Hiring a lawyer requires that you meet with him or her to discuss your needs, the merits of your case and the potential plan of action the attorney intends to use on your behalf. However, many potential clients feel nervous and ill prepared for this first meeting. What information should they divulge? What questions should they ask the attorney? Here are some simple steps to help ensure that your initial meeting is as beneficial and easy as possible.
Never try to beautify your case by omitting facts or events. Your attorney needs to know all relevant details about you case in order to help you in court. If you omit facts, previous legal rulings or other vital information, your case can be severely jeopardized.
While you may feel that the facts are not relevant or that they detract from your case, they are still of utmost importance. By being honest and direct with your attorney, you help engender trust and facilitate a better legal outcome. In addition, never be afraid to question your attorney; they should provide open, honest communication.
Always bring vital notes to the consultation. Jot them down while preparing for the meeting. These notes should cover all areas of your case, in a logical manner. In fact, using these notes sequentially can be the best way to bring the attorney up to speed on the case, as well as highlighting the vital areas of interest.
These notes can also help answer questions that the attorney will invariably have concerning the case. In addition, take notes about what the attorney plans to do, write down any pertinent information provided. This will help you be more prepared for the case to come.
By telling your attorney your exact expectations from the case, he or she can be better prepared to help you achieve that goal. Cover all areas that you expect the attorney to cover.
For instance, if you have been injured due to the negligence of another, inform the attorney of medical bills that you have incurred, loss of income or employment and anything else that pertains to the case. If you are the defendant, provide the attorney with all the facts concerning your case, no matter how damaging they may seem to you.
Always come to the initial consultation prepared. This includes bringing vital information with you, such as the name and contact information of witnesses, the contact information (including name, address and phone number) of anyone else involved in the case and more.
Bring copies of contracts if applicable, other written agreements or legal documents, as well. If your attorney requests specific information be provided prior to the meeting, ensure that you are able to provide him or her with that information expediently.