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How to Choose an Asbestos Attorney: What You Need to Know

If you are suffering from malignant mesothelioma or another type of asbestos-related disease, you are
the victim of a wrongdoer. Someone or several someones in a decision-making role chose to expose you
and your family to materials containing asbestos fibers even though it has been well-established since
the 1920s that prolonged exposure to asbestos fibers can cause fatal illness. These wrongdoers and
others like them may be continuing to expose unsuspecting people to asbestos because it serves their
business interests to do so. We all have a duty and responsibility to try to stop them and bring them to
trial for their wrongdoing so that they pay for the harm they have done to you. You will also be helping
to prevent further lawlessness and loss of life. To do so in a way that is meaningful to you and your
family and that may help others in a similar situation, you must make a careful decision about which
attorney to choose.

How to Choose an Asbestos Attorney: What You Need to Know

Why Choosing an Asbestos Attorney is the Most Important Financial Decision You’ll Ever Make

Selecting an attorney to represent you and your family in an asbestos case is the most important
financial decision you will ever make.

It is a more important decision than even buying a home. Your home could potentially yield you a
couple of hundred thousand dollars in return on investment if property values skyrocket in your
neighborhood. But an asbestos case properly handled by a top quality law firm that specializes in
asbestos cases can be worth millions to you and your family.

Money cannot replace a person. But money can prevent additional unnecessary suffering on the part of
the family by paying the bills. It also helps give you and your family a sense of justice. A great harm was
done to you and a good asbestos attorney can make sure that those responsible for this wrongdoing are
held accountable, and that the family’s financial security is guaranteed.

Your medical care expenses and the loss of earnings as the family breadwinner can be compensated
with substantial settlements if you choose your attorney carefully. But what’s more, you could
potentially – as many of my firm’s clients choose to do – set aside a portion of the money you receive
for mesothelioma medical research, and we will be honored to contribute to that effort.

You could support a charitable trust to help fund medical research seeking to find a cure and better
treatment for mesothelioma. You could help create a future where possibly no one will suffer from the
debilitating effects and losses of this disease. This would be money that would never go towards this
important cause unless someone like you puts it there. And this would only be possible if you work with attorneys who are experienced and are willing to fight for you every inch of the way, not just take the
easy way out and settle for a minimal amount.
Again, this is the most crucial financial decision you will ever make in your life. Getting it wrong could
harm your chance of providing your family with financial security for after you’re gone.

Starting the Search for an Asbestos Attorney

Mesothelioma lawyers practice in a highly specialized area of the law, representing the victims of
asbestos exposure and their families. There are approximately 2,500 new cases of mesothelioma
diagnosed each year in the United States. The top attorneys who know the intricacies of asbestos
litigation and have the experience to successfully take a case through the court system are in a league of
their own and practice only in this area of the law and no other.

If you have been told that you are suffering from mesothelioma, usually as the result of working with
asbestos or living with someone who worked with asbestos, you have a very strong chance of receiving a
very large sum of money in damages from the companies that manufactured or installed the asbestos
components you handled and from bankruptcy trust funds set up to compensate asbestos victims of
some of those companies.

But mesothelioma cases are often very complicated because it may take 10 to 40 years after the
asbestos exposure for mesothelioma to show symptoms. Having an experienced attorney working on
your behalf -one with a record of success in mesothelioma cases and who is well-versed in asbestos law
– is key to winning your case.

Finding the best mesothelioma lawyer for your situation can require some time and effort. If you are
struggling with mesothelioma and not feeling up to it, please enlist the help of a family member or
friend to do the research for you on a lawyer’s qualifications and track record. It is important and well
worth the effort.

Why You Need an Attorney Who Specializes Only in Asbestos Cases

Your family doctor may be the greatest guy in the world. But would you want him performing open
heart surgery on you? Probably not, right? You would want to be in the hands of a competent
experienced specialist, in this example, a heart surgeon, trained to be an expert in this specific field of

Likewise, if you need to bring an asbestos lawsuit to court, you need an attorney who is an expert in this
specific area of law. Take my firm for example. We are good at what we do because that is all we do.
We do not handle other types of personal injury cases. We only handle asbestos cases and have done
so for almost 40 years. If you come to me tomorrow with a medical malpractice case, I will tell you who
is the best attorney I think you should go to but I will not take the case. It wouldn’t be fair to you.

Let’s put it another way. If you go out to eat at a diner or café, the menu usually offers a little bit of
everything. There’ll be steak, some kind of fish, a pasta dish and a maybe a quiche of the day. These
will all fill you up and they will be okay, but they won’t be the best. If you want a really good steak, you
go to a steakhouse. If you’re craving pasta, you go to an Italian restaurant. And for the best fish, you go
to a seafood place not a diner. For fantastic French food, you’d go to a French restaurant.

