Choosing an Attorney in New York

Watch the following educational legal video by New York Criminal Defense Attorney Robert Aiello as he provides insight on choosing an attorney in New York.

When I talk to friends and family about what’s important in hiring an attorney, I tell them that two things are the most important. First, you need to hire someone who specializes in the area in which you need help. A person who’s been arrested should be sure to hire someone whose focus is on criminal defense work.

Second, make sure the person you’re hiring to represent you is a person in whom you have the confidence to share the things you need to share regarding the case. One of the things people find most difficult is dealing with their fear of telling their attorney about things they may have done – whether out of embarrassment or for other reasons. It’s very important to the attorney-client relationship that the client be able to trust the attorney enough to share their deepest, darkest secrets. That can take time, but often, if another client refers someone to you, that person will have a sense of who you are based on having spoken to the person who referred them and it will be a little bit easier.

One of the first things I say to a client I’m meeting for the first time is, “Look, when you go to a doctor and tell him you have a stomach ache, that doctor’s going to look at your stomach. If you don’t tell him that you’ve also had headaches for the last four weeks, he’s not going to look at your head. He’s going to spend his whole time looking at your stomach. Meanwhile, you still have that problem in your head.” Nothing in the attorney-client relationship is more important than being truthful, forthcoming, and honest with your attorney – and that goes both ways.

The flip side of that is also true. You have to be confident that your attorney is being straight with you. Once you lose confidence in your attorney, perhaps because he’s misrepresenting the potential outcome of your case to you, it’s over. Probably the most common confidence-breaking scenario occurs when a client goes to an attorney who promises a certain result. Here’s my advice. If any attorney promises you a specific result in any case, you should walk out of the office immediately because that can’t happen. That is especially true in all criminal cases because you don’t know, at that point, what the result will be. Never take such promises from anyone.

What we can do as attorneys is evaluate your case and make a determination based on what you’ve told us. In our experience – and I’ve been doing this for more than 30 years now – I can tell you how I think a case may play out. I don’t claim a 99% certainty but, during the years I’ve been doing this, I have developed a pretty good feel for how I think cases may play out. I think experience is an important consideration. Choosing an attorney who has experience, working with someone who’s specialized, and developing a trusting relationship on both ends – in which the attorney can trust the client and the client can trust the attorney – are three essential elements.

Robert J. Aiello is a principal and founding member of the law firm and a trial attorney.  His practice is devoted primarily to criminal defense in State and Federal Courts. Mr. Aiello has been involved in many high-profile cases throughout his career. Contact us at our Maspeth, Queens office today to schedule a free and confidential consultation with experienced New York criminal defense attorney Robert Aiello.


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