When most people seek out the services of a lawyer, it's because they're facing a complicated situation that they likely have little to no experience with. Without formal training, the legal system can seem extremely daunting, and you may have difficulty even knowing what questions you need to ask. Keeping yourself informed is the best way to combat this anxiety.
Below, you'll find a guide to some tips for communicating with your attorney throughout a legal proceeding. Every legal process is different, but following these suggestions should put you in a position to get the information you need while guaranteeing that you don't let any important data fall through the cracks.
Ask About Your Requirements
There is a common misconception among many people that once a lawyer is hired, they're responsible for the process and the client can merely sit back and wait for it to play out. This can put you at a significant disadvantage and can leave your lawyer totally unprepared to mount an effective defense of your rights.
You should ask your attorney about the assistance that he or she expects from you and what you need to do to guarantee your case has a successful outcome. Opening up this line of communication will help your lawyer be confident that you're an engaged party with a vested interest in finding a positive result.
Ask About Terminology
Many people have a tendency to avoid asking questions that they fear may make them seem unintelligent. This can be a particularly insidious fear in the case of legal proceedings, as some of the highly specialized terminology may be totally inaccessible to people without legal training.
You should always speak up and ask your lawyer for a lay explanation of any terminology that you don't understand. Rather than highlighting a lack of intelligence, this will instead show that you're an active participant and a critical thinker who has a desire to understand the process.
Be Open and Honest
The single most important thing you can do when communicating with your lawyer is to be completely open and honest. While some facts about your case may be embarrassing or unflattering, your attorney will not cast judgment. If you're paying for legal representation, then you have an obligation to yourself to be sure that you get the most from it. It's impossible to come to your best solution if you withhold important facts, and you need to trust that your lawyer's solitary goal is helping you through the process. For more information, contact Heather Sadler Jenkins LLP family law.