Questions You Should Ask Before You Hire a Litigator


These are the questions you should ask, and the factors you should consider, in determining which litigation firm is best suited to handle your case.

1. Which attorney will be in charge of my case?

The skill and experience level of individual attorneys can vary dramatically within the same firm. At Miller & Fisher, LLC, your matter will be handled by one of the two named partners, or both, each of whom is an AV-rated lawyer, with 34 and 47 years of litigation experience, respectively.

2. Who is actually doing the legal work?

Is lead counsel handling your case, or only supervising much less experienced associates? Actual trial experience provides an attorney with a big picture for discovery and motion strategy unavailable to an attorney who has never had to deal with the consequences of those pre-trial decisions in front of a jury. Cases can be won or lost in discovery and in motion practice, before “supervising” lead counsel meaningfully participates. At Miller & Fisher, LLC, all of the attorney work on your case is performed by an AV-rated partner, who has both overall and day-to-day responsibility for your matter.

3. Are you paying for training?

It is part of the business of a large law firm to train inexperienced associates who will one day be productive and independent. These associates obtain that training by working on cases for clients under various levels of supervision by more experienced attorneys. The client typically is charged for both the associate’s and supervisor’s time, At Miller & Fisher, LLC, your litigation costs do not include our employee development.

4. How many jury trials has your attorney tried?

There are “litigation” partners at large law firms who have never tried a single jury case to conclusion. The collective trial experience of the firm is of little value to you if the attorney assigned to your case lacks that experience. The two partners at Miller & Fisher, LLC have participated in more than 200 jury trials combined, in state and federal court. Each of them has more jury trial experience than most business litigation attorneys in Indiana.

5. How much of my attorney's trial experience was “first chair”?

There is a big difference between being lead trial counsel (first chair) and assisting or watching at trial. In evaluating the experience level of your litigation attorney, you should distinguish between real trial experience and mere trial observation. As the former “go-to” trial team in a large Indiana law firm, the partners who are now Miller & Fisher, LLC have been lead trial counsel in more than 200 trials.

6. Has my attorney tried cases against the opposing law firm?

Familiarity with opposing counsel can be a great benefit, where that familiarity enhances credibility. Experienced attorneys know that the client is best served by a dispute resolution process that is fair and efficient. In business litigation, trial counsel should be focused on the resolution of the dispute, not just the combat. At Miller & Fisher, LLC, we know litigation counsel throughout the state. They know us. Neither our egos, nor theirs, will be permitted to override our clients’ interests in the fair and efficient resolution of their dispute. They know that, if the matter is not resolved fairly, we will be fully prepared and willing to go to trial. It is in this atmosphere that the best results, either through settlement or judgment, are achieved.

7. Has lead counsel tried cases in this forum?

Credibility is as important in a court room as it is at the negotiating table. One means of establishing credibility with a particular court is by demonstrating, in case after case, that the advocates’ research is sound, representations are accurate, and positions are logical and reasonable. Because of our combined 77 years of trial court experience in Indiana, the lawyers at Miller & Fisher, LLC have earned that credibility in the state and federal courts and forums.

Where the result is important, experience counts on many levels. Asking these questions will help you evaluate the real experience level of the attorneys who will be important to the outcome of your case, and help you select the right litigation firm and attorneys for your needs.


Contact our Indiana attorneys directly in Indianapolis today and schedule a time when we can meet to discuss your case. Our lawyers are AV Rated*.

* The lawyers at Miller & Fisher, LLC hold AV Ratings from Martindale-Hubbell. An AV Rating is recognized as the highest rating a lawyer can receive. This rating is achieved through the confidential voting of other lawyers and members of the judiciary and reflects both a lawyer's legal ability and ethical standards.

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