There are many things to consider when hiring an attorney. All these things will be a topic of another article; however, in this post we would like to discuss why it is important to hire “local counsel.”
Local counsel can mean three different things. First, it can mean an actual physical presence in the jurisdiction. For instance, our office is located in Suwanee, Georgia which is in Gwinnett County. We would be considered local counsel for that jurisdiction given that our practice is established and maintained in that circuit.
Also, local counsel can mean that the attorney has close ties to that jurisdiction. For instance, Phil Pilgrim was a prosecutor in Forsyth County while Amy Carter was a prosecutor in Jackson and Barrow Counties. Therefore, our office has significant ties to those jurisdictions and we are intimately familiar with the inner workings of those offices.
Third, and most importantly, local counsel means that the practitioner practices in that jurisdiction currently, consistently and continuously. Our office CURRENTLY, CONSISTENTLY and CONTINUOUSLY handles cases in Gwinnett, Forsyth, Hall, Barrow, Jackson, and Dawson Counties. The result of this is that the prosecutors know our names, they know our reputations, and they know how to work with us as we do them.
So, why is this important? Being “Local Counsel” gives an attorney a bit of an edge in each case. We might know what a particular prosecutor needs to hear in order to exercise discretion in your case, what a judge may do when confronted with a certain set of facts, or what avenues would need to be pursued when preparing your case for trial in a particular jurisdiction. These are all things that can have a tremendous impact on how your case moves forward and the possibility of obtaining a result that meets your goals without having to risk a trial in front of jury of your peers.
Obviously, we will handle cases anywhere. There are many times when our client base wants to hire our firm specifically for our expertise in a particular area of the law; however, we have never been shy about referring out a case to “local counsel” in another jurisdiction when we believed that the client’s interests would be better served by another attorney handling their case.
We want to do what is in the best interest of the people that walk through our door. If you are looking for an attorney who will do what is right by you, do not hesitate to contact our office at (770) 945-2320