Like any professional relationship, receiving good legal representation in Central Oregon requires good communication between the lawyer and client. Conflicts, time, and expenses can all be greatly reduced by good lawyer-client communications. Furthermore, establishing and maintaining a good working relationship with your attorney is a great way to promote resolving legal matters in the most favorable manner to you. Here are three rules to follow to maintain effective communication with your attorney.
- Keep Your Attorney Informed and Request She Does the Same.
If your circumstances change, notify your attorney immediately because these changes may affect your case and the legal advice you receive. Similarly, your attorney should provide you with a copy of almost everything she does on your behalf, even if you only receive copies marked “client copy” or “for your information.” Finally, if you have not heard from your attorney in a while, feel free to send a short email or leave a message indicating as much and requesting an update.
- Get a Realistic Assessment of Your Case.
Ask your attorney for his best guess of how long your matter will take to resolve and approximately how much it will cost. Lawyers cannot see the future so it is also a good idea to have your attorney explain the best and worst case scenarios for your case. If your attorney feels comfortable doing so, ask him to assign probabilities to each outcome. In litigation matters, ensure that you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your case. Having a range of possible outcomes presented to you and the factors affecting those outcomes will enable you to make a better decision on how to proceed.
- Remember That You Makes the Decisions in the Case.
It is your attorney’s job to provide you with legal advice and it is your responsibility to make the final decisions. Do not let your attorney pressure you into making a decision you really do not want to make and at the same time, do not try to pressure your attorney into making the decisions for you. It is ok to ask your attorney what she would do in the situation but understand that you may make the decision for different reasons so you need to understand why your attorney would make the decision she recommends. Understanding the pros and cons for each decision goes a long way in making the right decision for you.
Bend’s legal community is a relatively tightknit group compared to larger markets like Portland or Seattle. Plus, the Deschutes County Bar Association actively promotes networking and socializing among Central Oregon attorneys. As a result, many local attorneys are able to work together to resolve issues amicably even though their clients are adverse. However, not even Bend attorneys cannot do this alone. They need their clients to clearly and completely communicate the facts of the matter and their interests in reaching a resolution.