's career where the job isn't to win some money or keep the other side from winning any money. A lot of times, civil litigators will only consider it a win if they get a verdict above a certain amount of money, or if they get a verdict below a certain amount of money, depending on which side they represent.

Likewise, with criminal lawyers, sometimes the goal is to convince the jury not that the client is innocent, but that they aren't guilty of a serious crime like rape or murder. So if the client is charged with capital murder (the prosecution wants the death penalty), and the jury returns a verdict of manslaughter, the defense attorney arguably "won." But that wouldn't be clear from court records.

The best thing you can do is call a few lawyers and ask for a referral, or ask about a specific lawyer. Lawyers know each other, and they know who is good and who isn't.
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