Co-Counsel Basics For DC Injury Cases

A DC injury attorney can hire a co-counsel for any number of reasons. The case may involve two separate and distinct areas of law. The attorney may want to bring on co-counsel to handle that specific aspect of the case. There may simply be a large number of clients involve in one particular case, and so it may make sense to divide the work and responsibility among co-counsel.

Again, there are a number of reasons based upon the particular facts of that case where it would make sense for there to be a co-counsel involved. With this in mind, the following is information on what you should know regarding co-counsel.

Common Misconceptions Regarding Co-Counsel 

The biggest misconception about the co-counsel relationship is that the attorney who brings on another attorney may not be suited or qualified to handle the case individually. Oftentimes, that’s not the case. It really depends upon the facts and circumstances of that individual case as to when it makes sense to bring on another attorney.

Simply because there are two attorneys handling the case and there’s a co-counsel agreement, it doesn’t speak to the qualifications or level of experience of the original attorney who brought on another co-counsel.

Other Misconceptions That May Occur

Another misconception that occurs is that it looks bad to the client if an attorney brings on co-counsel. Again, co-counsel agreements are typically initiated to represent the client’s best interest. A client shouldn’t be discouraged that the attorney bringing on another attorney to assist in the case, because it should be done to represent the client’s best interest.

Likewise, there should not be any delay in the handling of the case to bring in co-counsel. Typically if an attorney believes that co-counsel is necessary, he has already almost spontaneously thought of someone to bring on. Again, it’s a misconception for clients to believe that their case will be delayed or set aside while co-counsel is brought on.

The other misconception is that someone is bringing in a firm with a big name to garner some name recognition simply to help the case.

Oftentimes this is simply not the situation. That really depends upon the attorney’s practical experience in handling that individual type of case or area of law. The issue is really what’s in the client’s best interest as opposed to getting some level of celebrity or name recognition.

If a Person’s Case is Going to End in a Plea, Why Hire Co-Counsel?

The first thing is that no one should ever assume that the case is simply going to settle or a plea will be entered. There are so many factors that go into every single case that it is really a disservice to the client to assume that a case is simply going to settle because that’s what the majority of cases do.

If the attorney believes a co-counsel is necessary to represent the client’s best interest, then co-counsel should be brought on—whether the case ends immediately thereafter or it proceeds through trial.  An attorney should always act in the client’s best interest. If a co-counsel is necessary, then that recommendation should be made to the client.

How Does The Size of The Firm Factor In To Co-Counsel?

The size of a law firm can be a factor, depending upon the particular case that’s involved. If the case calls for a review of millions of documents and production of millions of documents—and will require a large number of attorneys to handle the issues involved in that case—then it may make sense to find a larger firm to help as co-counsel.

Similarly, if the case does not require a large work force, then the size of the firm that is brought in to a case is not a factor.  In considering co-counsel, the size of the firm to be brought on is a factor that depends upon the circumstances of that individual case.