If you need a good probate lawyer, it’s because someone has died and either the estate needs to be administered or there is a dispute over the last will or a fight over a share or portion of the estate. While there is no guarantee that the lawyer you are hiring is “good,” one method of increasing the odds of hiring a competent probate attorney to check whether your lawyer has a Martindale Hubble rating that is at an acceptable level to you. Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings reflect a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating. For lawyers rated with the changed methodology the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings will reflect the following:
General Ethical Standards Rating. The General Ethical Standards rating denotes adherence to professional standards of conduct and ethics, reliability, diligence, and other criteria relevant to the discharge of professional responsibilities. Those lawyers who meet the “Very High” criteria of General Ethical Standards can proceed to the next step in the rating process.
Legal Ability Ratings. For lawyers rated with the changed methodology, Legal Ability ratings will now indicate professional ability within a specific area of practice. Legal Ability ratings are based on performance in five key areas, rated on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest). These areas are:
- Legal Knowledge – Lawyer’s familiarity with the laws governing his/her specific area of practice(s).
- Analytical Capabilities – Lawyer’s creativity in analyzing legal issues and applying technical knowledge.
- Judgment – Lawyer’s demonstration of the salient factors that drive the outcome of a given case or issue.
- Communication Ability – Lawyer’s capability to communicate persuasively and credibly.
- Legal Experience – Lawyer’s degree of experience in his/her specific area of practice(s).
An AV Rating shows that a lawyer has reached the height of professional excellence, has practiced law for many years, and is recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity.
Adrian P. Thomas is an AV-rated lawyer.