When you hire an attorney, you aren’t their boss and they aren’t the boss of you. A good relationship is when you work as partners and they give advice that allows you to make educated decisions. Part of that happening is them being with you throughout the process and providing information. It builds trust and actually makes it more likely that you will win your case.
A reader, when I told them that their current attorney wasn’t giving customer service, asked me what that actually means. I thought it was a good question and when it comes to the whole case, I thought it would be good to provide a road map of what you have the right to expect.
- When the case is filed, you are notified within a week and given a copy of the Application of Adjustment of Claim. Once an initial status date is set you are notified about that too.
- Your attorney checks in with you. I recommend that you always call or e-mail your lawyer if you have questions or something important happens, but if you don’t, your attorney should be reaching out to you.
- They should be giving legal advice. If you ever watch a football or basketball game, there is one announcer who gives analysis of what they see happening. Your attorney should be doing that too, not just when there is a problem with the case. When you first explain what happened to you they should tell you what your chances of winning are and if there is any case law that works for or against you. This should continue to happen as the case goes on.
- When giving you an analysis they should let you know your chances of winning and shouldn’t just tell you what they think you want to hear.
- The legal analysis should also explain case law if it applies and should lay out the dollars they are talking about.
- If you send an e-mail or leave a message for the lawyer, they should respond to you within 24 hours.
- They are your lawyer, not your dictator. Their job is to lay out your options and your chances to help you make an educated decision. Unless you are being really unreasonable they should explain and then let you decide what you want to do. If you know the risks, but still want to go to trial, it should happen.
- They shouldn’t change their opinion at the courthouse steps. In other words, they shouldn’t get cold feet just because the case is going to trial.
- They need to be aggressive.
- Above all else they need to know your case. You aren’t their only client, but if they can’t know your case in their head, they should have it all written down in their computer so ALL of your information is at their fingertips.
Expect this. When you get this type of service you’ll feel good about your case, no matter the result, when your case is over because you’ll know that your attorney did everything that they could for you.