The Maryland Litigation Blog

Facts and Opinions.
Feel free to disregard the opinions.

How to Find the Best Lawyers in Maryland when You’re Out of State

By Byron Warnken

Besides using online services like InjuryLawyerDatabase.com, there is one excellent way to find the best injury lawyers in Maryland (or the best lawyers in any practice area anywhere).  As always, the term “best” is very subjective and slightly misleading.  In this instance, the below method may or may not lead to the best actual lawyer, but it is very likely to lead to the lawyer with the best reputation.

How to Do It

The method involves calling lawyers who you know do not practice in the area you need.  If you call a lawyer who handles the kind of case you have, they will almost certainly suggest they are the man or the woman for the job.  If they don’t, chances are they won’t be in the job for long.  He or she may or may not be the one for the job.  If you call a lawyer whom you know is not right for the job, you can reasonably ask for a referral without the distraction of either you or the lawyer trying to “get the case.”

How many lawyers you need to call seeking a referral depends on the severity of your case.  For instance, a DUI in a neighboring state might warrant calling five lawyers and asking for referrals.  If you ask each lawyer for three names, chances are you will quickly narrow your search by hearing the same name at least two or three times.  If, on the other hand, you are seeking a birth injury lawyer – a once in a lifetime, change the course of your life type lawsuit – you might call twenty or more lawyers.  Importantly, with each call you make, write down the names.  Do not rely on your memory.

What Do You Say?

You can say this: “I came across your bio online and you look like a trustworthy source to ask for a referral.  I’m looking for the best _____ lawyer in [insert your city and state].  I’d appreciate it if you could give me three or four names.”  This should usually be sufficient.  There’s no need to lie, no need to get into significant details.  Short and sweet.  Write down the names.

If the lawyer wants a lot of information or wants to present you to a specific lawyer or wants to represent you himself, politely say “no thanks” and hang up.  You do not own anything to the lawyer on the other end of the phone.  Stick with your plan.

Personally, I find high-end domestic relations / family law/ divorce lawyers to be one of the best sources.  They generally know a lot of other people, often focus only on family law, and will not venture out of their space.  That’s just me, perhaps.

What Then?

Then you research online.  Read bios on the attorney’s website.  Read reviews if you can find them.  Read articles written by the attorney.  Look at their past cases.  Take everything with a little bit of a grain of salt.  The attorney may be actively taking steps to improve their visibility and reputation online.  Create a short list of candidates.  At that point

Look for impartial sources, if you can find them.  The reason we decided to publish InjuryLawyerDatabase.com was because we couldn’t find actual data about experience, case types, and results.  Everything on the web seemed to be self-serving, hyperbole, or untrustworthy.  By using actual data, the chances of finding an experienced lawyer increased tremendously.

One Thing to Watch For

If you have an injury law case, the is one particular thing to watch for … referral fees.  While generally regulated or even not permitted by some states, referral fees remain common practice in injury cases.  This includes car accidents, medical malpractice, birth injury and premises liability cases.  There isn’t necessarily anything inherently wrong with referral fees if everything is transparent, but it defeats the purpose of everything laid out above.

If the lawyer you call has an existing deal with one particular injury lawyer, he might suggest that “… Injury lawyer Smith is the only one to see.  You absolutely need to go to him.”  You can see how this might cloud the results you get from your survey.

Terminology on Injury Lawyer Database

By Byron Warnken

The statistics on InjuryLawyerDatabase come from two separate publicly available databases.  The first database we obtained was all of the public filings from the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission.  That data we turned into a book we called The Comp Pinkbook.  We sorted workers’ comp lawyers on both the claimant and employer sides, as well as […]

Our Formal Launch Press Release

By Byron Warnken

Baltimore, Maryland – May 14, 2013  A Baltimore entrepreneur is turning public data into a private benefit for consumers.  Byron Warnken, a lawyer, has turned the Maryland legal cases database into statistics on lawyers and defendants.  It’s now easier to ascertain who gets sued the most and why, as well as which lawyers are the best at […]

Are These All of the Lawsuits?

By Byron Warnken

A lot of traffic comes into this site via searches such as “ABC, Inc. lawsuits” or “lawsuits against XYZ hospital.”  We expected this when we built the site.  Statistics are provided on lawsuits involving the defendant. Visitors to our website wonder, is this all of the lawsuits against this particular defendant?  The answer is usually […]

Why do Jury Verdicts Make Headlines?

By Byron Warnken

In part, jury verdicts make headlines because huge numbers make headlines.  5,000 people injured in earthquake.  Apple makes $8.2 billion.  The national debt is $16 trillion.  The public likes big numbers. Interestingly, however, there are a ton of jury verdicts resulting in large payouts that we don’t hear about.  One corporation sues another resulting in […]

Why are Settlements Confidential?

By Byron Warnken

When litigation or potential litigation settles, the details of the settlement are often confidential.  Sometimes, the mere fact of the settlement is confidential.  People often want to know why. The reason, from the party paying to settle the litigation, is simple.  They do not want to expose themselves to future liability in the same or […]