"Over more than 25 years of managing my own law firm, I have noticed a lot of trends in how people tend to look at attorneys and claims - personal injury and otherwise - but that information has been purely anecdotal until now," said Richard P. Console Jr., managing attorney at
Among the firm's findings are insights that 66% of respondents find lawyers useful, while fewer than 5% hate lawyers altogether. Additionally, a stunning 15% of participants reported that they chose not to sue for a car accident even though they sustained injuries. For 51% of respondents, word-of-mouth personal referrals are still the preferred way to choose an attorney, but today's clients value intelligence and a history of success above other personal traits and business selling points. Although there's no single objective measure of how "sue-happy" people are, the answers respondents provided - anonymously - about their own lawsuit history and views of lawsuits suggest that Americans aren't as litigious as the stereotypes allege.
The full survey data will be published, complete with industry insider commentary, in a three-part series of blog posts in early 2020. The data set consists of answers to 27 questions about the public perception of attorneys, insurance companies and lawsuits by more than 1,000 people across all ages, income levels and regions.
Respondents ranked intelligence as the trait they most look for in a lawyer
We asked respondents to rank six traits in order of importance pertaining to what makes a good attorney. The response "smart" barely outshone the response of "honest," winning over 39.10% and 37.89% of #1 ranking spots, respectively.
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