Rosanne DeTorres, a family lawyer in Flemington, answers:
The attorney’s primary responsibility is to use her knowledge, training, and skills to offer the client available options to achieve the client’s stated goals. In the legal world, there are always many ways to take to reach a settlement, depending the particular facts and circumstances of your life. Your right is to be informed of creative ways to resolve the issues presented in your case. You make the ultimate decisions about every step of your case and settlement.
The attorney usually determines strategy without the client’s input, like how to address a witness, or who should testify first. Attorneys are best at making these decisions for the client, given their courtroom experience and expertise.
The first thing that an attorney asks of a client is to be truthful at all times. Withholding information or providing incorrect information will prevent the attorney from giving proper advice.
Throughout the legal process, the attorney will request a lot of financial statements and documents. Some are not so easy to find, so be prepared to do some digging. The bottom line is that the more things you do for the attorney, the lower the fees will be.
Here are a few tips about how to make the Attorney/Client team successful:
- Make sure that you and your attorney have the same goals and objectives.
- Make sure it is clear on how the process is going to progress. A schedule will make this clear, and enable you to keep in constant contact with one another.
- Be able to supply the information needed to successfully handle the case.
- Have a clear understanding of the costs and billing procedures.
- If you do not understand something or disagree with something, make sure you speak up.