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How to Choose an Attorney

Tips for Selecting a Virginia Commercial Litigation or Personal Injury Attorney

How to Choose a Commercial Litigation, Nursing Home, or Personal Injury Attorney—Some Inside Tips


How do you choose an attorney to represent you in a commercial dispute involving your business, or a claim based on  nursing home abuse and neglect, catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, or severe injuries arising out of truck or car accidents? The process can be overwhelming. The natural starting point is an internet search, which will bury you in lawyer websites that offer little guidance on how to distinguish between good lawyers as opposed to good website designers. Law firm websites are typically written by the lawyers themselves. It is safe to assume that lawyers can tell you how good they are (and if you are considering a lawyer who cannot, then I strongly recommend that you keep reading). A slick website may be eye-catching, but I can assure you that no case has ever been won based upon whose website is prettier.

The problem with attorney websites is that they do not provide you an objective way to differentiate between lawyers. But you may be surprised to learn that there are several independent legal organizations whose sole purpose is to rate attorneys to assist prospective clients make intelligent hiring decisions. In fact, lawyers and sophisticated companies that are familiar with these third-party ratings rely on these resources themselves when seeking the best attorney to refer a case or when hiring out-of-state counsel. You may also be surprised to learn that these impartial state and national organizations have already rated many (if not most) of the very same lawyers whom you are now considering, as you mind-numbingly click on one attorney profile after another. In other words, numerous groups have already done most of your research for you.

You may be surprised to learn that there are several independent legal organizations who rate attorneys to assist prospective clients make intelligent hiring decisions.

If Lawyers know their ratings, then why don’t you?

You already know that any time there is a system of rankings, only a small percentage of lawyers will make the top tier, and the vast majority do not. How many lawyer websites emphasize that their attorneys are considered average or below average when rated by independent attorney evaluators? Consider that only 8% of lawyers nationwide receive the highest rating for legal ability under the well-recognized Martindale-Hubbell rating system, and only 5% of Virginia lawyers are designated as “Super Lawyers” in their respective practice areas. That means that either 92% or 95% of the lawyers on the websites that you are reading did not earn the top-tier ratings.

Here is a behind-the-scenes view of some of the attorney rating systems and how you can use their information to help guide your selection. As you will see, Mr. Wilson has received the highest rating under multiple systems. It is your choice who you hire as your lawyer for your case. You deserve the right to make an educated decision.

I. Mr. Wilson Has Attained the Highest Rating for Legal Ability and Ethical Standards:

Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings

Founded over 100 years ago, Martindale-Hubbell’s independent attorney ratings are considered the “gold standard” that are “trusted worldwide by buyers and referrers of legal services.” ( Martindale-Hubbell rates a lawyer’s legal ability and ethical standards using peer reviews–meaning soliciting input from other lawyers who know first-hand the attorney being evaluated. Martindale-Hubbell divides lawyers into three tiers, the highest being “AV Preeminent.” Martindale-Hubbell characterizes an “AV Preeminent” rating as “a significant rating accomplishment [and] a testament to the fact that a lawyer’s peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence.” The “AV Preeminent” rating is reserved for “An elite group of just 8 percent of all attorneys” nationwide, which is a recognized mark of distinction. An attorney who does not include a Martindale-Hubbell rating in his or her profile usually indicates that the lawyer is one of the 92% of attorneys who did not make the cut.

Mr. Wilson attained Martindale-Hubbell’s “AV Preeminent” rating in 2011 and has held the distinction continuously ever since. Mr. Wilson also achieved the AV Preeminent “Judicial Edition” Rating in 2017, reflecting confidential opinions of members of the Bar (other lawyers) and Judiciary (Judges). As Martindale-Hubbell explains, Mr. Wilson’s “AV Preeminent” rating is “a designation trusted worldwide by buyers and referrers of legal services.” When you select Mr. Wilson as your lawyer, you have chosen an attorney honored to be in Martindale-Hubbell’s “elite group of just 8 percent of all attorneys” for legal ability and ethics nationwide.

II. Mr. Wilson Has Attained an “Impeccable” Client Satisfaction Rating:

The American Institute of Legal Counsel / The American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys

“The American Institute of Legal Counsel is an impartial third-party attorney rating organization [that] compiles an exclusive list of the ’10 Best’ Attorneys for each State.” The affiliated American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys ( publishes an annual list of the “10 Best” attorneys state-wide who are “consider[ed] the best in the industry for client satisfaction.” Receiving the annual “Client Satisfaction” award is characterized as a prestigious accomplishment because “Each year, only ten attorneys in each state are recognized for this award.” Mr. Wilson was one of ten Virginia personal injury trial lawyers recognized for this distinction in 2015.

The American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys criteria for selecting the “10 Best” lawyers in the entire Commonwealth of Virginia for Client Satisfaction is based upon its stated philosophy that:

“Many Attorneys can achieve high degrees of success, but this is often times at the expense or satisfaction of the most important person in the case-the client. The American Institute of Legal Counsel looks for Attorneys that have achieved unparalleled success but most importantly have done so for the benefit of their client. Very few Attorneys can do so and our organization recognizes this significant achievement.”

