posted by Lisa Dillman
As a society, we hire lawyers when we are in need of advice, counsel or representation for legal issues ranging from the creation of a contract to civil or criminal cases. Far too often individuals hire an attorney without a complete understanding of the rights they have as consumers of legal services. As you hire an attorney for your representation, you may feel that the attorney is doing you a favor in assisting you with your legal situation. However, that does not minimize the standard of conduct that should exist in the attorney-client relationship. Similar to how you would conduct research in the purchase of a car or home, it is also best to be well informed before hiring legal representation.
Prior to hiring an attorney, it is important to know what to expect from your attorney-client relationship. Any attorney you hire should be:
- Responsive – the high-tech world we live in makes communication between parties nearly instantaneous. Although this may not always be possible for an attorney due to court, depositions and meetings, responses to phone calls and emails should be done in a timely manner, typically by the end of the business day if not the next.
- Transparent – you have the right prior to agreeing to representation or shortly thereafter to be informed of how legal services will be rendered as well as any associated fees. You have the right to receive a realistic depiction of the legal proceedings you will encounter. You also have the right to be informed of any issues that may hinder successful representation.
- Competent – attorneys should exhibit legal knowledge, thoroughness and remain up-to-date on changes in the law. Prior to hiring an attorney, it is a good idea to determine whether or not your legal situation requires specialized knowledge.
- Courteous and respectful in all interaction – you have the right to be treated with respect in all interactions between your attorney and your attorney’s staff. You should not feel belittled, demeaned or a nuisance during interactions with your attorney.
- Loyal – there should be no conflict of interest in existence that could compromise an attorney’s ability to represent you. An attorney should represent you fully and to the best of his/her ability.
- Provide full disclosure – you are also entitled to be made aware of any facts or developments pertinent to your case.
- Keep information you provide confidential – as a client, you should have the reasonable understanding that any communication between you and your attorney will be kept confidential, except in instances where disclosure is required in order to prevent harm to oneself, the committing of another crime that would cause injury to another, or where compelled to disclose by order of law.
At Dillman & Associates, we provide all of this and more. We are here to serve you. We believe in speaking the “truth” and using “straight talk” in order to successfully resolve client issues. We realize that legal issues can be stressful; however, our professional attorneys and legal staff make the situation as stress-free as possible. Feel free to contact us for a free consultation to determine how we may be able to assist you with your legal issue.