What a Client Should Expect from an Attorney
Local lawyer spells out reasonable expectations
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ingrid E. Cummings, APR Rubicon Communications, LLC
(INDIANAPOLIS, October 30 , 2003) -- If you are hiring or working with an attorney for the first time, you may not know exactly what to expect. Lewis & Kappes attorney Jennifer Terry says, "We work under the following principles, all designed to serve the client and put their needs first."
- Telephone calls should be returned promptly - most within 24 hours. Your attorney may be involved in something else that he or she cannot drop, but you should have reasonable access to your attorney or another member of the legal team.
- Your attorney should listen to you and you should feel comfortable talking with your attorney. Honest and open communication is a key to a good attorney/client relationship.
- You should hear from your attorney promptly after important events and know the status of your case. You should be given copies of all incoming and outgoing communication, court and other material documents.
- You should understand how your attorney will handle fees and expenses. You should expect to be given a written agreement for professional services, which will govern the attorney-client relationship.
- You should discuss your expectations about the case with your attorney at the outset. Your attorney cannot and should not guarantee an outcome. However, your attorney should be your best advocate and do everything within the scope of the law to accomplish your desired results.
- Your attorney should offer his or her best judgment, even if it conflicts with your wishes. You hire an attorney for his or her judgment and expertise. Clients are better served by knowing the risks of their decision, than being catered to by a "yes-man."
- Your attorney should explore all the ways of resolving the case with you. Going to court is only one option. Your attorney should also explore whether your case might be resolved through settlement or mediation.
- Your attorney should be focused on the needs of your particular situation. He or she should determine with you what kinds of issues are involved in your case and then outline the firm's capabilities in those areas. Your attorney should recognize your needs for other kinds of professional services and work with other professionals.
- If you are contemplating an action or new business, your attorney can advise you not only on avoiding potential problems with the law, but on how to take advantage of the provisions of the law which create opportunities for you. Your attorney should also recognize that your ultimate business decisions are your own.