|How To Get The Most From Your Lawyer
As in any successful relationship, a good lawyer/client relationship involves cooperation on both sides. As a client, you should do all you can to make sure you get the best possible legal help. To do so, you must hold up your end of the responsibilities. Below are ten common sense steps to establishing a successful relationship with your lawyer.
1. Give your lawyer the complete story.
2. Prepare for phone calls and meetings.
3. Keep your lawyers informed.
4. Ask your lawyer questions.
5. Trust your lawyer.
6. Talk about fees and money at the first visit.
In some cases fees are charged on an hourly basis or as a flat fee, and in some cases you will not pay any fees unless there is a recovery. In most cases, you will also have to pay for any expenses incurred (for example, filing fees or copying costs) on your case. You can and should negotiate fees and discuss payment plans with your attorney. Get your agreement in writing and keep a copy for your records. Most fee disputes arise when there is no written agreement.
7. Agree on a reporting procedure.
8. Know what you are signing.
9. Keep your own case file.
10. Listen to your lawyer.
You may have friends or relatives who have gone through a legal process similar to yours. Please remember that laws and procedures change based on when and where the hearing was held.
Your lawyer is your advocate and this means that his or her advice has your best legal interests at heart. After you have hired a lawyer you trust, listen to the advice carefully.