I Hired A Family Attorney, Now What?
Whether you decide to hire a lawyer due to divorce, a family dispute, medical child custody, or for some other issue, you’ll want to make sure there is excellent communication between you, your lawyer, and all parties involved. Here are some tips on how to stay on top of your case after you hire a lawyer.
Answer Questions Truthfully, in a Timely Manner
When you hire a lawyer you will have an initial meeting or sometimes more than one meeting to get down the basics of your case and give your lawyer as much information as you can. However, as the case moves along your lawyer will likely need more information from you. To stay on top of your case it’s important to provide your lawyer with the requested information in a timely manner so he can proceed with your case. It is equally as important to answer all questions truthfully and to the best of your knowledge.
Do Whatever You are Required to Do
In some cases, such as a personal injury case, you may need to attend medical appointments, follow a treatment plan, and take prescribed medication. Failure to do so may affect the outcome of your case. In other instances, you may need to communicate with your insurance company or contact someone to get more information that only you can secure. Do whatever you are required to do to stay on top of your case.
Set Up Regular Meetings
Whether by email, phone, or in-person, schedule regular meetings with your lawyer to discuss the progression of our case and discuss how your case is progressing. At this time ask any questions that may have come up since your initial meetings or since your last scheduled meeting. Part of a lawyer’s job is to clarify information and explain what things mean to a lay person.
Refrain from Social Sharing
Another way to stay on top of your case is be discreet with your outside communication when necessary until your case is settled. Refrain from sharing subject matter related to your case on social media, or from discussing your case with anyone other than your lawyer. This will ensure that information that shouldn’t be shared stays in the proper hands.
Get a Fee Agreement in Writing and Pay Your Bills on Time
Disputes are common between clients and lawyers when fees are not in writing and clearly spelled out for both parties. Make sure to get a fee agreement in writing and signed by both you and your lawyer. If anything is vague or confusing, ask for explanation and rewording when necessary.
Once you agree on a fee schedule, pay your bills on time. This keeps fees from building up and keeps a feeling of goodwill between you and your lawyer. It also allows your lawyer to continue working on your case.
Report Unethical Behavior Immediately
You can expect your lawyer to follow a code of ethics that includes:
- Attorney-client privilege
- Client loyalty in representation
- Conduct themselves within the bounds of the law
- Refrain from engaging in criminal activity
- Perform duties competently and to your satisfaction
- Put your interest ahead of themselves
In Florida, The Department of Lawyer Regulation under The Florida Bar, which is an official arm of the Florida Supreme Court, is responsible for disciplining lawyers and other legal professionals. They enforce rules of professional conduct, accept complaints, investigate complaints, and prosecute at fault attorneys. They operate the Attorney/Consumer Assistance Program (ACAP) which can be contacted by phone or by filling out a complaint. They have a FAQ section and publish information for consumers concerning attorney discipline.
If your lawyer is found guilty, disciplinary actions can result in fines, suspension, or revocation of the license to practice law.
We Help You Stay On Top of Your Case
At Crystal Collins Spencer, Attorney at Law, we know how important it is to have excellent communication between lawyer and client and to follow the rules of ethics when practicing law. We can help you stay on top of your case once you hire us. Contact us or give us a call at 1-850-912-8080 for more information on how we can serve you.