Understanding the Attorney-Client Relationship
Whether defending you in a civil, criminal or financial manner, your attorney will be privy to parts of your life few others are. Suffice to say, the relationship between attorneys and their clients is a unique one.
That being said, professional ethics and best practices clearly spell out some specifics of how this relationship will work. Knowing in advance what to expect from your lawyer will ultimately be beneficial to your case. It will help the two of you understand each other and work together better.
In this article, we look at some of the basics to keep in mind when meeting an attorney for this first time. This will also help you know what to search for when choosing someone to represent you in an important matter.
The Initial Consultation
Most attorneys will provide a free initial consultation. During this consultation, the two of you will go over the details of your case. Based on these details, your attorney will determine if he or she is able to represent you.
Be wary of anyone who makes extravagant promises and only seems to tell you what you want to hear. An honest professional will present you with a number of options. He or she will also give you a realistic assessment of your chances for success.
This meeting also gives you an opportunity to assess a potential representativeâ€™s interpersonal characteristics. Even if a lawyer seems trustworthy and professional, you need to get along with him or her to a certain extent. For whatever reason, there will always be people we just donâ€™t see eye to eye with â€” in an important legal matter, your attorney shouldnâ€™t be one of them.
What Can You Expect From a Lawyer?
A lawyerâ€™s primary responsibility is to protect your legal rights. He or she must work towards a positive outcome for your case.
Your attorney should maintain good communication throughout the process, keeping you informed of any new developments. He or she should be providing you with copies of all correspondence and documents related to the case. Your attorney must also adhere to a strict code of confidentiality and professional ethics, which requires being diligent about any potential conflict of interest.
What Are Your Responsibilities to Your Lawyer?
Like any relationship, the one between an attorney and his or her client is a two-way street. In exchange for complying with the above requirements, your lawyer will expect you to be open and honest about all the facts of your case â€” and to immediately disclose any new information that becomes available.
You will also be responsible for settling all agreed-upon fees in a timely manner. An attorney can refuse to represent someone if he or she feels the case is without merit. Attorneys, however, cannot refuse a client based on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or any other factor covered in state discrimination law.
Can Rahaim & Saints Help You?
The legal team at Rahaim & Saints represents clients in a number of issues, from criminal law to divorce, bankruptcy and personal injury. We specialize in building strong relationships with our clients that are based on trust and mutual honesty. To discuss the details of your case with one of our team members, contact us in Wilmington or Newark to arrange your initial consultation.