John Leo Walter, ESQ.
May 16, 2016 04:25PM ● Published by Cate Reynolds
*Special Advertising Section*
Mr. Walter — how does it feel to be a Leading Lawyer in the area of Litigation on the Eastern Shore? In addition, you were also chosen in the area of Criminal Law and Personal Injury on the Eastern Shore in the 2016 Peer Review.
Having been voted a leader in the areas of Litigation, Criminal Law and Personal Injury on the Eastern Shore is extraordinary. I have a deep respect for all of the attorneys that practice here on the Shore; I am very fortunate and privileged to work with so many fine talented lawyers — to be recognized as outstanding by my peers is a profound honor. My friend said this vote makes me the Eastern Shore’s “go to” lawyer when it comes to litigation and criminal law — if that’s the case, I can promise you one thing, I will work my heart out to prove him right.
Can you explain to the readers what a litigation attorney does?
Yes. A litigation attorney is a lawyer that focuses primarily on court room trial work — A litigation attorney defends and represents Plaintiffs and Defendants in the Maryland Court system. Under the category of litigation, there are sort-of subcategories, so to speak, lawyers that focus on certain areas of the law. For instance, some lawyers do family law; some do real estate. My firm focuses mostly on criminal and traffic defense — as well as personal injury cases (serious auto accidents, medical malpractice, premises liability, etc.) and breach of contracts.
What makes a good trial lawyer?
Preparation and client communication. With regard to preparation — there is always the advice of a very senior Circuit Court Judge — who’s name shall remain anonymous, that coached me during one of my first jury trials almost 20 years ago — he said “Counselor, always remember when you prepare for trial you should come to court with a belt and suspenders.” I’ll never forget that advice. In essence, the Judge was saying always be over-prepared — but now that I think about it, maybe he was telling me that I don’t want to get caught with my pants down...
As for client communication — if your client is well informed and understands what’s going on — meaning the lawyer tells the client all of the possible ups and downs and ins and outs of the case — the client will undoubtedly be more comfortable in Court and will almost always be satisfied with the outcome. I am of the opinion that if you keep your client informed of all the potential outcomes (good and bad) the client will be happy.