If you needed heart surgery, would you go to a general surgeon? No, you would go to a heart specialist. What distinguishes highly competent personal injury lawyers from other lawyers is board certification in a certain area of law. There are 79,409 attorneys in Texas. They are all "fully licensed" to practice in all areas of law, but only 1,768 (2.22%) of those lawyers are officially "certified" as a specialist in personal injury trial law. If the lawyer's advertising does not say he/she is board certified, (only fully licensed) chances are very good that he/she is not a specialist. The only organization in Texas that can certify lawyers as a specialist is the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. The organization was established by the Texas Supreme Court to recognize Texas lawyers that have demonstrated special competence in various areas of law and high ethical standards to aid consumers in selecting an attorney. The requirements are very rigid for specialization certification. For more information on the requirements of board certification, go to www.tbls.org. To find out whether a specific attorney is a certified specialist, go to www.texasbar.com or www.tbls.org.
Virtually all lawyers in Texas have a basic law degree. Law schools now call that degree a J.D. (Juris Doctor or Doctor of Jurisprudence). Before the 1970s, most law schools called the basic law degree an LL.B. The Master of Laws degree is still called an LL.M. Only two law schools in Texas (S.M.U. and U.T.) offer the LL.M. The Ph.D. of Law is now called the S.J.D. (Doctor of the Science of Law) For more information, see http://admissions.law.smu.edu.
A small number of Texas attorneys are members of this organization. To be a member, the attorney must meet the requirements of the organization, which includes proving that the lawyers having verdicts and/or settlements of $1,000,000 or more. For more information, see http://www.milliondollaradvocates.com.
For several years, the magazine Fort Worth, Texas sends ballots to Tarrant County attorneys, asking them to vote on the top attorneys in each field of law. Less than 1% of Tarrant County attorneys have been voted as a top attorney in personal injury law.
The Texas State Bar College is an honor society of lawyers created by the Texas Supreme Court to recognize lawyers that excel in continuing legal education by having at least twice the number of hours required of lawyers each year. Continuing legal education is what keeps lawyers current on the new trends in law and the new strategies to win. For more information, see http://www.texasbarcollege.com.
Martindale-Hubbell is the premier national peer review rating system for lawyers, relied upon by lawyers more than any other system. Fellow lawyers rate other lawyers in ability with an A, B, or C. An A is defined as "very high to preeminent." V means "very ethical." "An AV rating is a significant accomplishment. A testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence." For more information, seehttps://www.martindale.com/ratings-and-reviews/
Generally speaking, you have the right to change lawyers for any reason at any time you wish. For example, if you feel that your lawyer is not working hard on your case or is not keeping you informed, you may decide to change lawyers. However, before you change lawyers, we urge you to try to talk to your attorney to work out your concerns and differences. You also have the right to a second opinion. For example, if your lawyer is pressuring you to settle for an amount that seems too low to you, you have the right to a second opinion. If you are considering changing lawyers or if you desire a second opinion, we will be happy to talk to you about your case. We can let you know whether we would be willing to take over representation of your case or we can give you a second opinion. There is no charge for either service and you do not have to get your lawyer's permission to do this. When we take over representation we can usually work out an agreement with the first lawyer for his/her interest so that it will not cost the you any additional attorney fees. Rocky Walton will consider taking over cases where there is a prior attorney and will give free second opinions.
The Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers is the definitive guide to the top 5% most distinguished law firms in America. For over 90 years, the Bar Register has been a unique guide to the legal community's most eminent professionals. It includes only those select law practices that have earned the highest rating in the Martindale-Hubbell® Law Directory and have been designated by their colleagues as preeminent in their field. It is published by LexisNexis
The attorney fees on wrongful death and personal injury claims are normally handled on a contingency basis. That is, the client does not owe any attorney fee unless a recovery is made. For example, the prevailing percentage charged on a typical car wreck case is 1/3 plus claim expenses if the claim is resolved before suit is filed and 40% plus claim expenses if resolved after suit is filed. The fees are calculated before expenses are deducted. The percentages may be more if the case is expected to be unusually difficult or time consuming. At the Law Firm of Roger "Rocky" Walton, P.C, we charge the typical 1/3 - 40% on most files. On premises liability, products liability, medical malpractice, and other difficult types of cases, we normally charge a higher percentage, as stated in the contract. We do not require our client to pay claim expenses unless there is a recovery. The fees are calculated before expenses are deducted. Some people say that the attorney fees charged by specialists are more than the fees charged by non-specialists. That is misleading because the rates are typically no more. However, if the recovery is more then the fees are more, but so is the net amount going to the client.
The personal injury information offered and contained herein, regarding personal injury statutes and claimants' rights is general in scope. No attorney client relationship with our attorneys is hereby formed nor is the information herein intended as formal legal advice.