You believe that you found the right attorney. After examining all the facts, you have chosen a lawyer to represent you. Now, what are your responsibilities as a client? Are there things you can do to assist your lawyer in serving you more efficiently (and more economically, too)? Happily, the answer is yes. Read on to discover some proactive steps you can take to get the maximum benefit from your attorney and help to create positive outcomes for your case.
Cultivate and maintain honest, transparent communication with your attorney from the beginning. The lawyer-client relationship is a confidential one and your attorney is fully invested in assisting you – and sharing all the facts regarding your case, both good and bad, is crucial to your ultimate success.
Lawyers are people just like you and understand that life is messy and no one is perfect. By trusting your lawyer with all the pertinent facts, you give him or her the means to expedite the legal process on your behalf. So, inform your lawyer of new developments pertinent to your case as soon as possible. Providing incomplete or inaccurate information to your legal counsel will cause delays and end up costing you more money. Worse, your professional relationship with your attorney may be undermined, as failing to be upfront about your situation is unfair to both you and your lawyer. Avoid this misstep by keeping communication open, respectful and honest. The person who will benefit most will be you.
Discuss your expectations for the case at the outset. Do indicate your financial limits. If you have anxieties about being able to keep up with legal costs, say so. Take time to candidly ask what result your lawyer expects for your case. Are the chances good that you can obtain your preferred outcome? Not every case is worth pursuing and you don’t want to invest more into the process than it can return to you.
With your lawyer’s help, consider the financial advantages and disadvantages before pursuing additional legal action. If you have no experience with legal proceedings, you may have unrealistic expectations regarding the process. Ask about a tentative time frame and estimated cost. Having this discussion at the outset will protect you against frustrations as your lawyer advances your case. Make sure that you understand everything you will be billed for at the outset. Lawyer fees may not include incidental costs such as filing, photocopies, postage, phone calls, and the fees of other staff involved with preparing your case. If you need clarification, speak up.
Details matter. Organize and maintain accurate paperwork. The old adage that time is money rings particularly true here. The greater the accuracy of the information you give your legal counsel, the more efficiently he or she can put your case together and proceed. You can save money and time by striving to keep all your paperwork and documents organized and readily available. Failure to do so will require involvement from legal staff and probably additional costs.
Catalog a list of names, addresses and phone numbers, as well as dates and other information relevant to your case. Verify that your documentation is accurate and spellings are correct. Assemble whatever paperwork is pertinent to your case, including traffic tickets, deeds, wills or letters from opposing attorneys. Being proactive with these steps will substantially diminish the time your lawyer will need to spend on details, allowing him or her to expedite the legal process on your behalf.
Experienced Attorneys in South Carolina: The Law Office of F. Craig Wilkerson, Jr.
We are dedicated to supporting and advocating for our clients. Accessible, prompt, and courteous service is our goal as we help to bring about a positive outcome for your unique case.
So, let us put our legal expertise to work for you. We welcome inquiries about car accidents, workers’ compensation and wrongful death, as well as medical malpractice, nursing home negligence and more personal injury and civil litigation issues. Contact our South Carolina attorneys online or call us at 803-324-7200 (local in Rock Hill), 803-289-7202 (local Lancaster) or 803-396-5200 (local Fort Mill).
Still in the early stages of looking for a South Carolina attorney? Here are two additional blog posts to read:
- How to Choose an Attorney in Rock Hill, SC (or anywhere else in the US)
- Initial Consultations with Attorneys in South Carolina