In consulting the lawyer, I asked you a number of questions and felt reassured about the lawyer’s method, experience and experience. After the consultation, I knew you had found a lawyer to help you deal with the legal issue that makes you awake at night. But you still find yourself unsure of the legal services you get. What exactly do you expect from your new lawyer?
It is common for you to have questions and concerns about the legal process you are about to undergo, as well as what you can expect from a lawyer-client relationship. Unless you are an experienced expert in the legal system, you will have many questions you want to answer, just for your peace of mind. Among these questions is what to expect from a lawyer.
What you can expect from your lawyer
Although each lawyer is different – for example, lawyers charge different fees and work with clients and in situations in different ways – there are some basic things you can expect from the lawyer you appointed.
Communication is at the core of a good relationship between lawyer and client. In fact, many states have specific regulations on communications between counsel and their client. Your lawyer should explain the legal issues surrounding your case to understand what you are dealing with. If you have any questions about the case, your lawyer must be able to answer them.
It is also important to ask questions whenever you have any questions; you will be able to make important decisions about your case if you have all the information you need, so if there is anything you do not understand, you should ask your lawyer for clarification.
You can also expect your lawyer to respond to your correspondence from you in a timely manner. Of course, your case is not the only issue your lawyer deals with at any time, and sometimes immediate response may not be possible. For example, your lawyer may be in court. But still, in such cases, you should receive a timely acknowledgment that your messages have been received, and some ideas about when you can expect a reply, if not from your lawyer, then from his legal or legal assistant.
In addition to answering your legal questions and advising you on your case, your lawyer should also inform you of the progress of your case, including any new developments occurring, and any delay that may occur. It should also discuss with you the different options open to you, as well as the potential outcomes and potential setbacks associated with each option, to provide you with the information you need to make important decisions. You will need to make about your case.
Your lawyer has a number of commitments towards his clients. Each state has specific ethical rules that apply to lawyers who practice in the state. While these ethical rules and lawyer duties differ, some common ethical requirements include:
Maintain a lawyer-client privilege. This means that everything you discuss with your lawyer is confidential.
Conflicts of conflict of interest. Your solicitor can also represent someone whose interests are in conflict with your interests when it comes to the legal issue you have used with your solicitor.
Stay within the limits of the law. Your lawyer can not do anything illegal to promote your case.
Providing the clients with competent representation. This is discussed in the next section below.
Lawyer of competence. While you can expect your lawyer to act professionally, errors do occur from time to time. Lawyers are, after all, human beings.
However, counsel also has a duty to provide you with appropriate representation. For example, if your legal case is complex and legal, your lawyer has no experience, and does not have enough time to gain the knowledge and familiarity to advise you effectively, he or she must refer you to another lawyer with the required expertise.
What if you find yourself in the hands of a lawyer who is unable to represent you in an efficient way? An incompetent lawyer is a person who acts in a manner that is not done by a reasonably competent lawyer. If your solicitor makes a mistake in dealing with your case that was not committed by a reasonably competent lawyer, and this mistake causes you harm of some kind – for example, you lose money as a result – you may want to pursue a lawsuit against your solicitor for misconduct. Incompetent behavior may be procedural, such as failure to deliver an important document on time, or it may be ethical, such as representing two opposing sides in a legal matter.
Lawyer fees may be one of the most controversial issues arising from a lawyer’s relationship with a client. One of the things you should expect from your solicitor is to estimate the cost of your case, both in terms of attorney’s fees and any other costs such as court costs.
It is always good to have a written fee agreement, whether or not this agreement is a requirement in your state. You should also read your fee agreement carefully and ask questions about any parts you do not understand. Ideally, the fee agreement should provide you with detailed invoices or invoices detailing what each person working on your case file did, how long and which day.
In addition to your attorney’s rate, you should also clarify with your attorney the prices that will be charged for the work done by legal staff, such as paralegals or paralegals. If your solicitor works on an emergency fee basis, meaning that he only receives a fee if you win your case, you may receive or not receive bills regularly, but you should know exactly how the fees will be determined if you do so. Win your case and also be responsible for paying any costs that may arise during the progress of your case, such as filing costs in court.
When you get legal help by hiring a lawyer, it is understood that you have concerns about the legal process and what you can expect from your new solicitor. Although each lawyer is different, you can rest assured that there are some basic things you can expect from any lawyer you have appointed.
If you do not find a lawyer yet, LegalZoom can help. Sign up for a personal legal plan or business plan to access the lawyer at affordable prices.