4 Qualities to Expect from a Good Attorney
When you retain a lawyer to represent your legal interests, the relationship entails certain obligations on the part of both parties. A prospective legal client is responsible for conducting adequate research to locate a qualified attorney and asking pertinent questions prior to signing a contract. Legal clients naturally expect results from their attorney, so it’s not surprising that many clients complain when things don’t go as expected.
The Obligations of Your Attorney
Dissatisfaction with the legal representation of a lawyer usually falls into one of the following areas:
You should have seen this one coming. Poor communication doesn’t mean that you have a bad lawyer, but it can sure lead to unnecessary assumptions and misunderstandings. Once again, it’s important to ask all the right questions prior to making a final decision regarding who should represent your legal interests. Every attorney is obligated to explain the legal services that will be provided as well as the anticipated timelines. You should also receive a contract detailing your financial obligations and any payment schedule that may have been agreed upon.
Obviously, it’s reasonable to expect your attorney to return your calls and keep you informed regarding the progress of your case. It’s understood that most lawyers are extremely busy, but you shouldn’t hesitate to complain if your lawyer has been ignoring your questions and concerns. You should also expect your attorney’s legal staff to assist you in every way possible.
2) Legal Competence
Just because someone graduates from law school and passes the bar examination doesn’t mean that they’re good at what they do. Checking references and verifying specialty certifications is a vital part of selecting an effective attorney. Don’t expect any help from the bar association unless your lawyer is guilty of a major ethical violation. A malpractice lawsuit may be appropriate in instances when a lawyer fails to act in a professional manner.
3) Professional Ethics
Your attorney is obligated to observe the ethical standards of the state where they practice law. Every attorney is obligated to act in the best interest of their clientele. A licensed attorney should never be found guilty of divided loyalties or breaching the confidentiality of a legal client. Every state has a disciplinary body to investigate ethical complaints.
4) Legal Fees
Nearly everyone has complained about excessive legal fees at one time or another. A comprehensive contract and a detailed itemization of anticipated fees is the best way to avoid misunderstandings and complaints.
A legal bill should never be a surprise. The bill may be higher than was anticipated, but a professional attorney will thoroughly discuss the financial implications of a legal case along the way. The financial implications of settling a case or going to trial, for example, is a major financial decision.