Not everyone can do everything well. That’s just reality. Anyone who says he or she handles everything
can’t be the best at anything. With luck, they’ll be okay. But just okay is not good enough for an
asbestos case involving suffering and loss of human life.

If you have a trusted family attorney who has helped you with your will or through a divorce, he or she
may be a good source to start with to help you find a reliable asbestos attorney. But this would not be
someone you should expect to take on your case.

Why You Should Look Beyond Your Community For the Best Asbestos Attorney

Believe it or not, it doesn’t really matter where an attorney is geographically located. When it comes to
choosing an attorney for an asbestos case, closer is not always better. Working with a highly regarded
and experienced mesothelioma attorney is more valuable than having one who is close by. That is truer
than ever today, with the expanded capabilities of internet and cell phone communications. An
experienced mesothelioma attorney understands that you are not feeling well due to your asbestoscaused
illness. They will not expect you to travel to them. They will travel to you. A top-quality asbestos
attorney will take the time to come and meet with you no matter where you live. For example,
wherever you live in the U.S., you can call us and we will come and help you. It’s what we do.

Why is this important? The value of your case and the amount of compensation you receive can vary
greatly not only depending on the qualifications of your attorney but also on the city in which the
attorney files your case. Juries tend to award more and therefore settlements are higher in big cities
with booming economies and high costs of living, like the San Francisco Bay Area, where I practice.

And, often we have several choices. For example, if you were exposed to asbestos while you were in the
U.S. Navy stationed in the San Francisco Bay Area, or if the company responsible for your asbestos
exposure has its headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area, we can file the case here, even if you have
lived in Iowa ever since. The value of your case would be much higher if it is tried here, with our higher
costs of living, than it would be in your home town.

I can understand that someone with mesothelioma in a small town might feel more comfortable just
going down to the local courthouse to initiate a lawsuit instead of getting on a plane to do so in some
other place. But you likely will never need to travel. We come to you for deposition testimony and trial
preparation. Only if your case actually goes to trial (a small percentage of cases do so) might you need to
even consider travel.

Analyzing your situation and figuring out the best place to bring an asbestos case takes someone who
knows what they’re doing. The situation calls for an expert attorney who has the experience and
wisdom to know where to bring an individual’s asbestos case in order to obtain the best possible

Please be aware that there are attorneys out there who simply want to make their money the easiest
and quickest way possible. They are not looking out for you and your family. They would rather do a
mediocre job on a large number of cases than do a really spectacular job on your case. They will file a
case wherever it is most convenient, not where it is most likely to yield the highest award amount. For
those of you with a really strong case with the potential for a very large award, an attorney like this is
not your best option. So put away your local yellow pages and look for the best asbestos attorneys in
the entire United States, not just in your town or county. It will be well worth it.

Internet Searches for an Asbestos Attorney – Beware

Have you ever been on vacation and stopped at a touristy shopping area? Where every merchant is
frantically trying to get you to come into their store? That’s because if they don’t get you to come in,
they have no chance of selling you something. It’s the same on the internet with asbestos attorneys.

The internet ads that flood your computer if you type in “asbestos attorney” or “mesothelioma
attorney,” will yield a mixed bag of results. Along with a handful of websites for the relatively small
number of attorneys in the U.S. who excel in mesothelioma cases, there will be many sites for
“attorneys” who really are case brokers all too eager to profit at the expense of someone who is
suffering from an illness and does not know how to find a good attorney for his case. They may have a
law license but don’t really have litigation skills or staff- they will sell your case to a “real lawyer” for a

Also be aware that a website that appears to be a mesothelioma information website could be just a
front for a hungry mesothelioma “lawyer”. The website may even state that it is run by a nonprofit and
have a “dot org” – nonprofit organizations’ website names end in .org instead of .com – attached to its
name. Any disclosure that it is really a commercial website created to catch new customers for a law
firm is only evident in tiny print; probably not even on the website’s main page. The site might be
loaded with goodies for you just like the witch’s gingerbread house that enticed Hansel and Gretel. Only
here the goodies the site may claim to offer include patient advocates, patients’ stories and special
assistance to help veterans, not candy.

Often these phony websites provide a live chat option or a live phone call option, again with the
appearance of being a neutral information resource for those concerned about asbestos disease. In
truth, they are nothing but a marketing tool used by “lawyers” to capture people’s interest and keep
them from looking elsewhere on the web for legitimate lawyers.

If you go to my firm’s website – www.kazanlaw.com – you can read about our 20 lawyers who work on
asbestos cases and about our decades of experience. I’m on the site and so are all my associates. With
these phony websites, you don’t know who you’re really dealing with or what you could be getting
yourself into. The people running the site may not be real lawyers. They may just be salespeople who
will sell your case to someone for 50% of the final fee the attorney may charge you.

