McKIMMEY LAW OFFICE, P.C.
Twenty E. Ninth Street - The Aldridge, Suite 137 - Shawnee, Oklahoma 74801 - 405-275-3564
GENERAL PRACTICE -
WILLS & TRUSTS -
FEES & SERVICES
DOCUMENT PREPARATION -
POWERS OF ATTORNEY -
REAL ESTATE -
CIVIL RIGHTS -
GOVERNMENTAL TORT CLAIMS -
I CAN'T FIND A LAWYER
TO TAKE MY CASE!
McKIMMEY LAW OFFICE is one of the leading small law firms in the Shawnee, Oklahoma area, with a Statewide practice in all State and Federal Courts.
McKIMMEY LAW OFFICE is a general practice law firm. Our expertise includes Probate, Wills, Trusts, Real Estate, and Governmental Tort Claims, including Civil Rights litigation involving the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments.
"An Affordable Attorney at Law"
Admitted to Practice - Oklahoma - 1974
United States Supreme Court - Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
All United States District Courts of Oklahoma
- CAVEAT - The Answers and Opinions expressed on this page are general in nature, and the Answers and Opinions that our office would most likely give you.
You should also be aware that many of the Answers and Opinions expressed on this page represent our opinion and do not necessarily reflect the views of the entire legal community!
Laws in different states may vary. Since we practice in Oklahoma the views in this segment reflect Oklahoma Law, and the law applicable in your state may be different.
You should not consider these Answers and Opinions as legal advice applicable to your particular case and circumstances.
In planning your affairs you should consult directly with an attorney of your choosing, acquainting him / her with all of the facts and circumstances which apply to you.
In planning your affairs you should always get a second opinion.
Hardly a day goes by that someone doesn't call us concerning a legal matter, complaining that that they can't find an attorney to represent them.
In our own office there are many types of cases which we do not handle, i.e., custody, workers' compensation, employment, etc.
Generally when we get a call about a case that we cannot handle:
- because of time restraints; or
- because it is outside our area of expertise; or
- because we feel that it is not econmically feasible; or
- because we think some other law firm may be better equipped to represent you on that particular matter; or
- because we don't feel it is a Good Lawsuit. - See Below
We will refer you to another attorney that we think may be able to do a better job of representing you at the time.
Many times we suggest that you talk to another attorney for a Second Opinion. Another attorney may view your case differently than we do!
- Obviously the attorneys representing opposing parties in a lawsuit will have different views about the case or there wouldn't be a lawsuit!
If you get conflicting opinions about your legal problem, you may need to look further. Ultimately you will make your decision based on the opinion(s) you value the most!
- Sometimes we get calls asking us to Second Guess an attorney who has already been retained - and to evaluate the way the case is being handled.
Without getting as involved in your pending lawsuit to the same extent the attorney you have already retained it is practically impossible to Second Guess him or her.
Our office would consider it unethical to attempt to Second Guess an attorney you have already retained and placed your confidence in!
In these times of increasing legislation, litigation and specialization, it is impossible for any lawyer to handle every type of case that might cross his or her desk.
If you have difficulty finding an attorney to represent you on a particular matter we suggest that you use the following resources to locate one that might fulfill your needs:
- The Referral Service of the State Bar Association in your State;
- The Referral Service of the County Bar Association in your County;
- The Yellow Pages to compile a list of attorneys who may claim to practice in the area of the law you are interested in.
- Although Court Clerks will not recommend an attorney, you may be able to find out from the Clerk which attorneys file the most cases in the area of law you are interested in.
- Many Court Clerks have computers which you may be able to use to search for particular type of cases, and compile a list of attorneys who are most involved in the type of case you are interested in.
- Call an attorney you have confidence in and ask if he knows an attorney that regularly handles the type of case you are interested in.
- Ask people you know that might have had the same legal problem you have whether they know of any attorneys they could recommend. You might be surprised at the list you get of thse attorneys they would not recommend!
- Once you get a list of names to call, you should interview the attorney in the same way you would interview any other person you would hire as an employee!
It's fair to ask about experience - what he or she will do - amount of retainer - what the retainer covers - get an estimate of what it is going to cost you to have the job done - the likelihood of success.
In any litigation your relationship with the attorney will be long term, and you should feel comfortable with and have confidence with him or her!
No attorney can guarantee success in any litigation, but you should feel confident that the attorney you hire will handle your case as competently as is possible and that you will always be comfortable with him or her until the matter is concluded.
- Just because an attorney lists the areas of law he or she practices does not necessarily mean that he or she is an expert or is the best in that area of the law.
Over time attorneys sort of gravitate into certain areas they prefer. The listings do not necessarily mean that the attorney has been certified by any association as exceptionally qualified in those areas.
The areas of law that our office lists constitute merely those areas we prefer, and the areas of law in which over time we have had considerable experience.
Reasons Why An Attorney May Not Want to Handle Your Lawsuit.
The Restraints of Time
At the top of this page is a general listing of the areas of law we practice. We show a more complete listing at - Schedule of Fees and Services.
However, on any given day - or period of time - our office may not be able to take on any new cases in the areas we prefer to practice. Factors that may govern time restraints may include:
- Court Schedules - Once a lawsuit is filed the Court takes control of a portion of the attorney's time, setting various court hearings which the attorney must attend.
That means the attorney must be prepared to go to trial on that date - although other trials of other cases are also set for the same time and date. Each case is then heard in the order set by the Court - the other cases waiting in line for it's turn. If for some reason one of the cases set for trial is not tried, then the next case in line is tried - often with little more than an hour's notice!
While the attorney is in Court - or waiting his turn on a trailing docket the attorney is limited in ability to even make office appointments.
