By Firm Partner Kenneth E. Rhoden, Esquire
When you are looking for legal representation keep in mind that you are not just choosing a lawyer you are choosing a law firm. While your lawyer is representing you in a legal issue you are also doing business with the law firm. Just like an individual has a personality and a reputation a law firm has a personality and reputation.
You should look for a firm that has been in business for a long period of years. Our firm has been doing business in Brevard County for over 40 years. Only a handful of local firms have that distinction. Firms that do not operate smoothly or acquire a bad reputation fade away over time.
You may want to avoid a firm that employs lawyers who have been disciplined by The Florida Bar. You can check by visiting the website of The Florida Bar Association. The Florida Bar only deals with ethical issues that violate Bar rules but attorneys also get arrested for criminal acts. You can see if a particular attorney has been arrested by visiting the Brevard County Clerk of Court’s website.
A law firm does not just consist of the lawyers but includes the receptionists, legal assistants, paralegals, bookkeepers, investigators, process servers, and experts employed by or utilized by the firm. Our firm has assistants with decades of experience and four year college degrees and includes a Florida Registered Paralegal with over thirty years experience. We use investigators that were deputies with the Brevard County Sheriff’s department. We only utilize experts that have sterling reputations and perform outstanding work.
Hiring a law firm that has been practicing in the same location for decades is a big advantage. The old adage, “It is good to know the law, it is better to know the judge”, is true. Not for any unethical purpose but so a lawyer knows how to approach the case by considering the judge assigned to the case. Some judges are detail oriented, some want the big picture, some judges will focus on a good legal argument and others are more receptive to the emotional and human side of the case. It is very helpful if your attorney knows that this judge does not like to award alimony or that judge hands out tough prison sentences.
Of course the judges also know the attorneys and the firm for which they work. When you have been around as long as our firm you have seen attorneys come up through the ranks. Our attorneys have practiced with or against many of the judges while they were young attorneys. The judges know which attorneys are ethical, well prepared and honest and which ones are not.
The size and experience of the firm is important. Our firm has over 130 years of legal experience and seven active attorneys. Our founding partner, Anthony Mario, has retired and is of counsel to the firm. We regularly discuss our cases with each other and our associate attorneys benefit by drawing on the years of experience of other firm members and even our senior partners can learn a new approach from these case reviews.
Having a larger firm handle your case means your case keeps moving even if your attorney takes a vacation, is out for illness or is absent for other personal reasons. Other firm attorneys are immediately available to step in on your case as needed. Our experienced staff also makes sure your case continues to seamlessly move forward.
Mario, Gunde, Peters, Rhoden & Kelley LLC is a family and we will treat you like part of our family. Call today for a free consultation on your legal matter (321) 631-0506 or use the Contact Form at the top of this page.