What should I ask my lawyer in the initial consultation?
With lawyers asking many of the questions during the initial consultation, clients sometimes forget to ask questions that would like to know about the lawyer or upcoming case. Here’s a list of questions you should ask your lawyer:
1-Will you always be honest with me about my case and not just tell me what I want to hear? Honesty between the lawyer and client is imperative. A lawyer needs to be able to trust his client and the client needs to know he can trust the lawyer
2-How long will it take my case to settle or reach trial? Depending on the type of case you have, the case could take weeks to years to be resolved. Litigation can take a long time, due to no fault of the lawyer, and clients need to understand from the outset that the process is sometimes slow so that the client has reasonable expectations about when they can expect a resolution.
3-Should I post information about my case on social media? The absolute answer to this is NO.
4-How long have you been practicing law? Our firm currently has 6 lawyers with a combined 50+ years of experience.
5-What type of cases do you and your firm handle? Our firm does not generally take cases we don’t have experience in. We have handled thousands of cases in the areas of workers’ compensation, personal injury, social security, discrimination, bad faith and other claims involving injuries.
6-Will I be interacting directly with you, the attorney, or with someone else in your office? Some offices are small with no support staff and some offices are large with many helpful staff members. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Discuss the differences honestly with your attorney so you know what to expect.
7-How many cases similar to mine have you handled before?
8-What is the best way to contact your firm (i.e. Phone, email, fax, etc)? Our firm will communicate with a client in any manner they prefer, but we live in an email driven world, and often that is a quick and efficient way to pass along information.
9-How will you let me know what’s happening with my case? It is unrealistic and not productive for a lawyer or staff member to call you regularly to tell you “nothing new,” but a lawyer should communicate with you about milestones in the case. Sometimes much of this communication about the expected milestones should be discussed in the first meeting, but a lawyer or his staff should keep you apprised of changes in the plan, rulings from a court or administrative body affecting your rights, and information that is pertinent for you to act on.
10-What will be the action plan for my case? Lawyers cannot always predict every twist and turn, but an experienced lawyer should be able to give you an idea of the steps that will be taken to protect your interests during your consultation.