How to Get The Most Out of Your Attorney

Choosing your attorney carefully is important. This choice should be based on several factors when interviewing, including: picking someone you like, who understands you and listens to you, who you can work well with, and someone knowledgeable about the particulars of your matter.  After signing the agreement, most clients hand the case off to the attorney and hope for the best. Today’s discussion is on strategies that are instrumental in getting the most out of your counsel.

Telling the Truth:  This is the very most important component in your relationship with your counsel. The attorney must know everything in order to best represent you properly. Even if the information is embarrassing, or you are ashamed of something you did, or it was a long time ago, you must tell your attorney. Why? Because this is exactly the type of information that can and inevitably will come back to haunt you and can destroy your case. An attorney bases their legal arguments on the facts you provide them. If the attorney has only a portion of the facts, then the legal theories will not hold and the attorney cannot perform as they could have if they were given all of the information up front.  Additionally, the attorney/client relationship is built on trust. Trust goes both ways. If you lie, or choose to leave out information, that can hurt your relationship. You want your attorney to want to assist you, so keep them happy by being honest.

Being a Teammate:  When you hire, you and your attorney are a team. Throughout your representation the attorney will have a variety of requests for you. Some common examples include: providing evidence, being ready to discuss your case, and showing up to court on time.  Whatever the request may be, you must comply promptly and thoroughly.  If you delay in providing your attorney with their requests, it could have horrible consequences on your case. Furthermore, delaying your attorney’s work schedule is extremely disrespectful and inconsiderate of their time. The last thing you want to do is make your attorney resentful of you and end up withdrawing from your case because they cannot rely on you or feel disrespected.

Adhering to your Agreement:  When you hire an attorney you enter into an agreement, or contract. That contract will state the terms of your relationship including the work that is to be performed and the fees you are agreeing to pay for those services.  To put it simply, you must pay your attorney for their work. You agreed to do so in writing, and failing to do so places you in danger of: having your attorney withdraw from your case, being sent to collections, incurring interest and more.  Think of it this way, when you buy a car, you know you need to keep gas in it to keep it running.  Same with your attorney, you must pay them according to the terms of your agreement in order for them to continue working on your case.  If your attorney withdraws because you stopped paying them, you will have to go hire another attorney to finish the case anyways. That new attorney is going to require a retainer then have to spend hours getting caught up on the case. You might as well stay current with your original attorney and save yourself the money that it will take for the new attorney to get going on your case.

Taking the Advice: You hired a professional and paid them good money so please take the advice they give you to prevent further damage and get you out of the legal process.

While the attorney has the legal knowledge to assist, there is only so much they can do without the aid of the client. Knowing your duties and what is needed to ensure a healthy working relationship is paramount to getting your money’s worth.

Site Updates in Progress. Thanks for your patience!