Effective communication between you and your lawyer is essential to a strong lawyer-client relationship. This is a two-way process and requires the lawyer and client to provide each other with the information necessary to reach satisfactory resolution of the matter.
Communication from you to your lawyer – You should be aware that failure to volunteer all relevant information and to provide the lawyer with the information when requested, may have an adverse effect on the lawyer’s ability to represent you. It may also increase the lawyer’s fees. Inquiries from lawyers should be addressed promptly and completely.
Communication from your lawyer to you – You have a right to be kept advised of the status of your case. You and your lawyer should discuss the most effective and efficient way for the lawyer to provide you with information, including:
- when and how communications will take place;
- what constitutes unnecessary communications between you and the lawyer which may result in increased fees;
- what preparation you should do before meeting with or contacting the lawyer, including gathering any documents necessary and preparing a list of any questions or concerns you wish to discuss with the lawyer.
If you are concerned about how your legal issue is being handled, express these concerns to your lawyer. In many instances, there are simple explanations. Addressing such issues promptly will allow you to avoid damaging the level of trust essential to the relationship. If your concerns are not resolved after discussing them with the lawyer, you are entitled to seek a new attorney. You are still responsible, however, for paying the reasonable value of legal services already provided. Even if you fire your attorney, you are entitled to a copy of your attorney’s file.