SILVA LAW FIRM, P.C. | An Arizona Law Firm | (480) 456-1985 | Email Now
Scott c. silva, Attorney
Licensed Attorney with the State Bar of Arizona since July, 1997.
Admitted, U.S. District Court of Arizona.
Duke University, B.A.; University of Arizona College of Law, J.D.
AV "Preeminent" Peer Rated Attorney (highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards) by Martindale-Hubbell®.
Selected TOP FIVE criminal defense attorneys in Maricopa County by North Valley Magazine and East Valley Magazine, 2013.
AV "Preeminent" Client Rated Attorney (highest possible client rating) by Martindale-Hubbell®.
Recipient of the AVVO Client's Choice Award, 2012.
Has handled over 3500 cases, including capital murder.
Has handled over 1500 DUI cases (these cases were personally handled by Mr. Silva, not by associates or partners). Has won DUI jury trials in every type of DUI case, including Drug DUI cases and Super Extreme DUI cases.
Counsel of record in over 500 bench and jury trials (this number includes cases that went to verdict or were completely dismissed by the judge during the trial or immediately prior to the start of the trial).
Substantial jury trial experience (including capital murder, major felonies, all types of DUI cases, and misdemeanors).
Experienced in handling high profile cases covered by national news, and was a featured attorney on the ABC television show State V. where he represented a young woman charged with first-degree murder.
Instructor, APDA Statewide Legal Conference, Tempe, Arizona: teaching defense attorneys how to defend DUI cases. Also, has published criminal law and DUI law articles that have been used to train defense attorneys (Samples: Article #1, Article #2).
Trainer, City of Phoenix Municipal Court, has spent years training newer attorneys on how to represent clients in the courtroom.
Immense courtroom experience in Maricopa County Superior Court, in the Justice Courts, and in City Courts, such as Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, El Mirage, Surprise, Youngtown, Peoria, and Glendale, Arizona.
Prior employment includes positions as a full Partner at an Arizona criminal defense law firm, an Associate Attorney at an Arizona criminal defense law firm, a Deputy Public Defender in Maricopa County, Arizona, and a law clerk with three different government agencies.
Member, American Bar Association, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (LinkedIn Group), Arizona Attorneys (LinkedIn Group), DUI Law (LinkedIn Group).
finding the right lawyer
Q: How do I choose a lawyer? What should I be thinking about?
You should consider the following before making a decision to hire a lawyer:
1. How much courtroom experience does the lawyer actually have? Ask them how many cases of your type they have personally handled in the last few years. Also, ask them how often they go to court. Knowing how the different courts work is crucial to getting good results.
2. Make sure the lawyer practices in the right field of law. If you have a DUI case, you need a DUI lawyer, not a family lawyer. Just because a lawyer is "licensed" does not mean they know how to handle your case.
3. Don't believe the hype on the websites (Yes, I know this is a website). Many lawyers spend a lot of money on marketing, Google ads, and website development, but don't really know what to do when they walk into a courtroom. Make sure the lawyer you meet with is a real "courtroom" lawyer and is not just trying to impress you with bells and whistles. Find out how many cases they actually handle themselves and make sure they will be going to court with you.
4. How long has the lawyer been practicing in a particular field? While there is nothing wrong with newer lawyers, there is also no substitute for experience. If something unexpected happens in a case, the lawyer needs to know how to deal with it.
5. Does the lawyer over-promise results just to get your money? When you meet with a lawyer, make sure they are not just telling you what you want to hear. Unfortunately, some lawyers will say anything to get your money and then tell you the truth at the end of the case. An honest lawyer should tell you the good and the bad about your case the first time you meet with them. There is no such thing as a "slam dunk" case or legal issue.
6.Where has the lawyer worked and where did they go to school? It is important to know your lawyer's employment history and level of education. When you work at different offices, you gain experience and connections in the legal community. Knowing what schools the lawyer attended can tell you a lot about the quality of their legal education. You should look to see if the lawyer attended an accredited law school.
6. Ask around. If you know a former client, a lawyer, or a judge, ask them about the lawyer's reputation. A lawyer with a bad reputation could mean a lot of trouble for your case. A good reputation is something lawyers earn after years of providing clients with professional and successful representation.
"Because I am a referral-based law firm, and I do not rely on advertisement expenses for my business, I am able to charge reasonable and affordable fees for my services." - S. Silva
FEES FOR CRIMINAL CASES
Most criminal defense lawyers in Arizona do not charge by the hour. Instead, they charge an "earned fee" (also known as a "flat fee") that is based on many factors, including the severity of the criminal charge, the lawyer's experience and reputation, the standard fee in the local market, and how busy the lawyer is at that time. A more experienced lawyer who is very busy is probably going to charge you a higher "earned fee" than a newer lawyer who is looking for cases. But, that is not always the case. Some very good lawyers may charge lower fees because they have become so adept at handling certain cases that it does not require a lot of their time. Also, some lawyers charge higher fees simply because they have very high office overhead and bills they need to pay. You may find that smaller law firms and sole practitioners charge lower fees than bigger law firms, and still have the experience you are looking for.
FEES FOR PERSONAL INJURY CASES
Most personal injury lawyers accept cases on a "contingency fee." A contingency fee means that the lawyer only collects a fee if the case is settled, and the fee is a percentage of the total settlement amount. The standard contingency fee in the Arizona legal market is 33% of the gross settlement (usually higher if a lawsuit is filed). So, if a lawyer settles a case for a total of $9000, the attorney fee would be $3000. The client may receive the other $6000 in its entirety, or some of that may be used to pay legal costs, hired experts, or to pay medical providers that have a legal right to compensation. If the lawyer is unable to settle the case at all, then the lawyer receives no fee and the client will owe the lawyer nothing.
FEES FOR OTHER CASES, i.e. CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS & REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS
In addition to criminal and personal injury cases, the Silva Law Firm, P.C. handles other types of cases, such as helping people negotiate contracts and helping brokers and sellers negotiate real estate transactions. Many of these cases are accepted on an hourly basis, although some contract negotiations are handled on a contingency fee basis. If you have one of these cases, please call our office to discuss the legal fee that would apply to your case.
At the Silva Law Firm, P.C., we charge competitive, affordable, and reasonable "earned fees" for the criminal cases we accept. For the personal injury cases we accept, we charge a contingent fee (which means we don't get paid unless we settle your case, and the fee is a percentage of your total settlement). Because Mr. Silva is a referral-based law firm that does not employ associates, he is able to pass those financial savings on to you.