Indianapolis Bankruptcy Attorney Describes Why the Term “Expert” is Rarely Used
Indianapolis bankruptcy attorneys rarely use slogans such as “Expert Bankruptcy Attorney.” Although many Indiana bankruptcy attorneys have years of experiences which would usually qualify them as an “expert” in the common thinking of the word, the term is rarely used to avoid abuses and non-meaningful advertising. Basically, the Bar Association wants to make sure that when an attorney uses the term “expert,” you are GETTING an expert. Because of the difficulty of ensuring you are getting an “expert,” the term has become close to forbidden. Let’s discuss some points behind the concept of a “expert” in bankruptcy or any other part of the law.
Board Certification: A Measurement that Defines Some General Level of Knowledge (But Not “Expert”)
One definable method for measuring a level of legal knowledge is a board certification or other testing equivalent. Through board certification, an Indianapolis Bankruptcy Attorney takes a test over different areas in bankruptcy. This test gives some objective basis for claiming to be a bankruptcy specialist because different areas of the bankruptcy law are tested in a scholastic method. Still, book knowledge is different from practical, daily technique and operation. Also, book knowledge really makes no person, necessarily an “expert.” You may not still want to feel comfortable with any attorney regardless of their background certifications.
The Rules of Ethics and The Bar Association: “Expert” is too Subjective and Misleading
The American Bar Association and most local state rules of professional conduct forbid or are very restrictive in the use of the term “expert.” Essentially, all advertising must not be false or misleading. The term “expert” is misleading in that it implies a “higher chance of success” than may be possible for a client. It is also subjective in that the term expert seems to take on whatever meaning that the client creates within their own understanding. In addition, the term expert also implies a superiority to other lawyers which may be inaccurate or unfair. The ABA put out a great article online that discusses this topic and was the source of some of the arguments made in this paragraph. See Think Twice Before You Call Yourself An Expert.
Experience and Comfort May be a Better Starting Point Than “Expert”
Although the search for an attorney is always different, “experienced” may be a better similar search concept than “expert.” Still, the term “experienced” is also very broad and has limited value, but does not have many of the misleading aspects that are contained in the concept of an “expert.” From the starting point of reviewing an attorney’s experience, you can gauge what is more likely to be expected. For example, if the attorney has done hundreds or thousands of the same type of case, look at his/her previous cases. You can at least tell – to some degree – whether the attorney handled those cases well. From that point, perhaps comfort with the other aspects of the attorney’s office will help make you make a final decision. Just remember one thing: self-professed “experts” are probably not going to be something you find much in your search – and for good reason.