To wrap up our series on transparency in working with attorneys, we’ve outlined three key tips to improve communication with your attorney that can make your relationship more successful.
With more than 110 years of experience, we have witnessed some best practices when it comes to working with an attorney. There is no question working with an attorney can feel overwhelming especially if it is something unfamiliar. We would like to suggest a few tips that will improve communication with your attorney and make your working relationship more successful.
Be organized and detailed
Provide your attorney with a clear and comprehensive account of your situation. Your attorney is required to keep all information in confidence and sharing both the good and the bad enables them to give you the best advice and guidance to ensure the best possible outcome.
Details matter in the eyes of the law and mundane variables, such as weather or time of day, could influence your case. For example, if you are involved in a traffic accident, write down the events that took place in chronological order, provide citation information and a list of contact information for witnesses. For legal matters that involve finances, such as drafting a will or filing for a divorce; create a folder of relevant documents like a list of bank and investment accounts, and any source of debt such as a home loan or credit card.
The more organized and prepared you are, the less you will have to pay someone else for these services and the higher likelihood the presentation of your case is accurate. Providing specific names, dates and incidents can help your attorney build the best case for you. Don’t leave out relevant facts and don’t add fictional information.
The law can be confusing. If you don’t understand the meaning of terms or how a process works, ask questions so that your attorney can explain what is happening. Not only can the clarification help put the situation in perspective, the communication has the potential to enable your attorney to do a better job representing you. We also encourage clients to lean on legal staff to answer basic questions about a case. Legal staff can typically answer questions such as “when will I hear something back about my case” and let you know how things are proceeding in general. Legal staff also have the added benefit of being more readily available as they don’t go to court or have lengthy meetings with clients. Communicating with them can give you a wealth of basic information, but not advice, quickly.
If there are new or relevant updates related to your case, inform your attorney as soon as possible. This can be as simple as sending your attorney, and their staff, a brief email describing the change in your situation. If your attorney needs more details, then they will follow up with you. Developments that seem insignificant could dramatically change your legal situation in either a positive or negative way, and it is best to let your attorney decide what is important.
Every situation is different but being open and honest with your attorney will make the process easier. We’re looking forward to working with you. Please contact us at 740-653-6464 or daggerlaw.com.