I generally define red flags as common-sense. For instance, if it’s a billable case, you are supposed to be getting billed each month. Many small law offices do not have big billing machines, but they should be billing approximately every month. If they are not, you need to have a conversation with them. If they’re unable to do that, that would be a concern. If you’re calling your attorney, and they’re not returning your phone calls, that’s an absolute red flag.
In our office, we have a policy. In most cases, we forward all correspondence to our clients. We want our clients to know what we’re saying and what the other side is saying. We have open communication. If we need to talk to them, we email them to let them know that we need to talk along with any relevant information. We’ll forward a copy of the information and say, “Look, we’re going to be contacting you shortly.” After a time, they start to pay attention. However, we also them to call and ask questions.
It is important to return phone calls and be a part of the case. I have a lot of cases. Each of my clients has at least one case. They normally know everything about their cases. I try to keep my clients as active participants. On the other hand, if a client worries a lot and begins to overcall, we’re happy to take the phone calls. However, we do caution them that calling continually could run up their costs.
In regard to red flags, communication is essential. You should be able to have a good relationship with your attorney. You should be able to talk to them. Do they communicate well with you? Or, do you talk to your lawyer for 30-45 minutes and then wonder what they said? That might be a red flag. Your lawyer must be able to communicate with you. Another thing to keep in mind is that lawyers don’t always know the answers. If a lawyer says, “Look, I don’t know the answer to that, but let me get back to you,” that may be a sign of a good lawyer being perfectly honest with you. I recently had a similar situation. I didn’t know the most recent updated version of what the courts are doing. I told my client, “Listen, I need to do a little checking on this.” In fact, there was no change, but I was comfortable saying that because there was a possibility that it changed.
You Have The Background And Experience To Do The Litigation, But Nobody Wants To Go To Court. As An Attorney, Do You Try Alternative Solutions To Resolving A Personal Injury Case Or Family Law Case?
Trying an alternative resolution method is much less expensive than going into litigation. It is also much less confrontational. It generally results in a known result that both parties can live with. A judge once told me that a good settlement occurs when both sides are angry because that’s when an agreement was split right down the middle. However, sometimes there is no other way around litigation. Our firm has no problem litigating a case in court.
If you can get a good proposal to resolve the case, that bird in hand is better than trying a case in front of a jury and not knowing what you’re going to get. Litigation is a risk. There are times when you try a case and times when you need to reach a resolution. In a family law case, it’s even more critical to reach a resolution for a number of reasons. First, you are dealing with a family unit. In many cases, there are young children involved. If you decide to litigate, in certain cases both parties could end up getting hurt or offended, especially if it’s a long, expensive, and nasty process. They may never heal from that. It’s very sad when moms and dads have to be on the opposite side of a room. For example, parents often find themselves on opposite sides when their children graduate from Kindergarten, grade school, and high school; or when they go to college and get married. It’s not healthy for the children or the parents.
It’s destructive. Many times, however, that can be avoided if the parents work together. If they can pull their emotions out and just try to resolve the issues, it can significantly help their case and children. It is much easier said than done, but it can certainly help the children and the case.
For more information, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (337) 240-6697 today.