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What your attorney needs from you

Elderly couple purchasing life insuranceWe are always thinking about what we need from people. When we hire someone to work for us, we only think about what assistance we need from them. Have you ever thought about what that person needs? Your cleaning lady, what would she need from you? She probably needs uninterrupted time to get your house in order. She might need certain cleaning supplies to do the job the way you expect it to be done. She definitely needs to have you tell her what you expect of her. 

Everyone we hire to do a job for us has certain needs from us, even an attorney. What could an attorney need? Aren’t they the ones with the knowledge? Yes, they are. But without certain information from you, they can’t do they job you want them to. When you first meet with an attorney about a legal issue, you need to tell that attorney the situation. Only after an attorney has that information can he or she determine if you have a valid legal issue. And your attorney needs you to be honest. How can an attorney effectively represent your interests if you have made up information that you feel will help your case? It’s going to come out that you fudged the facts, making you and your attorney look dishonest in front of the court.

And your attorney is going to need all the facts of the case. You might think a particular detail is not important, but you are not the expert. That is why you hired an attorney. Let the attorney decide what is important and what is not. And you need to show up in court when you are expected to. Having a client not appear as scheduled is a waste of your attorney’s time. Also remember that when you are in court your attorney needs you to be appropriately dressed and on your best court behavior. It may seem petty but appearances can have an outcome on your case.

Speaking of outcomes, what is it you are seeking as a resolution to your lawsuit? Your attorney needs to know this as well. If you come in looking for a ridiculous amount of money to be awarded to you or have unreasonable conditions you want the defendant to abide by, your attorney needs to know this. He or she wants to get the outcome you are seeking, but needs you to be reasonable.

It’s always good to have expectations of others. Just remember that others have expectations of you also.