“Top Divorce Lawyers” Near Me?
You are facing a divorce or other family law matter, and you want the best of the best to represent you. Makes sense, right? If you take nothing else away from this post, you should know that a high hourly rate and a fancy office do not necessarily equal quality. The age of your attorney is not necessarily a good thing; in fact, it is usually a bad thing in my experience. Frankly, there are better lawyers and firms than mine, but I would like to think they are few and far between.
Recently, I performed an experiment expecting one result, but finding something entirely different. I did a Google search for “top divorce lawyer Los Angeles.” Having been in the family law business for 7 years, I know the most elite family law practices in Los Angeles; however, when I performed the search, I found none of them. In fact, Google returned a bunch of lawyers and firms I have never heard of. I suppose the lesson here is that things aren’t always as they appear.
So, who are these elite firms? I am hesitant to post them here, but you can Google your favorite celebrity + divorce lawyer to get an idea. What you should know is that these lawyers are extremely expensive and selective about who they take on as clients. In some cases, these lawyers charge $900 per hour! Are they worth it? It depends. If you have a marital estate worth 100 million dollars, it is worth it to you to pay 5 million dollars in attorney fees if the skill and efforts of these attorneys result in your obtaining 10 million dollars more than you would have received with a “lesser” attorney. Naturally, if you have a marital estate worth 5 million dollars and you spend that amount in attorney fees, you’re broke.
In my humble opinion, an attorney or law firm who pays a lot of money on advertising and proclaims to be a “top” lawyer likely isn’t. Further, lawyers aren’t like boxers. If you bet on Mike Tyson in the Tyson v. McNeeley fight, you could be confident that Tyson would wipe the floor with his opponent. Law is different. In my experience, judges will evaluate matters before them based on the papers filed and the oral arguments of the attorneys. The judge controls the courtroom and will tell each attorney when they may speak. I have never seen a case where an overly aggressive attorney is permitted by the judge to trample the other side.
Finally, California family law attorneys, if they are competent, all read from the same playbook. To be specific, we read a treatise called “Family Law (The Rutter Group California Practice Guide)” along with cases and statutes. Sometimes, we will need to review treatises on civil procedure before trial and evidence. Further, we research the judge assigned to the case to understand their preferences. To be certain, if Kim Kardashian contacted me and asked me to represent her, I would be extremely flattered, but I probably wouldn’t take the case. There is a reason that A-list celebrities and billionaires choose from the same small pool of attorneys. That being said, when these high profile, high net worth people search for an attorney, they have the benefit of agents, in house counsel, publicists, and so on vetting the family law counsel.
Can I, Ryan Beiser, go up against an older “top divorce lawyer” who charges $650 per hour? Absolutely. Bring it on! I’ve done it many times before, and I’ll do it again. You should judge an attorney on the quality of their writing, their knowledge of your matter, and their promptness of communication with you.
I hope you found this post entertaining and educational.