March 23rd, 2012
This firm recognizes that people going through the process of divorce or other family matters are fearful, anxious, distrusting and distraught. It is critical that clients have access to their attorneys at this time. Attorneys must be sensitive to the emotional upheaval caused by the client’s situation. Any and all information on a client’s matter must be communicated by the attorney, including all papers filed with the court, all correspondences going out or coming in from the other spouse’s attorney and every decision or offer of settlement on each and every issue at the time they occur.
On the other hand, attorneys must also be cognizant about assisting clients to best utilize the funds they expend on legal representation, since most all attorneys bill clients for the time they spend on the client’s matter. We encourage clients to keep a list of questions and concerns as they arise in their case and then arrange a time and date for a conference call to address these concerns and answer questions. This is more efficient than daily calls with random questions. At the onset of a divorce matter, many clients believe they should speak with their attorneys on a daily basis. When the first bill arrives, client’s find this to be more expensive than anticipated.
A frequent and common situation arises for people going through divorce: Family and friends who have been through divorce or know someone who went through divorce attempt to provide advice on what to demand of the other spouse and what to insist on from the attorney. We encourage clients to realize that every divorce is different and every family has a different set of circumstances. Listening to others regarding divorce can be far more destructive to the process than it is helpful. Any doubts or concerns should always be specifically addressed between the client and the attorney.
Whenever possible, email is a good and efficient way to communicate with your attorney. Documents can be scanned and emailed or sent via facsimile. These methods of communication are more efficient, less expensive, and not as delayed as communications through regular mail.
A good attorney will recognize that sometimes the family law matter is the very first time a client has had any exposure to the court system. The attorney must understand that any and all questions are valid and deserve answers and those answers should be provided on a timely basis. We want you to ask every possible question, no question is insignificant. We are here to answer your questions and reassure your uncertainties. We try hard to get back to clients no later than within 24 hours.
We try to impart to clients that if they have any question regarding the attorney’s work, the attorney’s bill, or any other issue about the attorney’s representation, to please let us know as soon as the issue arises. Sometimes it is just a matter of misunderstanding, sometimes another client’s work was inadvertently placed on a bill and must be removed. We find it most important, above all else to build trust within the attorney client relationship. If there are misunderstandings, they must be brought out, discussed and resolved as soon as possible.
Don’t be afraid to communicate everything about your case with your attorney. Nothing is worse for an attorney or the client than to discover the surprise important information from the other side during a hearing in front of the judge handling the case. The attorney cannot possibly be adequately prepared to handle an event without knowledge about the situation. When this happens a judge will doubt the truthfulness of a client, which will negatively impact the judge’s decisions on the case in the future.