If you have been injured and are considering hiring an attorney, you may find yourself wondering if you need an attorney and how they can help you with your case. An attorney may have many different roles depending on the size, type and complexity of their client’s case. But in every case, an attorney should provide sound legal guidance, advocate on behalf of their client, and always represent the best interests of that client.
Sound legal guidance
- Open, honest and frequent communication – It is extremely important that attorneys and their clients have open, honest, and frequent communication about the posture, status and the next steps or options in their case. In order to do so, attorneys and clients establish trust with one another so that they feel comfortable sharing information and having a healthy dialogue as the case develops.
- Setting realistic expectations – Often times clients don’t know what to expect or what should be happening during the life of their case. It is the attorney’s job to counsel the client, explain things to them, set realistic expectations, and then deliver on the things that they can control. The attorney should fully discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the case, how to utilize the strengths and overcome any weakness that may exist. These candid discussions help inform and set realistic expectations for both parties.
- Properly evaluating the case – This can go hand in hand with setting the proper expectations for a client’s case. It is crucial that clients understand the true value of their case, what factors might influence the value of the case, and what might add or decrease the value of their case. Once armed with this knowledge, attorneys and their clients can work together to achieve the best possible outcome.
Represent the best interests of the client
- Knowing your venue – In some cases, the attorney filing the action may have a choice of venue, or where they want the action brought. This may mean which Parish they want to file a lawsuit in or if they want to bring the action in Federal, State or City Court. Depending on the facts and other circumstances involved in the case, the attorney may recommend a certain venue as being more favorable if the attorney feels it would be most advantageous for their client to litigate in that court system. Venue should always be discussed with the client so that they understand the potential impact before this decision is made.
- Making informed decisions together – Making informed decisions requires all the factors listed above. The Attorney should be educating and guiding the client throughout the representation process. The client should be able to trust and communicate openly and honestly with their attorney. Together, both the attorney and client should have input in the decision-making process.