As a client, you have to pick the right lawyer for your case; otherwise, it might spell disaster in the courtroom. But it’s not enough to choose a great attorney to represent your defense. You also have to maintain a healthy, professional relationship with your lawyer.
A solid client-attorney relationship gives clients a better court experience overall and often results in more favorable outcomes for those clients. Luckily, there are several ways clients can appropriately communicate with their lawyer.
Prepare yourself before seeking a lawyer
The court is an intimidating process, especially during the first appearance. You may feel tempted to select a random lawyer and speed up the proceedings. However, it’s critical to take time to prepare yourself before choosing a lawyer and appearing in court. You should determine the details of your case, your expectations and goals of the outcome.
While selecting a representative, take advantage of free consultations and interview different lawyers in your area. Narrow down your options to people you felt comfortable talking to or knew more about your specific case.
Communicate openly and honestly
After hiring an attorney, you will have several conversations about your case. You will probably go over specific details multiple times and review what to say in court. However, most lawyers rely on open communication with their clients to give the best argument. You should be as honest and transparent as possible with your attorney. Any detail of your case may be the point of success for your defense.
Have realistic expectations
Clients have to understand there are certain expectations when it comes to representation. For example, people cannot expect a call back for their legal question on a Saturday night. They should wait a reasonable amount of time for their lawyer to respond. It shouldn’t take weeks, but a few days may be necessary.
There are also expectations around the case. An attorney acts in their clients’ interests, and they should also manage the client’s expectations around the outcome of the case. If it’s unlikely the charges will be dismissed, a lawyer should communicate that to the client and aim for a plea bargain.
Both attorneys and clients should show mutual respect during a case. If you have difficulty communicating with your attorney or their representation of you in court, respectfully tell them. If you and your lawyer still cannot find common ground, consider changing representation. It will only ease your experience in the courtroom.