The American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys further explains that its prestigious “Client Satisfaction” award is intended not only to honor the attorney, but also to provide prospective clients inside information to use “in making the tough decision on what attorney or firm to hire” … “by saving them time and effort in their own research.” In other words, one of The American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys’ goals is to share its self-described impartial attorney research with the overwhelmed consumer to help in choosing the right personal injury attorney.

Mr. Wilson was honored to be picked as one of only ten Virginia lawyers state-wide to receive The American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys’ “Client Satisfaction” award in 2015. Mr. Wilson is mindful that while personally gratifying, his selection was also intended to benefit prospective new clients “in making the tough decision on what attorney or firm to hire” … “by saving them time and effort in their own research.” When you are going through the emotional ups and downs of feeling helpless when a loved one is abused or neglected  in a nursing home, or don’t know where to turn when facing a severe personal injury claim, you deserve to be treated with compassion. When you select Mr. Wilson as your lawyer, you have chosen an attorney singled out as one of ten Virginia attorneys recognized to have an “impeccable Client Satisfaction rating.”

III. Mr. Wilson is Rated in the Top 5% of Virginia Lawyers in Elder Law:

Rated by Super Lawyers

Super Lawyers

Super Lawyers is a national attorney evaluation service that recognizes lawyers who have distinguished themselves in specific practice areas. ( Super Lawyers describes its rigorous selection process, resulting in “Only 5% of the lawyers in the Commonwealth … designated Super Lawyers in their field.” Super Lawyers’ described focus on recognizing attorneys by practice area is intended to educate the consumer to understand the importance of

“Mak[ing] certain you approach the right type of attorney for your case to ensure you hire someone who can provide guidance throughout your entire legal matter. A good way to do this is by checking that a lawyer’s primary practice area lines up with your case.”

Super Lawyers encourages prospective clients to begin the lawyer selection process by choosing from its list of attorneys that are recognized in the specific practice area that fits your case. Super Lawyers’ website reflects its intent to provide an important client resource to empower informed decision-making, stating that

“[Super Lawyers]” objective is to create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of outstanding attorneys that can be used as a resource for attorneys and consumers searching for legal counsel.” and

“We cannot choose a lawyer for you, but our lists can help you begin and narrow your search for an experienced lawyer.”

From 2012 to the present, Mr. Wilson has been designated a “Super Lawyer” in Elder Law, a designation reserved for “Only 5% of the lawyers in the Commonwealth.” When you are looking for a lawyer to represent you or your loved one in a personal injury or wrongful death claim arising from neglect or abuse in a Nursing Home, Assisted Living Facility, Home Health Care, or in any other long-term care situation, you do not want to hire a tax lawyer. Consider Super Lawyer’s advice: “Avoid costly mistakes. Use Super Lawyers to hire a local elder law attorney today.” When you select Mr. Wilson as your lawyer, you have chosen an attorney considered to be in the top 5% of Virginia attorneys who handle Elder Law claims. In fact, because he offers free consultations, you can call Mr. Wilson and let him help you determine the nature of your case and which practice area is involved. If his experience in his recognized specific practice areas do not line up with your circumstances, then he will try to help you find a lawyer who may be a better fit to handle your claim. Remember that your initial consultation is always free, and Mr. Wilson and Mr. Wilson is willing and available to talk with you. You will not be screened by a paralegal or passed down to a young lawyer wanting trial experience at your expense. Why wait to call an attorney designated as a “Super Lawyer” in Elder Law when you have questions about suspected elder abuse?

IV. Mr. Wilson is Consistently Selected by Other State and National Legal Organizations for Awards and Professional Distinctions

Top 100 Trial Lawyers

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America for professional excellence in Commercial Litigation, 2022

In addition to receiving (i) Martindale Hubbell’s highest “AV Preeminent” rating for ethical and legal abilities; (ii) The American Institute of Personal Injury Attorney’s “Client Satisfaction” state-wide honor; and (iii) Super Lawyer’s recognition in Elder Law, Mr. Wilson earned distinguished recognition by many other state and national professional distinctions. For example, The National Trial Lawyers selected Mr. Wilson as one of the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” in its national rankings; he was honored as a “Top Rated Lawyer in Health Care” in The National Law Journal & The American Lawyer; and he was honored as one of the “Legal Leaders—Litigation” in The American Lawyer, The National Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel. Also, beginning in 2007, Mr. Wilson has been designated as one of Virginia’s “Legal Elite” in Construction Law, and he has been considered one of the “Top Attorneys in Virginia” from 2012–to the present. In addition, U.S. News and World Report named Wilson & McIntyre, PLLC, a firm that Mr. Wilson was co-owner, one of the “Best Law Firms.”

So how do you select an attorney to represent you in the specific practice areas of commercial litigation, nursing home injuries/wrongful death, or other severe personal injury claim? You should consider consulting the industry resources that attorneys look to, which rely on third-party ratings rather than rely on self-promoting websites. Experience matters. The phone call is free.

Contact Mr. Wilson Today


Please contact Mr. Wilson today for a free, no cost, no obligation, no pressure, confidential consultation.

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