Lawyers and brokers who use fake dot org websites hide who they are. They may call their sites
mesothelioma center or mesothelioma assistance center or something like that to keep you from going
elsewhere. As long as you are on their site, they’ve got a shot at getting your business just like the
tourist trap shopkeeper.

Our firm also sponsors a nonprofit mesothelioma informational website – www.mesotheliomacircle.org.
But its home page has a full disclosure that Kazan Law sponsors the site, and even features my photo.
We are not hiding anything or pretending to be something we are not. We are proud of who we are and
the work we do on behalf of mesothelioma victims and their families.

I believe that a lawyer should not hide what he or she is doing. If a client/attorney relationship starts
out in a lie why would you expect it to get any better?

Carefully read through all the legal information a lawyer provides on their website. Lawyers who
provide good thorough information are more likely to be legitimate asbestos attorneys who will be a
good fit for your needs. But distrust lawyers who say little more than “I can get you millions right away —
trust me.” Take it from me, don’t.

10 Quick Tips for Selecting an Asbestos Attorney

When you begin your search, keep in mind that a good asbestos attorney:
1. Knows a lot about mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases
2. Has ample experience in filing asbestos legal claims
3. Will be able to tell you whether you have a good case to bring forward
4. Will travel to you
5. Presents themselves openly and honestly on their website
6. Will charge you on a contingency basis
7. Provides you with copies of important documents
8. Does not work through a broker
9. Does not appear in late night TV ads
10. Makes no unrealistic promises

General Guidelines for Choosing an Asbestos Attorney

Coping with mesothelioma is exhausting and overwhelming. It is heroic when you are not feeling well to
try to right the wrong done to you. But it is important once you start, to make sure that in the attempt
to correct one injustice, you don’t create another injustice by working with an inadequate attorney who
will not do right by you and your family.

An attorney who specializes in mesothelioma not only is familiar with the disease but also with the legal
history of all major asbestos-related cases, and how to fully assess a potential mesothelioma lawsuit.

Good mesothelioma attorneys are familiar with not only the important legal decisions; they also stay up
to date on asbestos-related cases all over the United States and the world. We use this knowledge to
give you a preliminary opinion about your case and later to present the strongest possible case for you,
if you engage us to file a claim on your behalf.

The asbestos attorney you choose should be someone whose reputation and experience inspires you
with confidence. But it should also be someone with whom you feel comfortable and with whom you
will be able to easily talk to about your situation.
Here are some additional guidelines that can help you with this important decision.

Make sure the attorney’s fees are on a contingency basis

A contingency fee arrangement is when your lawyer gets a percentage of the compensation award you
receive from the resolution of your asbestos lawsuit. If you wind up not receiving any compensation for
the lawsuit then your lawyer collects no fees. But you may owe charges for court fees, copying, and
hiring expert witnesses. (More about contingency fees below)
Check an attorney’s references

A good mesothelioma attorney should be able to provide you with a list of references of several
previous clients to contact. Although you will only be given the contact information for very pleased
clients, it will still be informative to talk to them about their experiences working with a mesothelioma
attorney you are considering hiring for your case.
Don’t be Misled by Late Night TV Ads and Fast Talk

TV ads can be appealing. That’s why they’re there. TV ads for asbestos attorneys are no exception.

Because mesothelioma cases can be so profitable, many lawyers spend lots of money on TV ads. These
ads may make you want to pick up the phone and call that toll-free number right away. You might even
talk to someone who seems knowledgeable and charming. You might say later on down the road, “But
he seemed like such a nice guy.” Yes, that’s why he’s on TV. Don’t get me wrong. You need to feel
comfortable with your asbestos attorney and able to confide in them. But trust me, anyone who comes
on strong like they’re your new best friend, isn’t.

Steer Clear of an Asbestos Case Broker

If you find yourself in the clutches of someone who is more broker than attorney, be skeptical. Especially
if they claim that they are going to find you the best asbestos attorney to work for you.

Who is this person you’re talking to? What’s in it for them? Why are they talking to you if they are not the one who
is going to be handling your case and doing the work?

A broker will try to peddle your case to the highest bidder. This is not good for you because an attorney
who uses a broker may be motivated by how much money they will get to keep from your case. If the
broker charges 40 to 50 percent of the attorney’s fee, most attorneys would turn that down. The broker
will go further down to the bottom of the attorney barrel to find one desperate enough for work to
accept the broker’s deal. They may not be very good or very experienced and they might not work very
hard for you. Instead of climbing to the top of the mountain to get you the best possible outcome, they
will take the easy way out and settle so they can go on to the next case. They do quantity not quality

Don’t go through a broker. They will just turn your case over to any attorney who will pay their finder’s
fee. They do not have your best interests at heart.
Interview a prospective asbestos attorney

