Hiring an attorney can be a difficult process. Many people are seeking a lawyer because they’re experiencing a difficult or emotional time in their lives, so it’s important to choose the right one. The relationship between an attorney and a client is genuine – requiring mutual trust, respect and understanding. Law firms talk a lot about what makes their attorneys great, but today we want to discuss the attorney-client relationship and how to help it thrive.
Following are some ways you can be a better client, and in turn, help your attorney give your case the focused attention it deserves.
Set reasonable expectations
Your divorce attorney is your advocate and works for you, but remember that she can only operate within Maryland law. And, every case is different. Your attorney will set realistic expectations around what to expect for your case – you can trust her when considering potential outcomes and resolutions. And, although your attorney is your advocate, it’s also her job to be honest with you, sharing the bad along with the good.
We understand that you may have questions or fears, and we’re dedicated to communicating with our clients consistently and frequently. But calling or emailing constantly will not speed up your case because the courts set the timelines. Often, individuals have up to 30 days to respond to legal action, so you may not hear much from your attorney for a few weeks. Many times with law firms, no news is good news.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should be incommunicado – if your attorney can’t get in touch with you, then your case cannot move forward. And if something changes in your life or in your case, you should definitely let us know.
Be respectful of your attorney’s time
Your case is important: to you, to your attorney, and to your future. However, it’s not her only case. It’s why at our firm, we set up meeting times with our clients: the time given to our clients is important, and when you work with our team, we want to make sure that you have our full attention. We know that sometimes things come up – a sick child, a flat tire, an emergency of some sort – that cannot be avoided. But last-minute schedule changes often cannot be accommodated without detriment to another client, which isn’t fair to the other person or to your attorney.
Discuss fees at the first visit
Although no attorney typically can predict exactly how much your case might cost, we are always upfront about fees and schedules, and will provide an estimate of the type of work required on your case. We also discuss those schedules and get them in writing. From there, it’s your job to abide by that contract. Remember: your attorney also has bills to pay, including staff salaries and overhead office expenses. In some cases, divorce attorneys have the legal right to stop providing services due to unpaid invoices, provided the applicable ethical and legal rules are followed.
Your attorney has the right to expect you to be completely honest. You can’t lie, hide any facts or conceal or destroy any evidence (including deleting entries from your phone or emails). Experienced divorce attorneys know how to deal with the less wonderful aspects of a case, and minimize their negative impact – as long as they know about them in advance. If that type of evidence surfaces during a trial, however, your case is likely over, as your attorney won’t be able to prevent it.
The Rockville family law attorneys at McCabe Russell, P.A. work with clients to solve disputes in a fair, professional and equitable manner. We advocate for the best interests of you and your family. Call 443-917-3347, or feel free to reach out to us through our contact form. We also maintain offices in Fulton, Columbia, and Bethesda.
At McCabe Russell, PA, we have an established reputation as assertive and confident negotiators and litigators, offering legal guidance designed to eliminate any of our clients’ worries and confusion. We are experienced family law attorneys in Howard and Montgomery County, but we serve clients throughout Maryland. Read more about McCabe Russell, PA.