Detailing your attorney's duty to communicate with you

Having not gone to law school yourself, you cannot be expected to have a strong knowledge of local statutes or the rules and regulations governing legal procedures. That is why you typically leave such matters to your attorney. Yet while you may expect your lawyer to handle all of the legal "mumbo-jumbo," you still will want to remain actively involved in your legal representation. Surprisingly, one of the more common complaints that those we here at St. Denis & Davey hear from clients who were unhappy with previous legal representation is a lack of communication between lawyers and clients. This may prompt you to wonder how much your lawyer should be communicating with you. 

Much of legal representation involves research and investigation, most of which you likely do not need to be directly involved in. Then there is the complicated "legalese" that attorneys use during hearings and when filing motions. While you may not need to understand the exact details of it all, you should be given general information regarding what it happening with your case at all times. The American Bar Association has established the standard for attorney-client communication in its Model Rules of Professional Conduct. Here, it state's that your attorney must: 

  • Promptly inform you of any action or decision which requires your informed consent
  • Consult with you about the methods needed to accomplish your objectives
  • Quickly reply to any of your requests for information
  • Inform you of his or her limitations imposed by the Rules of Professional Conduct 

As the aforementioned requirements demonstrate, you should have a strong understanding of every element or matter related to your case in order to be in the best position to make informed decisions regarding it. More information on your attorney's obligations to you can be found here on our site. 

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