There are six major traits you should consider as you look for a local personal injury attorney. They include:
- Areas of Expertise
- Ability to get high settlements
- Activity in trial lawyer associations
- How many credible reviews customers have given them
- Whether or not they work on a contingency fee basis
- How active they are on the internet
Let’s see how well Lou Barkholtz meets these criteria.
1. His Areas of Expertise
Lou Barkholtz’s website describes him as working in the following areas:
- 18-Wheeler Accidents
- Airplane Crashes
- Automobile Accidents
- Bus Accidents
- Construction and Oil Field Accidents
- Dangerous Drugs
- Industrial Accidents (esp. heavy equipment and machinery)
- Medical Malpractice
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Railroad and Train Accidents
- Product Liability
- Wrongful Death cases
This is a solid collection of specialties and emphasizes his focus on personal injury cases. Many of his listed areas of expertise involve vehicles, but enough fall outside that realm to qualify Lou as a generalist instead of a true specialist. For personal injury attorneys, that’s a good thing.
As such, Lou has earned his first point.
2. Ability To Get High Settlements For Clients
At the time we wrote this review, we did not find any specific settlement numbers on Lou’s website. The closest piece of information we found was a citation that he has represented victims and families “in personal injury cases of all sizes, scope, and magnitude.” However, representing people is not the same thing as getting high settlements for them.
As always, lack of citations does not mean that he hasn’t gotten high settlements for clients – it just means we can’t find any evidence that he has. Since no information is available, we cannot give Lou a point in this category.
3. Activity In Trial Lawyer Associations
Lou is licensed in the following areas:
- Texas Bar
- The Federal District Court for the Northern District of Texas
- Board Certified for Legal Specialization in Personal Injury Trial Law
- Board Certified for Trial Advocacy in Civil Trial Law
This is a reasonable selection of associations – it’s not as long or comprehensive as it could be, but he is part of several associations, and has earned the point for this category.
4. Credible Reviews and Testimonials
Lou’s website does not include any testimonials from clients. We could only find one review online, where Julie (writing on Avvo.com) said “In representing us, Lou Barkholtz is honest, trustworthy, and a very skilled attorney. Excellent, personal service also.”
Despite her encouraging words, one review is not enough to get a sense of the quality of an attorney. We would advise Lou to update his website a little and ask clients to post more reviews. As it stands, we cannot give him this point.
5. Fee Basis
Lou’s website does not include any information on his fees. Many personal injury lawyers work on this basis, but without a clear statement to that effect, we cannot give Lou the point for this category.
6. Online Activity
Lou’s website does not have a blog or any other regularly-updated source of information. Also, we could not locate any social media accounts, either directly through his site or by searching for them directly. Given the general lack of an online presence, we cannot give Lou a point in this category.
Overall, we feel that Lou met 2 of the 6 criteria we put in place for judging personal injury attorneys. It’s worth noting that he’s been involved in this field for more than three decades – and we couldn’t find any bad reviews about him. In fact, from what we’ve seen, Lou looks like he knows what he’s doing and can represent people just fine.
However, the lack of transparency and the absence of helpful online articles mean that clients may have a harder time understanding their case without needing to pay for his time. We can’t recommend Lou as a first choice, but given his experience, you may want to ask him for a competing quote after talking to another attorney.
One other point worth noting is that Lou’s website is suggestive of a professional who doesn’t use the internet very much. That doesn’t mean he’s a bad attorney – far from it. However, unless they got a personal recommendation, most people do an online search for an attorney before deciding whether or not to hire them.
Lou simply isn’t present where many of his potential clients are searching. Many of the reasons we can’t recommend him could be fixed by a robust website update that includes testimonials, details about his fees, a few examples of his successful cases, and a regularly-updated blog or social media account. Until and unless that happens, however, we stand by our recommendation.