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In hiring a lawyer to represent me, what do I need to know?

The most common mistake people make in hiring a lawyer is not asking him or her enough questions. Many lawyers hold themselves out as competent to defend DUI cases when they simply are not. You should start by asking other lawyers for referrals. Then, ask any lawyer you are considering hiring the following questions: [Answers for the Law Firm of Stephen Hayne in brackets]

  1. How much experience do you have in representing people charged with DUI?
    [Mr. Hayne has thirty years of experience defending clients charged with DUI. Mr. Wolff has prosecuted and defended hundreds of DUI cases]

  2. What percentage of your practice is devoted exclusively to defending DUIs and related cases?
    [Approximately 95%]

  3. How many criminal cases have you tried to juries?
    [Hundreds—from capital murder to reckless driving]

  4. How many DUIs have you tried to a jury in the last year?
    [Between six and ten]

  5. What seminars/legal symposiums have you attended in the last five years devoted exclusively to defending DUIs?

  6. Have you ever taught other lawyers how to try cases or defend DUIs?
    [Yes, Mr. Hayne has taught at the University of Washington and Seattle University Schools of Law, the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, the Trial Masters Program, the Northwest College of DUI Defense, and at over 80 Continuing Legal Education seminars throughout the United States and Canada]

  7. Have you ever received any recognition for excellence in trial work and/or defending DUIs in particular?
    [Many, many times—see “Credentials” section]

  8. Have you ever published any articles on the subject of defending DUIs or trying criminal cases in legal publications?
    [Yes, in the BarNews, Overruled, Defense and Trial News legal periodicals]

  9. Have you ever held any positions of leadership in any bar associations?
    [Yes, Mr. Hayne served is a past President of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, past Chair of the Criminal Law Sections of the Washington State Bar Association, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, the King County Bar Association, and past President of the Washington Foundation for Criminal Justice]

  10. Have you ever received any recognition from your peers for your career achievements?
    [Yes, in 2003, Mr. Hayne was given the coveted William O. Douglas Award “for exceptional courage and dedication to the practice of criminal law” presented by the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers]

  11. Have you ever received any recognition from judges for your trial work?
    [Yes, in 1992, Mr. Hayne was voted one of Washington’s “Top 10” trial lawyers in a poll of 100 trial judges conducted by the Washington Law Journal]
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