Many times the actual trial of a case that should take 3 days to try will keep the attorney's time tied up for two or more weeks.
Also - if the attorney is in midst of trial - or waiting his turn, it may be very difficult to really think about a new case.
- Normal Office Workload - Imagine a Doctor's office with 40 to 50 people in the waiting room.
Generally - once the doctor sees the patient the file goes in the file cabinet until next time.
After the appointment is over, in most cases, the doctor has done all the work required for that particular patient.
After the attorney sees a client the work just begins!
For every hour of time the attorney spends with the client there may be from 1 to 10 hours of work on the matter, writing letters, preparing documents and pleadings, phone calls, court appearances, research, brief writing, etc.
If the attorney spends just 4 hours a day actually seeing clients, then that one day may obligate the attorney to a full 40 hour week of work. A five day work week with this type of schedule may obligate the attorney to five full weeks of time.
- The Attorney(s) on the Other Side in Pending Litigation!
In many cases the most limiting factor on an attorney's ability to have time to take on your case is the attorney on the other side in cases already pending.
Attorneys whose practice is primarily litigation in a certain area of the law generally wind up consistently facing the same attorneys on the other side in case after case.
With experience the attorney learns what tactics the other side will use.
In many cases the opposing attorney, generally paid by an insurance company, may use the most time consuming methods of discovery - file more pleadings - and schedule more court appearances than might seem necessary.
In most cases the opposing attorney is only doing what he determines to be in the best interest of his or her client, but it increases the amount of time required to do your case justice.
See - Why Are Legal Costs So Expensive?
An attorney faced with such tactics must arbitrarily set aside more time to properly represent the present client in such cases. This means he or she must limit the number of cases in order to treat each client fairly.
One of our own areas of preference is in Civil Rights - Fourth Amendment violations, false arrest, etc.
See - FAQ - Civil Rights Violations
However, because of the time and expense required in such cases we limit our Civil Rights caseload to no more than about 6 per year.
- Priorities of Litigation - Because of the necessity of limiting the number of cases the attorney can properly handle it is necessary that the attorney set priorities and evaluate each case to determine whether he or she can get involved.
What Makes a Good Lawsuit?
A Good Lawsuit must first have a good . . . foundation in law and in fact
Any attorney or other person who signs pleadings which are filed in a lawsuit when the claims, contentions, or defenses are not warranted by existing law or by a nonfrivolous argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law or the establishment of new law; . . may be sanctioned by the Court where the pleadings are filed.
Rule 11, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
Each State may also provide similar sanctions by Statute. In Oklahoma the Statue providing for Sanctions is 12 O.S., Section 2011
A Good Lawsuit is like a Three Legged Stool!
- There must be:
- Deep Pockets
If it doesn't have all three legs it just won't stand up!
- Liability - Someone must be liable in law and in fact for any injury you claim to have suffered!
Someone did you a provable wrong, and the law recognizes that you should be compensated for the injuries you suffered from the wrong.
Before getting involved in a lawsuit the attorney will look at the likelihood of success. i.e., are the law and the provable facts such that winning is likely!
- Damages - You must have suffered some loss that can be measured in terms of dollars.
Such damages may include an actual loss of money, or may be measured in terms of the value of pain and suffereing, anxiety, stress, physical injury, etc.
Hurt feelings aren't enough.
The Amount must be enough to make it economically feasible to pursue a lawsuit!
Many times prospective clients claim that money is not the issue! It's the principle that makes them want to file a lawsuit!
If the agreement between the attorney and client is for an hourly rate fee, the attorney may get involved in a case where damages are minimal. - However, No attorney may ethically participate in a lawsuit brought solely for spite; to prove a point; or for the purpose of harrassment!
Rule 11, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
12 O.S., Section 2011
However, where the agreement between the attorney and client is based on contingency of the outcome, then in fairness to his other clients, his office staff and creditors, the attorney will probably not be able to handle the case when the potential amount of damages is too small.
In most litigation each party to the litigation must pay his or her own attorney fees, not the losing party, and any fees must come from the damages, or the client!
- Deep Pockets - There must be Someone Able to Pay the Damages.
We once saw a judgment entered in favor of the Plaintiff for $9,000.000.00!
Unfortunately the Defendant was serving a life term in the state penitentiary.
In that case there was no question that the Defendant was liable and no question as to the amount of damages!
But, there was no one to pay the judgment!
If there are no resources for the payment of the damages, then one of the legs of the stool is missing, and it is not a good lawsuit!
One of most common examples of lawsuits we consistently decline is where someone slanders a potential client.
All of the elements are there. The victim has been slandered - has suffered some damage to reputation, but the person doing the slandering doesn't have any means to pay the damages; and there is no insurance coverage!
Over a period of years it might be possible to collect a portion of the judgment by garnishment of wages, but this type of case is not economically feasible for most attorneys to handle.
- There may be a time where you have been actually damaged and liability is clear, but you feel the amount of damages is so small that it is not economically feasible to retain an attorney.
You may want to pursue the claim in Small Claims Court.
We suggest that before filing in Small Claims Court you take advantage of an Initial Consultation with an attorney of your choosing to discuss your case. Many attorneys offer a Free Initial Consultation. Our office charges a nominal fee of less than our normal hourly rate.
At this initial consultation the attorney may determine that you have greater claims than you thought - or may advise you to drop the whole thing.
In either event the initial consultation should be helpful to you in evaluating your lawsuit and preparing for it.
If you have a question of a general nature that you feel should be included in this segment, please let us know.
We also would like to receive comments and suggestions for better Answers.
Although we cannot give specific legal advice on the phone we are willing to answer questions of a general nature.
If your question is of general interest we may include your letter and our response as a part of our website.
- 2001 - 2015 - Joseph E. McKimmey