How To Find The Best Divorce Attorney in Manhattan, NYC
Divorce, A Troubling Time
Divorce can be one of the most traumatic, confusing, and out-of-control experiences for most people. It is often a time when your former best friend and confidante behaves like a heartless adversary. Your future well-being and financial security and that of your children might be placed in jeopardy. You might feel angry, confused, embarrassed, and fearful all at the same time. You might have all of the “What Ifs” and “why couldn’t s/he just . . .” running through your mind on an endless loop. It might be hard to imagine what your future life will be like and you might easily feel overwhelmed by the need to start all over and cultivate a new, loving relationship. To survive all this and move forward, you must first navigate a complicated and antiquated legal system with its myriad laws, rules, processes, and procedures, and all of its complicated and even foreign terms. It’s enough to make even the smartest, most powerful person feel helpless and adrift.
It is, therefore, crucial to choose a lawyer who has the skills, experience, care, and dedication to shepherd you safely through these perilous shoals. But how can you find the best divorce lawyer to represent you?
All Lawyers Are Not the Same
It is a mistake to think that all lawyers are the same, that any one is as good as the next. Each lawyer is an individual and brings his and her own skills, competencies, knowledge, and training and brings a different level of insight, understanding, care, and dedication to your matter. Each provides a different kind and level of support.
Finding the Best Lawyer
Good lawyering is complicated and difficult. Unlike other fields where only limited skills might be necessary, a superior lawyer must have a wide range of diverse, even opposing, conflicting skills. A superior lawyer must be a people-person, understanding people’s emotions and motivations and how to sway and convince others, while at the same time being a book-smart, master of technicalities. You will want:
- A master strategist and tactician who will be a cold, calculating analytical type with all of the possible choices and their likely outcomes yet warm, caring and supportive and make you feel safe.
- A brilliant lawyer who will see aspects of the case others have missed and who can, at the same time, explain things simply so that the judge and other attorneys will understand.
- A personable attorney who has mastered the myriad, endless technicalities who, at the same time, is a people-person and persuasive raconteur.
- A committed, relentless lawyer who will champion your case who is also a master salesman and negotiator, open to resolving your case and even adept at creating openings and convincing others to do so.
- A Warrior, ready and willing to fight the injustice against you, who is at the same time honest and trustworthy, one that will evoke trust and confidence not only in you but in opposing counsel and the judge before whom you will appear.
- An attorney who sees angles and loopholes others don’t, who is also stable and cautious, who recognizes what arguments are too far from the mainstream to be realistically made.
- A lawyer who is rock solid, steady, and reliable who is also flexible and nimble, able to change as the sands of litigation shift the battle-lines.
Being A Superior Trial Lawyer
So how can you find just such a superior lawyer, the best lawyer in your region with all these opposing traits and characteristics? And will you recognize the best lawyer if you were to meet them? Unfortunately, if you are not schooled in the law, it can be hard to evaluate the legal competencies of a lawyer. And, to make matters more complicated, many lawyers who are familiar with the day-to-day aspects of lawyering are not prepared for or skilled at trial practice.
In addition to all of the competencies described above, the trial lawyer must master several more disiplines. To be a superior trial lawyer, the lawyer must also master all of the following:
- The Rules of Evidence that control what evidence is admissible and can be introduced at trial;
- The substantive law relating to the issues in controversy in your matter;
- The procedural law controlling how litigation and trials proceed;
- The skills of how to effectively examine and cross-examine witnesses, make opening and closing arguments;
Exceptional results in litigation, therefore, require both skill and knowledge in the controlling law (substantive and procedural), the psychological skills (interpersonal dynamics and motivations), advocacy and negotiation skills (the arts of persuasion), creativity, flexibility, and the dedication, willingness, and ability to work hard, along with perseverance to get difficult jobs done.
Pay Attention To Your Instincts
Some of these traits you might be able to see and recognize. Others you can only sense. How strongly will you trust your gut and instincts? To recognize the best divorce lawyer consider:
- How does the lawyer make you feel?
- Do you feel safe and protected by the lawyer?
- Do you feel cared for by the lawyer?
- Does the lawyer give you their undivided attention?
- Are you, your well-being, and your success a priority for this lawyer?
- Will I enjoy working with this lawyer?
- Does the lawyer explain the law clearly and cleanly?
- Do you have the sense that the lawyer is a master of the law and of the field in which he operates?
- What do others say about this lawyer, their ability, ethics, work ethic, and commitment to clients?
- Will this lawyer put in the hard work, if that becomes necessary, for you to win or will they shy away from it and do less than everything that is necessary? Is the lawyer giving you simple answers or giving you the best answer for your situation?
An example of how a lawyer can truly make a difference
Tony was a 45-year old man with six children running a cash business. His wife claimed that he walked out on her and the family, abandoning them with no money to pay for their basic utilities and leaving them in a cold, dank winter home, fending for themselves with no source of support. The judge referred the matter to a referee for trial and sanctioned Tony preventing him from introducing evidence. The referee tried the case and recommended that Tony should be incarcerated. The judge confirmed the recommendation. The wife then moved to have Tony jailed and his lawyer (the fourth to represent him) had a heart attack and died.
Tony retained Chaim to represent him. When Chaim appeared in Court to ask for an adjournment the Court told him, “Counselor, you know your client’s got one foot in Rikers?” “Yes, I know,” Chaim responded. “I need a brief adjournment to prepare reply papers.”
Our Manhattan divorce lawyer prepared papers on Tony’s behalf and appeared in Court for what was a two-hour oral argument. During that time, Chaim turned the whole case around, demonstrating to the judge how Tony was a good guy and that it was his wife who was deceiving the Court. While Chaim made the “same argument” the four prior lawyers made, he made that argument differently and in such a way that the Court not only “heard” the argument but accepted it.
At CHAIM STEINBERGER, P.C., we are committed to giving every client as much (or as little) service as they require. While we are not the least expensive lawyers in town, we strive to be the best. We dedicate a lot of time and effort to stay on top of all of the above disciplines (and many others). As a mediator for more than twenty-five years, Chaim has honed his negotiation and problem-resolution skills to such a fine art that it’s been dubbed “The Chaim’lich maneuver.” Clients report feeling safe and protected when they are represented by Chaim and lawyers say that he is “one of the best.” Chaim has won results that others have failed at and settled cases others thought were impossible to settle.
As a client reports, “With Chaim on your team, you can sleep well at night knowing you can’t be beat!”