How do I know I'm hiring a reputable attorney? & Can I protect an idea prior to a patent?

I have ideas which could be sold or developed into inventions, but I've heard from several people there are lawyers/attorneys who will charge excessive amounts of money for doing nothing and I've heard about a couple of cases where a patent attorney actually stole the idea that was presented them in order acquire a patent. How do I know before hiring an attorney if he/she is reputable? and/or... Is there something I can do to protect my idea before presenting it to a patent attorney?

Asked Dec 14, 2009
Contact the US Patent Office and get some guidance. First, find out if you can submit your inventions without the use of an attorny. There are patent attornies who work at the US Patent Office. Look up their web site and see if you can find some info on it.
Answered Jan 08, 2010

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