Hiring an attorney is an important step toward resolving a legal matter. Before you retain legal counsel, you should ask several questions, such as “how long have you practiced law?”, “how many cases have you handled that are similar to mine?”, “what is the likely outcome of my case?”, and “what should I expect from you going forward?”
Your lawyer should demonstrate a high level of competence with the particular case you are hiring them for. They should be able to speak in-depth about this area of the law, what your various legal options are, how the legal process will work, what to expect from your attorney, and what you can do to help ensure a successful outcome. The more closely you work together with your attorney, the better your chances of a favorable result.
How to Stay on Top of the Case Once You Hire an Attorney
After you are satisfied that you have chosen the right lawyer and signed all the retainer agreements, there are some important things you should do to keep on top of your case:
- Be honest from the outset
Legal cases will be thoroughly investigated by both sides, especially if you end up at trial. During the course of discovery, the facts are bound to come to light. For this and many other reasons, it always best to be honest with your attorney from the very beginning, even if the facts you give them may not be favorable to your case.
- Follow through on everything you agreed to do
After you hire an attorney, it is likely that they will ask you to do some things to move your case forward. Examples may include helping to gather useful evidence, going to doctor’s appointments, and other important tasks. Be sure to make these tasks a priority, because they will likely need to be completed before you are able to make any significant progress in your case.
- Document everything
It is always a good idea to keep a file with all the documents you have that are related to your case. You should keep a journal summarizing the dates you met with or spoke with your attorney, what was discussed, and what to expect next. Keep an electronic file as well with any email communication and digital documents.
- Reply promptly to any requests made by your attorney
While the case is progressing, there is a good chance your attorney will ask for some additional information and/or ask you to complete some additional tasks. For example, you may be asked to make a follow up visit to the doctor or secure an important document that only you have access to. Be sure to act on these requests as soon as you can.
- Report any new evidence to your attorney immediately
There are times when new information/evidence comes to light after the case is already in progress. If you become aware of any new evidence regarding your case, report that to your lawyer right away. You never know what bits of information or evidence can impact the success of negotiations or litigation. What may seem to you like a minor piece of information could end up making a major difference in the outcome of the case.
- Inform your attorney ASAP if you are unable to fulfill a commitment
If you have a medical appointment, hearing, or another commitment that you are not able to make, let your attorney know about it right away so it can be rescheduled or otherwise handled. Sometimes life gets in the way of a legal proceeding, but when it does, give your attorney as much advance notice as possible.
- Contact your attorney whenever you have questions or concerns
The most important factor in staying on top of your case after you hire a lawyer is communication. You should expect regular communication and ongoing updates from your attorney, and you should be able to contact them whenever an important question or concern arises. You may not get an immediate response as attorneys are often attending hearings or meeting with other clients, but you should expect to have your question or concern addressed within a reasonable period of time.
Speak with an Experienced Alabama Lawyer
If you have a legal issue, you deserve experienced representation from attorneys who will treat you with dignity and respect. At Burge and Burge, we have in-depth knowledge of a wide range of practice areas; including personal injury, workers’ compensation, Social Security Disability, professional negligence, and many others. We work closely with our clients to provide the skilled and personalized representation they need and deserve.
For a free consultation with one of our seasoned attorneys, contact us today at 205-251-9000.