Be sure to interview any attorney you are considering hiring for an asbestos case. If you are not feeling
well enough, ask a family member or friend to do this. Request a case evaluation and a personal
interview with the attorney at a large firm who would be handling your case. Here are some questions
to ask:

Questions to Ask a Prospective Asbestos Attorney

1. Who is going to do the work?
2. How will you be paid for your time on my case?
3. What expenses will I be responsible for?
4. Who would I call or email if I have questions?
5. Are you going to do it yourself or are you going to send it to someone else to do?
6. Is your firm going to handle the case all by itself?
7. Who will actually file the lawsuit?
8. Where will the lawsuit be filed?
9. Who is going to work on my case?
10. Who is going to go to court for me?
11. How many years has your law firm been in business?
12. How many asbestos cases have you handled?

Why You Should Only Hire an Attorney Who Will Work on a Contingency Fee
Contingency Fees
The best professional asbestos attorneys in the country will work for you on a contingency basis. What
does that mean? That means we are only paid after a judgment has been won or settlements reached
in your case. For example, if you retained Kazan Law as your attorneys, you do not pay us up front and
you would never get bills from us. We do not charge by the hour. Instead, a portion of the money
awarded to you will go to our office and the rest will go to you.

It also means that if you decide to go to trial and the jury decides against you, you will get nothing and
will owe us nothing. If we take your case, we take the risk of not being paid

What is a contingency fee?

Most plaintiffs’ attorneys in civil cases operate on a contingency fee basis, with some charging up to
one-half the recovery; we charge less. Here’s how it works with us: say the contingency fee is one-third.
Then, for each $1,000 in settlements you get $666.67 (two-thirds) and the attorneys who represent you
get $333.33 (one-third.)

Many attorneys take their percentage first and then subtract the costs of the lawsuit out of the client’s
share. (The “costs” are for things like court filing fees, experts’ fees and expenses, medical-legal
expenses, court reporters, etc.)

And here’s another way our clients benefit. Kazan Law subtracts the costs first – before the money is
divided – so that we share the costs with the client. Our clients therefore get a larger proportion of the
money awarded.
How do contingency fees work?

For example, if there are $1,000 in settlements and $100 in costs, Kazan Law subtracts the $100 costs
from the $1,000, and then we take our contingency fee out of the remaining $900. So you would get
$600 and our fee would be $300. However many other attorneys make you pay all the costs. The lawyer
takes one-third of the total or $333.33. Your share is $667.67, but out of that, the lawyer takes the $100
for costs, so you get only $567.67 and the lawyer gets $433.33. Which do you like better?

In this example the difference may seem small, but in many of our cases the difference could amount to
a hundred thousand dollars or more for you.
How to Get Ready to Talk to an Asbestos Attorney
Before you start the process of researching and choosing an asbestos attorney to handle your case,
there are a few things you can do to help kickstart the process. Remember the right attorney will fight
for you to receive all the compensation you are due. But even the most experienced asbestos attorney
can’t do that without some basic information from you about your individual situation. So take a little
time to put your information in order so you can be specific when you discuss your case with a
prospective attorney. This includes information about:

Your Medical Situation

You will need to provide concrete evidence that you are suffering from mesothelioma so be prepared to
provide the:
• Date and place of your diagnosis
• Name and phone number for the physician who diagnosed you
• List of specific treatments and medications prescribed for you and how much you have had to
pay out-of-pocket for these.

Your Job History

Your attorney also needs to prove that you developed mesothelioma because you or someone in your
family was exposed to asbestos at work and who was responsible. Be prepared to provide:
• The name of the company you worked for. If the company has been sold to another company,
try to find out that name, too.
• The dates you worked for the company – when you started and when you stopped. Try to find
and make copies of tax returns or W2 forms that support those dates.
• The names of products and materials you handled as part of your job
• Your job title and specific job duties and job site locations


When mesothelioma symptoms have emerged and a diagnosis is received, that usually means that a
case is advanced and time is of the essence. Especially when it comes to presenting a legal case,
because even the best-handled legal case can take time. But in addition to legal expertise in
mesothelioma and asbestos, we mesothelioma attorneys know a great deal about the disease itself. We
understand the challenges that you and your family face following diagnosis with an asbestos-related
illness. We also are sensitive to your need to focus on your treatment and time with loved ones. At the
same time, we also know that it is important for all involved to file your claim and gather evidence as
soon as possible. So I encourage you to proceed into the legal arena with caution and diligence but to

Asbestos law is a narrow practice area focusing exclusively on asbestos-related disease, typically caused
by occupational exposure or military service. The laws and rules regarding winning a lawsuit are
complicated. Only expert mesothelioma attorneys have the experience and knowledge necessary to
handle your case and secure the justice and compensation you deserve. You and your family are entitled
to nothing less than the best. Use this information to make sure you get it. And remember, God is with

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